Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fall Has Arrived!

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A quick update.

I wanted to thank everyone who has wished me well. Your kindness and concern have meant so much to me.

Went back to the Dr. today and the blood work came back fine. No report yet on the biopsies but he is pretty sure they will be okay too. Right now it looks as though it is an allergic reaction to my fibromyalgia medicine Lyrica. Even though I have been on this for 9 months, he says it could be that I have built up a sensitivity to it. I am on Prednisone(steroid pills) and an antihistamine for the next few weeks. While I am devastated at having to go off my MIRACLE drug, I can't go on like this. So for now, I am taking it one day at a time.

Thank you all again, dear friends!



Fall has definitely come to Central Illinois. There are wonderful displays of pumpkins and gourds for sale.


The corn fields are standing dry and brown waiting for the picker to gather their bounty.

The rustling of corn stalks and leaves can be heard in even the gentlest of breezes.


Mums in glorious rich autumnal colors grace the fronts of many garden centers and grocery stores.




Spring and summer plants have been drastically reduced in price so they don't have to be over-wintered in the garden centers. I found this wonderful Boston Fern on sale for $5.00 and decided I could keep it over the winter in the front living room with the skylight.


Most of my flowers are winding down and going to seed. But I did find a surprise bloomer. This is the azalea that our daughter brought us as an Easter gift. I planted it in a small area between the house and the sidewalk and it is blooming again. Now this may be a natural occurrence, but I have never seen a fall blooming azalea.


These are either 'clouded sulphur' clear yellow or 'alfalfa' butterflies. Both are found in open areas along roadsides and in fields. (Identified using my new butterfly book given to me by Rose)


They are feasting on the wildflower, 'heath aster' Aster Ericoides.


I didn't seem to bother them much as they went about the business of sipping nectar.


Yes, it's another picture of 'heavenly blue'! Still growing, still blooming and now taking over the verbena and wave petunias in my barrel planter.


I have debated with myself for days now whether to tell you or not. Finally, I have decided to share this with you. Several weeks ago, I started getting a rash. Very small at first, it was on my upper body. Just a couple of spots no more than an inch in diameter. When it started to spread and itch like crazy, I went to the Dr. He thought itwas Pityriasis Rosea. Something one can get that is not contagious and does no real harm other than being uncomfortable. He recommended using Selsin Blue as a body wash for a while. Two weeks later, I went back and because it was worse and spreading rapidly, the Dr. had me see a dermatologist. He too thought it was the Pityriasis and prescribed a steroid cream. To make this story move along-3 visits later and having the rash from my hair to my toes front and back, he was stumped and decided to do a couple of biopsies and blood work. I am now waiting for the results and should hear today or tomorrow. My face looks like I have been sunburned with big patches of red scaly peeling skin, the rest of my body looks pretty much the same and there are still spots coming out.
While, I am sure this is not life-threatening, it makes a vain person like me cringe to be seen in public. I even hate to have my family see me like this. I know I am whining here and that there are people out there who have real problems, but I needed to vent a little. So bear with me as I scratch and try to hide my face. I am sure the Dr. will be able to help and one day soon, I will be back to normal. Well, normal for me anyway!
Hope you all have a great gardening week!

41 comments:

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Oh, you poor thing! I wonder if your rash isn't caused by some allergen. Hopefully it'll be gone after the first frost at the lastest, but I do hope it's gone very soon.
Saturday morning the family & I were driving past a cornfield when my husband said, "That corn isn't looking so good." I said "That's because it's fall!" "Oh, yeah," he said, "it is almost October." It has been so summer-like before yesterday that fall really snuck up on us.
Were you aware that Asters aren't "Aster" any more? I think that one's a Syphyotrichum. It's one of my favorite wild Asters anyway.

Amy said...

Oh Beckie, that's terrible!!!! I hope and pray that they find an answer very soon. We went through a rough patch several years ago when my husband's hands would mysteriously swell up and then blister all over - it was awful. He couldn't dress himself or even drive, or work. No one knew if it was contagious or what was going on.

It took more than a year to narrow it down to a contact allergy to a preservative found in various baby and beauty products. The steriod cream they were using to treat him was making it worse because it contained the preservative!

Working at home has helped a lot, but when he travels he has to take a bottle of prednisone pills along just in case, and often has flare ups caused by shaking hands with people or even just using someone's computer keyboard.

