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serum sickness

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serum sickness

Posted by
bethany on March 25, 2000 at 23:56:20:

I too have the dreaded poison oak. Face, eyes, arms, legs, stomach and hands. I have already had a decadron shot and a depo-medrol shot. I am currently working on the dose pack with no improvement only worsening. My dr says next thing in hospitalization with IV meds. My question is, is this serum sickness?



Re: serum sickness

Posted by
bethany on March 26, 2000 at 00:04:07:

In Reply to: serum sickness posted by bethany on March 25, 2000 at 23:56:20:

I decided after posting that message that I should supply more info on my treatment thus far. I have had the two shots and dose pak along with 2.5% HC, Zyrtec, Atarax, Synalar crm. All of which did not help. I was also prescribed Axid but after talking with my pharmacist decided against taking. I have tried all the usual benadryl, calamine, and even the hair dryer. I get no relief.....



Re: serum sickness

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 27, 2000 at 14:57:08:

In Reply to: serum sickness posted by bethany on March 25, 2000 at 23:56:20:

Yes, Bethany.

The sooner you get into the hospital and on the IVs, the better.

The important thing for you now ( while you are tied to your bed in the hospital anyhow) is to become an expert on what poison ivy and oak look like. When you are outside, you need to be constantly looking for the leaves. If you have animals, your husband or best friend needs to bathe them with soap whenever you take them out where they might come in contact with it. YOU need to go straight to the shower and bathe with strong soap as soon as you get home.

Someone who is NOT sensitivwe to poison ivy or oak, needs to put all clothes, used on the hike, through the hot cycle with a double dose of soap to prevent the oil from contacting you second hand.

You will need to do this for a few years until the sensitivity dies down. With a response like this, your next exposure will be worse and the next one even worse.

Finally, in MY personal experience, practicing wellness on myself totally avoided this reaction for years until I stopped taking so much care practicing wekkness on myself.

Walt



Re: serum sickness

Posted by Longsuffering on March 27, 2000 at 15:45:30:

In Reply to: serum sickness posted by bethany on March 25, 2000 at 23:56:20:

I had poison ivy months ago and never got serum sickness but I still get a rash once in a while because something is still contaminated and I don't know what. But for the most part, I'm over it (for now). I have no more advice for you but I would suggest you follow Walt's admonishments.

But I do want you to know that I'm praying for you. Mine wasn't as bad as yours and yet I know how much and how long I suffered so I really feel for you. This is your "Job" experience, sister. Hang in there!

God Bless,

A friend



Re: serum sickness

Posted by
bethany on March 28, 2000 at 00:30:05:

In Reply to: Re: serum sickness posted by Walt Stoll on March 27, 2000 at 14:57:08:

just for an update.....now my "dr" has given me 40mg of prednisone a day for 4 days then 20mg a day for 4 days. I think I am finally seeing some improvement. Not anything drastic but at least there are no new outbreaks. The palms of my hands are now covered with it. This after 2 steroid shots, 2 steroid prescriptions, 3 creams, and 4 antihistamines. Dr. Stoll, after reading your follow-up, it seems that even if I get better this time without the IV meds, it will happen again and be worse? (the stuff is growing in my front yard) Is this an allergy or what?
regardless, thank you for your time and care!



Re: serum sickness (Archive in immunity and allergy.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 31, 2000 at 14:01:01:

In Reply to: Re: serum sickness posted by bethany on March 28, 2000 at 00:30:05:

Hi, Bethany.

It seems to me then the dose of prednisone you are using right now (EVEN though you are seeing improvement)--according to your history, not only creates a great chance of this recurring at a higher level, but will soon stop working just like the other times. At this time, whatever treatment you have MUST be the last one because prolonging treatment is the worst thing that can happen to you.

You already have had cortisone for far too long to guarantee that you will not have the long term problem of steroids. Short time, you can take VERY high doses without harm so long as it is tapered off. However, long term, even small doses can be harmful.

I hope I am wrong but when I treated poison ivy with prednisone, I started with double this dose in everyone. I had a case of serum sickness that ended up in the hospital becauses I used the dose of prednisone I had learned in medical school. That experience cured me of believing that my medical school education was flawless. Most cases of serum sickness happen because of inadequate doses and the larger dose is not dangerous unless you have to take it for at least several weeks. SO, I made up my own treatment schedule that used at least 4 times the largest dose recommended. I never had another case that developed serum sickness and there were no side effects fron the larger dose because I did not have to keep it up (even with slow withdrawall) longer than 2 weeks.

