Valley Fever Does Cause Rash Diary Of A Survivor

Valley Fever Rash

This is a picture of my Valley Fever rash located on my rib cage area today 8/24/13.
This is a picture of my Valley Fever rash located on my rib cage area today 8/24/13. | Source

Valley Fever Rash On lower Chest

This is what my VF rashes look like in the beginning.
This is what my VF rashes look like in the beginning.

Valley Fever Rashes

Do Your Rashes Look Anything Like Mine?

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My Valley Fever (VF) Diagnosis

I was 33 when I was diagnosed with Valley Fever. It started with what I thought was the flu at the end of November of 2008. I was sick for months. Finally at the end of January I went to an Urgent Care to find out what was wrong with me. They told me I probably was getting Bronchitis and they prescribed me Azithromyacin 5-day antibiotics otherwise known as a Zpac. My symptoms seemed to improve but two weeks later I regressed and my symptoms were worse than they had been before. By that point, it hurt to breathe and cough. My sides hurt and I had coughed up bloody mucus and not the blood-tinged kind. It was literally dark red blood in my mucus. That scared me enough to go to the ER. Four hours later, an x-ray and a CT scan, my diagnosis was in. The doctor said it looked like I had Valley Fever (VF). He said I would need to see a pulmonologist/lung specialist within the next day or so because they found a nodule in my lung. I saw the pulmonologist the next day in which he looked at the CD with my CT lung scan and verified that it looked like VF. The doctor said he would prescribe Fluconozole to treat the disease and send me for blood tests to confirm his diagnosis. He said that if the blood tests show that I am positive for the antibodies then it would confirm his diagnosis. The following week my results were in and it was confirmed.

Fluconozole Experience

During my time on Fluconozole, I experienced very dry lips (constant), rashes (dr said it wasn't because of medication), headaches, fatigue, and loss of appetite, joint aches and backaches. I now realize loss of appetite was due to the medication. I was taken off of the medication after one year of taking it, however, after years of having Valley Fever now, I still have joint aches and backaches as well as fatigue off and on.

How Did I Get Valley Fever and What can I do to get better?

I found out quickly that most of the information out there is inconclusive as far as how long you have it and the best form of natural treatment. My doctor couldn't even pinpoint when I actually got mine. I lived in Arizona all of my life so it's hard to tell when I actually contracted it and especially since I was really sick about two times before this incident. It appears that this disease can lay dormant at times and worsen at any time throughout your life. In other cases, people have gone decades without any recurrences. From this VF experience so far, I am very paranoid about all of the unexplained aches and pains that I have, neck aches, backaches, and various reoccurring rashes. It seems to be a common ailment for many others too but when I told my doctor, he said that it probably wasn't related to my illness. I am not a hypochondriac by any means and rarely ever saw a doctor for any reason before VF so for me to say it is probably related to my VF is reasonable as I didn't have these problems before. I feel like I know more than my doctor sometimes or maybe he is just desensitized. In the meantime, I come in every 6 months for a CT scan to make sure my nodule has not increased in size. The website recommends that you seek an ID doctor but I found that you have to be referred to one otherwise they won't see you. Everyone's experience is slightly different and to varying degrees. I found information about oil of oregano being helpful as well as yogurt as they are antifungal foods. A Valley Fever Survival Facebook Group that I belong to really encourages reducing your sugar intake and eating organic to support overall better health. There are group members that support feeling better by doing so. I have yet to accomplish this 100% but I found by eating better I do feel better. Wish I could be a little bit more committed to it. I am working on this.

Second Year of Valley Fever

In my second year of having Valley Fever and I am grateful that I am not doing too badly. I have to admit I am very paranoid now of every rash and cold or symtom that is even remotely close to the symtoms I read about on ValleyFeverSurvivor.com. It seems that I am more proned to get sick now too. I have been getting pinkeye, strep throat, allergy-related illnesses and joint aches more often than I remember . I can't tell you how many times I think VF is going to spread to other parts of my body. I get unexplained rashes that last months sometimes. They aren't severe enough to panic but at the same time unexplainable. My back now aches more often than not. I am seeing the chiropractor tomorrow so hopefully it helps my jaw as well. Yes, recently, I experienced a clicking in my jaw which I am not sure from what. A friend of mine said an adjustment of my back might help that as well. Who knows??? I'll have to get back to everyone on that...