Anyway, all this to say...I feel for you!

flydragon said...

I always wondered what those white wildflowers were called. There are some around by my yard also.

Has heavenly blue been eyeing the house yet? Maybe looking for a window to creep into, winding itself around your toes as you sleep?

So sorry to hear about the rash. And you're not whining! If you can't tell your blogging friends about things like this, who can you tell? Hope you are back to your normal? self very soon!!!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Beckie, it's terrible you have to go thru this. I'm sure the waiting is driving you crazy too. I hope they find the cause quickly.
Marnie

Rose said...

Beckie, I hope by the time you read this you have heard from the doctor. I know you've been through so much the past couple months with this; I hope the tests finally give you an answer--and a cure!
Hmmm, that fern looks suspiciously like mine, LOL; thanks for the tip last week on the sale!
It seems as though the corn and beans just turned yellow overnight sometime this past week. You're right about that being a sure sign of fall.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Beckie, Bless your heart! I do hope you are better soon. That is just the worst! Of course it's not, but it sure feels like it when you are itching from head-to-toe. I do hope the doctor figures it out--quickly!

Naturegirl said...

Oh dear you poor baby!! I can't imagine the discomfort that you expereince!! Holding you in my prayers that you soon will find relief and know what the cause is!!!
Hang in there..feel bad for you..NG

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Oh Beckie. I do hate to hear you are so poorly. It isn't any fun to be in your predicament. I hope too that you know by now what is going on. I bet it is an allergy. Allergies are just so difficult to pinpoint. I hope they find out soon. You can whine any time you wish while this is going on. Cry or do what ever might make it bearable.

Susie said...

Oh my goodness Beckie! That rash sounds terrible. I hope you get a diagnosis soon and they are able to treat it properly.

Enjoyed your fall pictures. That fern is gorgeous and for $5.00? That's amazing!

Beth said...

Oh Beckie, I am so sorry--it sounds miserable. Please keep us posted on what the doctor has to say. Your pictures, however, were very lovely. I especially enjoyed the gourds and seeing the dried fields of corn. Sending you good thoughts and prayers.
Beth

Wendy said...

Poor you, Beckie - not fun to go around with red, peeling skin. Must be very uncomfortable too.
I also would tend to think it must be some kind of allergy, especially with you being around plants.
Let's hope the doctors find out what it is - and quickly too, so you can start treatment.

Loved your fern. Thought I'd recognized it and after reading Rose's comment - well, now I know where I'd seen it before! LOL!

Beckie - you can whine, cry, rave and rant to us bloggers. And we will whine, cry, rave and rant to you too. We're all in this crazy life together.
Hugs and hugs and hugs to you. Get better soon!

beckie said...

Gee guys, I'm overwhelmed at your concern. It really does make me feel better. Even though we talk and write mostly of our gardens, we do care about each other on a more personal level-and I really like that!

beckie said...

MMD, Where did Sept. go?! October is here, then Thanksgiving right around the corner and Oh no! Christmas- I haven't started shopping yet! Maybe I don't need to panic that much, but time sure does get away from me.:)

No, I wasn't aware that Asters aren't Asters. The Illinois wildflower site isn't either I guess. Whay do they keep changing things?

beckie said...

Amy, how awful for him. We thought about an allergy and if nothing else shows up, I'm sure that will be the next course of action. I'm glad your husband found out his allergen and can take measures to prevent it. Thanks for your concern, and you take care of yourself.

Flydragon, I had to laugh at your comment about the morning glory eyeing the house! I'm sure if the frost doesn't get it soon, It will reach for the neighbors' yard. Blogging FRIENDS-that is how I feel. Thanks for your caring.

beckie said...

Marnie, I am anxiously awaiting the Dr.'s report. On one hand, I don't want them to find anything, and yet I wish they would so we could get this taken care of! I really appreciate your concern.

beckie said...

Rose, I thought you would recognize the fern. Aren't they gorgeous and such a bargin! Iam getting a little cranky with this rash...that's a polite word for it. :) Fall did sneak up on us and it will soon be time for our wiener roast.

beckie said...

MG. you're right of course, there are people who are truly ill and here I am whining about a rash. But it is driving me crazy! :)

Nature Girl, How sweet of you. i have been touched by all the caring. Thank you!

beckie said...

