Saturday, August 13, 2011

A little GvHD

Yesterday, I noticed that my face was covered in a faint GvHD rash. It happens when I've been exposed to too much sun or heat most of the time. I don't think I can blame the sun for this latest episode, though.

The rash quietly emerged about an hour after I got off the phone with a harried counselor who worked in the financial aid department. Classes start in little more than a week and so these poor counselors are under attack by frantic individuals wanting to know where their money is. I realized this before I picked the phone up. I didn't want to make the call, but the tiny OCD bureaucrat that hides in a tiny compartment of my brain was insisting that I do due diligence. It's been a week since I sent in my appeals package. I wanted to be sure that the powers that be had received it.

I spent 43 minutes on hold waiting to speak to a human being. I was told that my case was still being processed and that the office was receiving such an enormous volume of correspondence that there was no way that the counselor with whom I was speaking could tell me if my paperwork had been received. Instead of insisting that she drop everything and spend the rest of her morning finalizing my case, I thanked her for her time and let her get back to work.

And I told myself that I wasn't stressed and got back to doing whatever it is I do on any given day.

Then the rash made its debut. I applied prescribed unguents and thought no more of it.

This morning, I awoke to a screaming rash on the entirety of my face that reaches back onto my scalp. It stops somewhere behind my crown and on a scale of 1 to 10 it is a constant 5 as far as itchiness is concerned.

Since I know stress over my financial aid situation has been the genesis of this latest round of skin GvHD, I plan on doing incredibly mindless things this weekend in an effort to counteract it. I have topical prescriptions that will help with the rashes and itching, but until I chill out, they won't go away entirely. I've been down this road a few times. If you need me, I'll be on the couch surrounded by diet-blowing snacks. I might even share if you ask nicely.


PJ said...

I had no idea stress triggers gvh, but now that you point it out, I wonder if my initial bout wasn't triggered by the stress of Marty moving to NYC, buying a house in the Catskills w/o selling our RI one first, etc.

Nancy said...

Ann.... So sorry. I know that stress brings it on, I'm surprised I've managed to be so lucky with only minor gvhd, in comparison, to most.... (knock on wood.) I think that stress has the opposite effect on me. Boys in their early 20's is 24/7 worry.....

I hope you feel better and it diminishes quickly. You guys have been through a lot over the past few months, it's no wonder you broke out.

I agree with you, being a couch potato for the weekend is just what the doctor ordered. (Doctor Nancy, that is) Potato Chips are a known antidote for skin gvhd.... cookies, too....

Ronni Gordon said...

Sorry about the runaround and the rash. Enjoy your chilling out. Have you taken any Benadryl? Since you don't have anyplace to go, that might be just the thing. It's making me sleepy just thinking about it.

Jim said...

Bleh, so sorry for you. Let us know when the dreaded rash recedes.

Jody said...

I won't just ask nicely my friend, I'll bring you some I bake myself.