Okay, so I saw the chiropractor and had an adjustment and acupressure done. I felt better the next couple of days and my jaw issues seemed to calm down. If you are wondering about the acupressure it is when pressure is placed on two muscles which are related and the pressure and tension is released. This helps relieve other problems that are caused due to tension. My chiropractor works with a woman who does this procedure and she did it throughout my body. I have to admit it seemed kind of funny because she told me to focus on the word accurate and to take a deep breath and each time she performed the procedure of putting pressure on my muscles. It didn't hurt at all, but I felt kind of silly. However, just as she said I felt much more relaxed and the next day felt like I had just come back from vacation. No joke!

Today, several weeks later, I feel kind of tense again so I am trying to apply pressure to my own muscles to see if it helps...

Most Information Book Out About Valley Fever

Valley Fever Journal Entries

08/22/10

Okay, so yesterday my back felt really great but I am not sure if it is because I slept on my comfy sofa. Maybe I need a new mattress? It's hard to pinpoint the source of my pain so of course I wonder if it is from Valley Fever too.

08/24/10

I have a rash that started up again on my chest, just underneath my breast. It's the same recurring rash that I've had off and on. I am thinking of going to the dermatologist but I'm afraid they really won't know what it's from...

09/09/10

Okay, I finally took a picture of the rash which you can see above. Not sure why I have the rash but believe it may have something to do with my VF. I used hydrocortisone cream on it for a few days and it got better cause I didn't itch it. I've been itching it again because I am getting lazy about putting the cream on it. I will start again and keep you posted on my progress. By the way, I had the same rash earlier this year on my back too but that finally went away after a few months. It seems like the rashes appear and reappear on certain areas of my body then move to other areas...

10/14/10

My rash has gone away finally. It slowly started to peel away about two weeks ago and now it is gone. I'll let you know when it comes back. I received an email from a vf sufferer about my rash and he said that I may also have issues with anti-fungals and should see a dermatologist. He said that he's also experienced problems with his jaw and eyes because vf attacks the weakest parts of your body, including your bones.

10/18/10

Okay, so the last rash went away and now I have two rashes with one on each side of my ribcage area. It looks similar to the last one I had as far as the itchy bumps. I am going to try to see a dermatologist soon because I need to know what is going on.

03/12/11

Recently I noticed that my alcohol tolerance is not very good and has changed in the last month or so. I went out with some friends and had 3 or 4 drinks which usually didn't bother me in the past. It had probably been at least 6 months or prior that I had that much to drink but I still don't think it should have affected me the way it did. I was hungover for a whole day.

03/16/11

I have allergy issues which I never had before VF so occasionally I take a Zyrtec or Claritin. Most recently, I started using Zyrtec because of a sinus infection and my doctor recommended it over Claritin. Well, I took a Zyrtec today and found myself completely sleepy and literally unable to function. I had to go to sleep because I was very lethargic. This is the second incident where now I was able to determine that Zyrtec was the culprit for being out of it. I had taken one 2 weeks prior along with Flonase (steroid to reduce inflammation due to sinus issues) and Ominicef (antibiotic for infection due to sinus drainage) which resulted in being extremely tired and lethargic but couldn't pinpoint from what until today.

03/19/11

I had a "Mike's Hard Lemonade" and a few sips of my hubby's wine last night and woke up this morning like I had more to drink than just that. It dawned on me that maybe something is going on with my ability to metabolize toxins which would have something to do with my liver? This is driving me crazy because which doctor should I see now, PCP, Pulmonalogist, Dermatologist or another one? It isn't free to keep on seeing one doctor after the next and I am starting to have anxiety every time there is another symptom. Well I am on vacation this week so I will be making an appt with some doctor, not sure which yet...

