Well I only had to debate for a few hours longer on the antibiotic use. 2 days ago when I wrote about debating whether or not to use the antibiotic script my doctor gave me months ago, I didn't need long to make a decision. I went into the tub and the pain was even worse! After getting out of the tub, I was literally on my hands and knees because of the pain - I was crying so hard. I had an image in my head of the Salem witch trials - when they burned women at the stake while still alive. That is how I felt. I felt as if my skin was literally in a gulf of flames. I have never had this much pain all over my skin before. So I bowed my head and prayed. I truly felt God telling me to go get that prescription filled. He gave me just enough energy to get the kids in the car and drive to the store. The pharmacist took one look at me and I kid you not, my script was ready in less than 5 minutes. Not sure if he was more sorry for me or more scared of catching something contagious! I really didn't care - I was just glad to get back home and pop a pill!
Here is where things got interesting - within 2 hours my pain was nearly gone and I had significantly less itching. Even when I get a 4-5 day break, my pain and itching go down over the course of a day, never in 2 hours. I was finally able to touch my body without wanting to scream. I was able to walk around without being hunched over in pain. It was truly a blessed relief!! I went to work yesterday and tolerated it very well. I itched from time to time, but no where as bad as last Friday at work. This morning I woke up and was able to put my hair up in a bun, raising my arms over my head without severe pain. It was so wonderful!! My skin is still red and itchy and sore - but back to what I am used to.
So are antibiotics something we all need during TSW? I do not believe so - even Dr. Rap says it is rare for someone to get infected during TSW. But given I work in a busy Emergency Room and am exposed to high levels of bacteria, I knew I was at high risk - hence why I only went back once a week and took 3 whole months off. Being a nurse, even I was not able to be sure it was an infection - but the severe increase in pain and swelling and infected looking sores - well I knew there was something else going on. I will be taking higher doses of probiotics when this antibiotic course is over. And I told work that I will not be able to work for a while unless they kept me in triage only where I see a lot of people, but only ask questions - I have very little physical contact with anyone. They are so short staffed they agreed. So I will continue to work once a week - but I will not be running around like crazy and not being exposed as much as if I was working in the back with all the patients. I do not like asking for "special treatment" but I know that I cannot risk getting another infection.
I will be posting a few pictures in a day or so to show the significant difference in my skin. I am still due for an increase in flare during my PMS time - I no longer believe this "flare" had anything to do with PMS like I initially thought. So we will see how I handle it and then I can possibly look forward to my 4-5 day break in the pain, redness, and itching during my post period break I typically get! :)