Up to now, according to your resent dose, your previous doses must have been MUCH less than this (or your doc would not be using this dose now). No wonder you got what you have.

This is what I have based my previous note on.

Finally, since this is in your front yard (unless it is 40 acres), you are going to have to TOTALLY eradicate it! Every time you get this, there is a fine chance that you will get the serum sickness even without inadequate treatment doses and you just cannot afford the risk.

If you have children OR animals, they will touch it and bring it in the house on their clothing or pelts.

You still need to learn what it looks like and keep one eye out for it whenever you go out. After 10+ years you may no longer be quite so sensitive to this allergy. By then, you will habitually be so sensitized to its appearance that the slightest sprout will draw you and your killer shovel or Roundup (about the only things that will kill it).

Let us know how you do!

Walt




Re: serum sickness (Archive in immunity and allergy.)

Posted by
bethany on March 31, 2000 at 15:16:56:

In Reply to: Re: serum sickness (Archive in immunity and allergy.) posted by Walt Stoll on March 31, 2000 at 14:01:01:

You are right. Now I am tapering off the prednisone and I am worse. And you are the only dr who will pay any attention to me. Mine just keeps saying wait a few more days, it just takes a while. He says I have had so many meds he cant give me anything else. So now my face is very swollen, my stomach, legs, and arms are covered. I am sleeping maybe 1 hour a night. I have scratched until now I have sores. My skin is so raw it feels like it has been burned. They said if it is not better by Monday, he will refer me to a dermatologist. Looks like it will be a long weekend.



dr says poison ivy in my bloodstream...

Posted by
bethany on March 31, 2000 at 22:06:27:

In Reply to: Re: serum sickness (Archive in immunity and allergy.) posted by bethany on March 31, 2000 at 15:16:56:

Now my dr has decided that the poison ivy is in my bloodstream. So he gave me Elocon, another topical corticosteroid. My 5th steroid. What does this mean? How do you cure it? Is that the same as serum sickness?



Re: dr says poison ivy in my bloodstream... (bah humbug)

Posted by Walt Stoll on April 02, 2000 at 16:04:52:

In Reply to: dr says poison ivy in my bloodstream... posted by bethany on March 31, 2000 at 22:06:27:

Hi, Beth.

BAH! HUMBUG!

That cannot happen! This is serum sickness. We used to explain it that way to those who would accept such an explanation.

Walt



dr's make me sick....

Posted by
bethany on April 02, 2000 at 22:02:02:

In Reply to: Re: dr says poison ivy in my bloodstream... (bah humbug) posted by Walt Stoll on April 02, 2000 at 16:04:52:

Why are they doing this to me?!?! Why doesnt he just say serum sickness instead of using some fairy tale to "explain" it to me? They just keep saying "give it a few more days and it will go away." ugh!



Re: dr's make me sick....--Don't Let This Bother You--Learn More About Your Condition

Posted by Paulette on April 02, 2000 at 23:15:04:

In Reply to: dr's make me sick.... posted by bethany on April 02, 2000 at 22:02:02:


Hi, Bethany

Don't let this upset you, it'll only cause more problems. I've had Docs treat me like I was an idiot and I'm in proces of learning as much as my Doctors about my condition.

If you notice on todays post, I ignorantly believed a Health Food Store Rep about not being any difference between Homeopathic and Liguid form silicon.

In January I had a reaction to a particular medication and the Doc told me to give it a couple of days. That I needed to take the medication and it would get better. Thankfully, I turned to my internist, who advised me to immediately stop taking the medication. That drug has since been either pulled off and/or restricted useage to patients.

Learning the hard way that you need to ask tons of guestions to educate yourself is stressful enough. I know since I'm in that process now.

Hope this helps a little though I can't answer your guestions.

Paulette



Re: serum sickness (Archive in immunity and allergy.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on April 03, 2000 at 10:01:05:

In Reply to: Re: serum sickness (Archive in immunity and allergy.) posted by bethany on March 31, 2000 at 15:16:56:

Hi, Beth.

Sorry to say but your doc has fiosted you off onto the least likely specialist to understand your problem (the Dermatologist). I agree that someone else needs to be involved than your present doc but that person neds to be an immunologist and pretty soon.

Walt



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