Lisa, I did cry at the Dr's office the other day. I told him, "I don't want to look like this forever!" Boo-hoo. He was so gentle and kind, even getting me kleenex. He promised we'd get to the bottom of it. Afterwards, I felt like such a big baby. But I haven't been sleeping and when I am tired I get over emotional. That and when you get to be my age, I think you just cry more. :) I appreciate your love and concern!(I sent T pictures of my back)

beckie said...

Thanks, Susie. I am taking a lot of 'oatmeal baths' to help with the itching and peeling. Hopefully, we will know something soon. I just couldn't pass those ferns up! But am going to have to put a strong hook in the living room to hang it on this winter. It is really heavy.

Beth, I'm a farm girl at heart I guess because I love the look of the corn and bean fields when It's time for harvest. I always try to get some of the more unusual loking gourds and pumpkins for fall decorations. Thanks so much for your concern. It means a lot to me.

beckie said...

Wendy, you're so sweet to let me whine. :) I feel so close to all of you. We really are a big cicle of friends. And this is a good outlet for us to share our lives with caring people-our own cyber support group!

i just happened on the ferns when I was looking for mums. At that price I couldn't resist and I knew I had to tell Rose about them. Now if we can get them through the winter...

Cheryl said...

Dear Beckie.....How i love to see the pumpkins and squash....so colourful so autumnal.........
and your lovely corn.....I can hear the rustling.......so peaceful.....

The fern that you have bought..do you know that If you spray it every other day, it will stay lush and green......I expect you do but just thought I would mention it....

Your poor skin.....I do hope they find out what it is.....
Just a thought but could it be something to do with your medication? Sometimes there are side effects when we take medication long term.......I do hope not, as I know it has helped you so much with your condition.

Just to reassure.....if people love you they accept you as you are.....beauty comes from within......over these months of you and I blogging, I know that you have a beautiful soul and that will show in your eyes.......

I also know that we worry what others might think....I hope and pray it soon clears for you and that you will feel comfortable again.......

perennialgardener said...

You poor thing, I hope it's not serious. Keep us in the loop & I will keep you in my thoughts & prayers for a speedy recovery.

joey said...

Good grief, dear Beckie. Do hope by the time you read this your rash will be better. My sister had one that baffled all the doctors then disappeared as fast as it appeared. Do hope this is the case for you. (By the way, I enjoyed your fall photos ;)

beckie said...

Cheyrl, thank you for your kind thoughts and wishes. While I have been waiying on the test results, I have been searching the internet. I think you are right about it being a reaction to a medicine. And I think it is my Lyrica-the one that has helped sooo much with the fibro. Too late to call the Dr. today, but will in the AM. It seems that 28% of people in the test trials had some kind of skin dermatitis in varying degrees. I have been on this med for 9 mos. now, but it can take a while sometimes for it to develope. I may be wrong, but am anxious to talk to the Dr.

The fern is so gorgeous and I just couldn't resist. I will do as you say and mist it. Had thouight aboyt taking it down this wintera nd putting in the shower every so often to help keep it moist. With the sky light it should get enough light. It will be a fun experiment to see if I can keep it looking so lush. Take care!

beckie said...

Racquel, thank you so much for your concern. As I just told Cheryl, I may have found the answer, but will have to talk to the Dr. I will keep you all informed-you are such a good outlet for me to express my frustations as well as my joys.

beckie said...

Joey, was so glad to see your post. hadn't heard from you in a while and I hoped all was okay. I'm sure in the end, I will be fine. It's just very frustating right now not knowing(and ITCHING!)

I love fall and all the rich warm colors. And am enjoying taking pictures of it.

Gail said...

Beckie, Oh my, I am sorry...the waiting is always so difficult. Btw...you have a real problem, too. We are all here for you! Gail

Cheryl said...

Dear Beckie.....I am so devastated for you.....I wish I had been wrong but unfortunately I have seen this with medication my Mum took years ago.....I know it relieved you pain.....I hope they find an alternative that will work.....

Do not forget that herbs are healing and sometimes adding the right ones can help with pain.....If you ever consider that route let me know and I will look in my books to see it there is something you can add to your diet.....you are not alone.....

Fern in the shower....great idea....it would love the humidity....I used to do that with an orchid I had......

Roses and Lilacs said...

