Tomorrow I have to wake up at the crack of dawn to make a doctor's appointment, at which I will insist on having a bunch of blood tests done. I have been itchy in various places since before Christmas, and this is now affecting every "crease" in my body - everywhere that skin touches skin. Under my armpits, under my breasts, between my breasts, under my belly, where my legs join my torso... Then last night I was itching absolutely all over, on my torso itself and down my arms and legs and in my head as well. There are various things that could cause severe itching, and right now I'm hoping for something simple, like some sort of parasite eating me, because the other option is that it's a side-effect of the carbamazepine which might mean having to come off it.
I started taking 100 mg of carbamazepine on Friday 15th August and increased the dose to 200 mg on Thursday 21st August. The only serious side-effect I noted was on 26th August, that I was having trouble in blocking out unwanted noise and focusing on wanted sounds when in a noisy environment. However, the snot disease started around Saturday 6th September. (Unless I had it at BiCon - anyone remember if I was ill then? I only remember being depressed and tearful.) It has been getting worse and better ever since (e.g. Thursday 2nd October, Tuesday 2nd December, Monday 29th December).
Symptoms of snot disease:
- Extreme quantities of nasal mucus, which drips down the back of my throat throughout the day making me cough and gag. I retch throughout the day from too much coughing, or from swallowing, or from my asthma inhalers. Sometimes retching is so violent that I throw up a little.
- I cough through the night and wake up in the morning with yellowish-green goo in my chest. For the first hour I'm awake I have to cough up lumps of mucus and may also have yellowish or blood-stained mucus coming out of my nose, but after that it clears and remains as colourless transparent mucus for the rest of the day.
- Have had constant slightly elevated temperature (37.3 °C), but don't bother to take paracetamol for it unless my thinking is impaired and/or my temperature is over 37.5 °C. Otherwise I would have taken paracetamol constantly since September!
Diagnosed with oral thrush on Friday 10th October and a vile kidney infection on Wednesday 22nd October. Took amphotericin lozenges for the sore throat for about 2 weeks (60 tablets @ 4 per day) and co-amoxiclav for the kidney infection for a week (500 mg amoxicillin + 125 mg equiv. clavulanic acid, 21 tablets @ 3 per day). Sore throat and kidney infection both cleared up after the respective course of tablets, but snot remained.
I didn't write down when I increased my carbamazepine dose from 200 to 300 mg because that would have been sensible, but it seems likely to have been between Saturday 15th November when I wrote about being fatigued to the point of needing 12-14 hours in bed, and Wednesday 19th November when I had horrendous nightmares. Also I got quite talkative for the week after 19th, implying that I had a lot more energy to do things with.
Snot increased again during the last week of November & first week of December. Finally went to see the doctor on Friday 5th December because I was retching so much from my Flixotide powder inhaler that I couldn't take it properly and my breathing was noticeably bad. (My peak flow had actually dropped from 430 units to 380, which doesn't sound like much except that my peak flow pretty much never decreases no matter how ill I am). Was given Flixotide as an aerosol inhaler and told to take 4 x 125 μg of it per day until better. I found that the retching improved a lot meaning that my breathing improved, but the snot was no better.
Snot has increased again over Christmas. On Monday 29th December I was so cold that I couldn't think while my body temperature got up to 37.8 °C. On Tuesday 30th December I crawled back into bed after my first student and fell asleep with my clothes on, sleeping in the end from about 3pm until 9pm. Felt itchy all day on Wednesday 31st December and it got so bad I couldn't sleep until after 5 am on 1st January.
Previous blood test was on Wednesday 15th October: tested for
- FBC - full blood count including white blood cell count and differential - useful as carbamazepine can cause a severe shortage of white blood cells.
- ESR -technically Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, but acts as a generic test of inflammation - useful to see whether I was experiencing an allergic reaction to the med.
- Urea and Electrolytes - useful as carbamazepine can make sodium levels in the blood dangerously low.
I'm going to print this out and take it to the doctor with me tomorrow, so if anyone can think of anything to add to it, please tell me now. Thanks :/