7/19/11

I started eating better about a month and a half ago. I've increased my intake of vegetables, fruits and nuts and have found that I am doing much better. The random rashes have not reoccurred which is great. Some of the foods that I am eating more often are pinto beans, avocados (added to salsa along with other ingredients) carrots, apples, peaches, peanuts and sunflower seeds. Not sure which may have been helping but something is. Also, I started using a body lotion with tea tree oil which may also be helping although I don't use it that often.

06/19/12

I went to see my doctor yesterday because I have been feeling sluggish and my joints ache as well as repetitive swallowing and clearing of my throat. I tried asking my doctor if those symptoms are related to my VF and he says the usual, "could be". No straight answers. It's been awhile since my last breath test so I took one. After probing the doctor about my breathing results, he finally said, "your breath tests are weak but better than most patients I see here". What does that mean??? He prescribed an inhaler, Flonase (already have an rx but don't like using steroids) and told me to take Claritin every day because my allergies may be the problem. He also said I will need to have an x-ray done to see if my nodule is growing in size or if it is still the same. I haven't experienced recurrence of the rashes as I had before lately. My back aches every morning when I wake up and gets better through out the day but doesn't completely go away. Sometimes I joke that it's because of old age but deep down I know that it didn't start until that time I got really sick in 2008 and months later diagnosed with VF. Another thing to add to the list is that I've noticed my vision has been acting up lately but is it due to old age...or as I look back to the 10/14/10 journal entry someone had experienced that their eyes had been affected by VF. Keeping this journal has been helpful with my illness because it allows me to track my symptoms and gives me some sort of timeline.




Comments 22 comments

ely0606 4 years ago

HEY EVERYBODY! I ONLY SING UP, TO LET EVERY PERSON SUFFERING FROM VALLEY FEVER AS MY HUSBAND AND I SUFFERED. NOT ANY MORE. FIRST I WILL TELL MY HUSBAND'S JOURNEY. ALL STARTED AS A CASUAL COLD SYMPTOMS. DAY BY DAY MY HUSBAND WAS GETTING MORE TIRED, HE GREW WEEKER, HE LOST THE APPETITE FOR WHAT HE WAS LOSING WEIGHT, HIS VOICE TONE LOST VOLUME, HIS SKIN COLOR TURNED GREY. I TAUGHT THAT HE WAS GOING TO DIE. TWO WEEKS LATER THE DOCTORS CONFIRMED HE HAD VF. KNOWING THAT THE MEDS WOULD NOT ELIMINATE THE PROBLEM. I DECIDED TO FIND OUT A SECOND ALTERNATIVE. I WENT FOR NATURAL TREATMENT. THIS TREATMENT IS ALSO CALLED VALLEY FEVER PROGRAM, MY HUSBAND RECOVERED LITTLE BY LITTLE TO THE POINT THE TODAY HE SEEMS NORMAL LIKE HE DOES NOT CARRIE THE VF. THANKS GOD HE DID NOT ENDED IN THE HOSPITAL, LIKE MY FRIEND ( OPEN CHEST TO DRAIN HIS LUNGS, AND CONTINUING EXPENSSIVE!! MEDS THAT EATS HIS SOUL), "WHO PREFERRED TO FOLLOW DOCTORS ORDERS". MY CASE DRASTICALLY APPEARS FROM ONE DAY TO THE NEXT. SINCERELY I BELIEVE THAT I CARRIED THE VF FOR AROUND TWO YEARS UNTIL NOW. I DID NOT KNOWED BECAUSE I AM CONSTANTLY TAKING VITAMINS AND NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS, SO EVERY TIME THAT I FELT SICK I LOADED MY BODY WITH EXTRA VITAMIN "C" AND SOME OTHER SUPLEMENTS AND, SIMPLY GOT WELL FOR THE SECOND ROUND.USED TO SAID THAT I HAD THE ETERNAL COLD TO FIGHT WITH . SO ONE DAY I WENT TO THE CLUB WITH MY HUSBAND I DRANK THE BLUE DRINK, IF U KNOW WHAT IT IS :) THE NEXT DAY I STARTED TO HAVE A CHEST PAIN LIKE BRONCHITIS, THEN IT ADDED EXTREME BACK PAIN, NECK, AND WEAKNESS, MY JAW FELT TENSE, SOME PARTS OF MY FACE FELT NUMB. LATER LITTLE RASH SPOTS. MY CONCENTRATION AND MEMORY WENT FROM HUNDRED PERCENT TO FIFTY. WITH THE PRIOR EXPERIENCE I HAD WITH MY HUSBAND WITHOUT HESITATION, I STARTED THE SAME PROGRAM THAT MY HUSBAND TOOK. HERE IS THE HERBALIST # IN CASE THAT SOME ONE NEED IT. ( 661 3234658 ) HER NAME IS NENNET. THE LAST THING THIS IS A MIRACLE, GOOD LUCK EVERYONE.