That's bad news. Now you can't take your lyrica, right?
Marnie

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Dear Beckie, I think I know how you must be feeling right now. Even though I did not have a horrible reaction to Lyrica, I was so frustrated when my insurance wouldn't approve it, and it was much to expensive to buy. I have decided it was for the best, and I have been exploring Cheryl's idea of herbs. I also am trying to eat a non-inflammatory diet and taking a combination of turmeric, ginger, omega 3's, and a mag/calcium combo. I can lead you to where I got my information if you are interested. To me, it is easier on my body and it makes me feel like I am in control instead of the doctor and drug companies. If you want to talk, just let me know.

Aiyana said...

Hope all is well. Good to see you posting again. That Boston Fern was quite a bargain! It's gorgeous.
Aiyana

Susie said...

Thanks for the update Beckie. I've been thinking about you every day wondering if results had came in yet. Hopefully, the doctor will find another miracle drug for you if you can't continue with Lyrica.

joey said...

With all the issues going on in your life, dear Beckie, I'm delighted to read this healthy and fun post. My heart is with you (here at the lake dealing with my sister's many health issues, wondering also what tomorrow might bring). It's heartwarming knowning you are just a post away. (((BIG HUGS)))

Mary said...

Beckie, you poor dear. I'm so sorry - I didn't know about your rash. They are so mysterious most of the time! I hope the steriods and antihistamines help you. Keep us updated. Being vain is a problem I would face, too. Keep your chin up and be with your flowers. They'll help you through...

Mary

Mountain Mama said...

I hope the rash is gone by now or at least leaving. Allergy's can sure cause trouble.
When I read your description of the corn rustling it sure brought back some memories. Believe it or not I had forgotten the sound it makes in the wind.

beckie said...

Morning Glory, I am so sorry to hear the insurance wouldn't cover the Lyrica. Luckily mine did, but a pretty high co-pay. Still it was worth it. If I can't tolerate it anymore, I will look more into the herbal remedies. How are you doing with it? E-mail me and we can talk more. Thanks!

Aiyana, Thanks. I just couldn't resist the fern. I've always wanted a big front porch to be able to hang ferns from. But I will galdly just take this one and enjoy it.

Susie, thank you for your concern. Doing better, the meds seem to be working-that and being off the Lyrica. The plan is to get the rash cleared and then start adding my regular meds back one at a time, seeing how I react to them.

beckie said...

Joey, I think of you often and wonder how you seem to remain so cheerful with all you do. I hope you take care of yourself while taking care of all the others. I will survive and am doing better with the rash. Once it is gone, we can see were to go from there.

I'll bet the lake is a beautiful place this time of the year...sigh..

Gail, everyone has been so supportive and that has meant a great deal to me! I am doing better-still peeling, but the steroid is working and the rash is slowly disappearing.

beckie said...

Marnie, for now, yes, I am off the Lyrica and everything else except the Prednisone and antihistamine. Then when the rash is gone, will will see. Thanks!

Mary, I am doing some better, the rash on my face is leaving quicker than the rest but still peelong there. Family says it's not as bad as I think-yes it is! Thanks for your caring.

Bev, yes the rash is slowly going but It's going to take a while to heal in the worst areas. I can take that though-at least there is a light. I love the sound of the dried corn blowing in the breeze. A soft fuzzy comforting sound. Hope your niece is doing better. She has been on my mind a lot. I cannot image the pain she must be going through. I send prayers her way.

jodi said...

My dear Beckie, I'm trailing in late again (as usual) but you have my absolute sympathies and support. I know what it's like to be beleaguered with ailments that don't seem to resolve as quickly as we'd like. I'm waiting for surgery here and that gets stressful too. But I guess we're both in far, far better shape than many. Here's to better days ahead, and know you're in my thoughts even when I'm a lousy blogger and blog-commenter.

joey said...

Just checking in again, dear Beckie, a most delightful post, with fun photos, considering all going on in your life. Thank goodness we all have our love for gardening and family that keeps us focused on happy things. My heart stands with you (we are also awaiting a biopsy report for my son and my sister's life is still topsy-turvy). Prayers flow from my home to yours, dear one.

Gail said...

Beckie,

I am glad you are better and I am so sorry you had a reaction to the Lyrica! There will be another mirical drug for you! ...this time without any side effects! We are all here for you...Gail