- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Valley Fever Does Cause Rash Diary Of A Survivor
Valley Fever Rash
Valley Fever Rash On lower Chest
Valley Fever Rashes
Do Your Rashes Look Anything Like Mine?
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.
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...
Valley Fever Journal Entries
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.
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...
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
It's been awhile since I last added anything here. By the way, the symptoms I was experiencing were allergies but didn't have them before VF. However, I started taking Colloidal Silver 500 PPM just after the previous entry and use it a few times nasally right before allergy season and don't have any problems at all. This is going to be my 5th year. No more antihistamine meds and no more Flonase. It is used for many reasons. Read the reviews on Amazon! As far as my VF, so far I have not relapsed. However, I do have two small rash patches underneath my eyes and above one eyelid which have been around for about 3 years now. They dry up and flake off and then regrow. Recently, I've dramatically reduced my sugar intake and am noticing my rashes are going away. Not sure if it's because of the change of season or less sugar. It's been almost a month. I even switched to a non-sweet creamer. I've read that sugar feeds fungi so figured it could only help.