Sbdaniel 4 years ago

Please contact me and let me no or a good website i can go to www.stephendaniel@ymail.com Thank u for taking the time to read this and forthose of u that have a loved one that is sick like me please be patient with them they don't mean to be cruel and say fowl things they are scared and need your support I no without my family I would not have made it this far thank u mom grandma and most of all my angel my beautiful bryanna and I'm sorry to u all


Sbdaniel 4 years ago

Hi I have recently moved to tonopah az from Washington state in mid Feb I started getting a lil cold first of march well u no us men well most of us anyway we don't go to the dr to fix it we would rather complain to our spouses so I'm waantig to say thte mo ths went buy before it hurt to the point each time I took light breaths it felt as if someone was wiggling the handle of That knife well long story short it is now July/o2/2012 it still hurts when I take a breath I still cannot take a full breath I'm constantly having t hese awful headaches and my mind I feel as if Mt girlfriends son is smarter than I am the other day is at in my truck for we will just say to long wondering if I should take my seatbelt off before opened the door or vice versa before I yelled out loud at myself what does it matter just get out I am constantly felling lightheaded I feel like I am living in a dream world my neck hurts for no reason I was laying in bed with my girl just holding herald all of the sudden I started to cry the worst paini have ever felt in my life was in my lower back and my whole body aches and tingles and I am having mood swings very very very angry for no reason I love my girl friend more than anything I want her to be my wife some day but im scared she will leave me I'm just not me I mean it just took me two houreS to write this something is not right with me please someone is this normal my doc says it is but I think he is trying to make me feel better help me p,ee


amurbach profile image

amurbach 4 years ago from Arizona Author

Fortunately, I most of my rashes have only been in patches like the picture shown. They have been lasting about a

month or so then they dry and flake away. I've also had small stubborn isolated areas that are reddish and then a thin layer of skin flakes off and they cycle happens all over again. I've had this spot underneath my eye for over a year. It's probably time for me to get a biopsy.


rpriebe 4 years ago

Has anyone had a skin biopsy for tge VF rash and by any chance had a large amount of eosinophils and stained positive for cd30 tcells? I have had this terribe rash spanning from my face to my calves for two months now. I spend a wk a month in Tucson and my dermatologist/infectious disease doctor and oncologists in the northeast are stumped. Can anyone explain what the valley fever rash looks like better, some bumps are hard and red 4 mm. some are 6-10mm soft and pustules, I have gotten up to 200 at a time and as few as 15 at a time, the skin flakes off them as well and a tiny hole is left on the backside of the skin flake. Any suggestions?


amurbach profile image

amurbach 5 years ago from Arizona Author

I'm off the meds now after taking them for a year. The ct scan reflected no change to the size of the nodule in my lung which is 16 by 13 mm. My pulmonologist said it was under control.


VF Jacquie 5 years ago

Are you still on meds? How many do you take a day? They started me on 2 but upped it to 3 when My CT scan showed a 15cm column in my lung after less than 6 weeks.


VF Jacquie 5 years ago

My VF specialist said they are working on a vaccine in Arizona but it will take YEARS to get through the FDA.


amurbach profile image

amurbach 5 years ago from Arizona Author

You are correct. This is not an illness to mess around with and you should be on anti fungals if your vf is not under control. The nodule on my lung is still there and has not changed in size. Some people are okay for years and then all of the sudden their vf becomes active again and it's back on the meds. I'm thinking somehow the immune system is compromised and the body becomes the perfect growing grounds for the fungus to grow. Maybe it's because of sugar or something else, I don't know but I hope research is dedicated to this disease soon.


