In May 2011 I had a terrible rash on both arms which was very itchy, red and spotty which when scratched joined together. Several visits to my GP surgery finally resulted in being referred to Glos Royal Hosp and I saw a dermatologist who said you have urticaria vasculitis. Full blood count, high dose steroids, antihistamine and a biospy later and thought OK at least I now have a diagnosis. In July when I saw him again for the results he said I had a TSH level of 22 and therefore an underactive thyroid. The result I was put on thyroxine.
Ten days after finishing the steroids I had the rash back on my legs as well as my arms, and swollen feet and ankles. An out of hours GP referred me to our Minor Injury unit where there was concern over my kdneys so a further referral onto the general hospital. High blood pressure and blood in the water sample and was told the vasculitis was 'attacking' my kidneys. Back on high dose steroids, and told I'd be sent an appt to see a renal chap. I'd also need to take calcium tablets and would need a bone density scan
Have had scan on kidneys and all apears to be fine. By this time my mobility was horrendous. It was taking ibruprofen and paracetamol just to be able to walk my son to school and then I knew I was useless for the rest of the day. The fatigue is something else that I don't think I can even begin to describe even today. How can you fall asleep mid morning, again mid afternoon, immediately after tea and then sleep all night?!
In all this my GP was great. She decided to refer me to a Rheumtologist. The Nuffield Orthopaedic in Oxford wasn't interested - apparently my blood results was normal for them?
Now time to use my private health insurance through my employer. I had now been off work for 3 and a half months. A nice chap in Warwickshire checked out my oedema, my rashes and came up with mild lupus and rheumatoid arthritis for which I now take hydroxychlorquine.
So I now have an underactive thyroid, mild lupus, rheumatoid arthritis but does all this still come under the heading of vasculitis? I currently take calcium tablets, thyroxine, 10mg steroids a day as well as the hydroxychlorquine.as well as drugs for depression which I many years ago. I know from looking at the vasculitis-uk web site that I am lucky in my rashes aren't as prominent as others. The worse is always a 'butterfly' style rash over my cheeks and the bridge of my nose and the heat which comes off of them I am sure youcould fry an egg on. Would be interested in your thoughts.