I've searched our site and don't seem to find any posts about a topic that has quickly become of interest to me - reaction to poison ivy. Does CLL make it harder for my body to heal itself?
I thought at 67 I was not someone who reacted, since I'd never had inkling of a reaction in my life. Obviously I was wrong, as I came in contact with it in my own garden, without realizing. In two days my arms were spotted with rash, and it seemed to be spreading. My PCP prescribed a 6-day prednisone pack, and at the end of 6 days the rash was much worse (full body, inflamed, wildly itchy) and my mental state was a mess.
I since found my way to the dermatology clinic at the Univ of Rochester Hospital that treats my CLL. They said I just had a severe poison ivy reaction, and possibly a rebound from not taking prednisone long enough. It was not a return of the guttate psoriasis I had 4 years ago. They said not to take prednisone again if I can avoid it, since I seem to have mental health impact. But they prescribed Triamcinolone, steroidal skin salve that I would apply twice daily, suggesting I could take a Benedryl to help me sleep (which I wasn't doing because of the itching). In the 5 days since, my skin has improved considerably, although I'm still covered with small spots of rash and bruises from unwittingly scratching the itches.
Does CLL make it harder for my body to mount a typical defense? My neutrofil level is still normal, and I've been told that my immune system is reasonably okay based on overall blood levels. I'm W&W, 3-1/2 years after diagnosis.
I'd appreciate any information about this topic, and even a little commiseration if anyone else has struggled with this little plant.