VF Jacquie 5 years ago

The dry lips and skin are a bummer but NOTHING compares to what Valley Fever can do if not controlled. The fatigue doesn't come from Diflucan/Fluconazole the fatigue is the biggest result of VF. My biggest disappointment has been hearing being on the meds is no guarantee that the VF isn't going to take over again.


amurbach profile image

amurbach 5 years ago from Arizona Author

VF Jacquie, yes, you are correct about alcohol and the anti fungal meds, they don't mix. I am no longer on the anti fungal meds and thank goodness because they were really drying up my lips. It also makes sense to me that sugar and dairy feeds the fungus and that's a battle I am yet to conquer. :( Thanks for sharing.


VF Jacquie 5 years ago

My Infectious disease specialist told me absolutely NO ALCOHOL on Fluconazole. A friend who has had Valley Fever for 8 years advised me that he has found sugar and dairy "feed" the fungus. I have found I feel best when I avoid sugar.


amurbach profile image

amurbach 5 years ago from Arizona Author

At first I thought that the rashes I was getting was due to it being a side effect of the medication but found out it was due to the Valley Fever. No, while I was on the medication the side effects of the dry lips and loss of appetite did not lessen. However, my doctor had suggested splitting up the dosage between the night and day or taking it with food might help. I kept forgetting to split up the dosage... Check with your doctor before altering your dosage or changing the prescribed routine.


Jill in AZ 5 years ago

I start my 2nd mo today. Do the side effects of the flucon

lessen over time?


amurbach profile image

amurbach 5 years ago from Arizona Author

I was on Fluconozole too and some of the symptoms that I felt were fatigue, loss of appetite and dry lips. Yes, the liver enzyme tests have to be taken monthly while on the medication because it's hard on your liver. Many people get VF and don't have any issues with it so it's the ones that have the nodules in their lungs or their disease has disseminated to their skin or other organs that require the anti-fungal medication to control it. I was told it never goes away. :(


Jill in AZ 5 years ago

Thanks for commenting. I guess the double confirmation isn't enough, maybe the pulm runs different tests? My PCP's office said I'll be taking antibiotics (Fluconozole) for 6 mo & the pulm will check my liver monthly. Who takes any type of antibiotics for that long w/o screwing up our immune system? I just feel the treatment is worse than the disease, especially 'cuz I don't feel sick & I've read that many people don't even know they have VF.


amurbach profile image

amurbach 5 years ago from Arizona Author

If you have VF, your pulmonologist will be able to confirm your diagnosis by taking a blood test which will show the antibodies for VF. I wish you the best and good luck.


Jill in Arizona 5 years ago

I was diagnosed at random after having a psychotic reaction to prednizone on 3/19/2010. After the double positive confirmation, I began Fluconozole recently. I'm waiting for a referral to a pulmonologist. Should I be worried or is normal? Also, about 2 days before my psychosis, I began seeing floaters in my right eye. I'm not convinced that the two problems aren't caused by VF...sigh.


Teri 5 years ago

Valley fever can cause a rash like the one in your picture. My dads starts to go away, looks great for a day or two then comes again. Keeps doing the same thing about every two weeks.

You should really see an Infectious Disease specialist, ask for a referral.


Linda Overstreet 6 years ago

Thank you for sharing, I've been a Valley Fever survivor for 3 years now. I totally relate to what you have said. I am noticing a pattern, I seem to weaken a lot during the winter months, and now have developed a really bad back ache that is on one part only. I am planning going to a specialist this next week, as my last doc. was new to the subject... We need caring knowing doctors who have plenty of experience. It has been a very tough time for me.... I will keep you posted too. Linda loverstreet@cox.net


Lynn 6 years ago

Please keep writing. I have been diagnosed recently and feel really bad. I am on the anti fungals


sal qualiata 6 years ago

CONTACT ME PLEASE

SAL-E-Q@HOTMAIL.COM

I HAVE BEEN ON ANTI FUNGALS TWO YEARS, NOT BETTER YET

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