Diagnose the Bitch!

Cancer Bitch looked down while showering today and saw two red bumps on her left leg, about six inches above her ankle. One is the size of a dime and the other about half the size. Both have irregular borders and itch slightly. Of course she had to immediately go to the Internet and found out that the bumps are caused by: diabetes, spider bites, tick bites, shingles, actinic keratosis, squamous cell carcinoma, bed bug bites, allergy, ageing, or else they're just one of those things. At the same time she was itching itching all over because of her polycythemia vera and got panicky because she'd taken Atarax (generic) an hour before and that was supposed to stop the itching and it didn't and if the Atarax is pooping out, then what is she going to do? She can't take Paxil, and benedryl isn't strong enough, and will she be itching like this forever and ever, and so uncomfortable and distracted because of it and what kind of life can you live like that? and so on and so forth. She called the hematologist, who wasn't available, and talked to her assistant, who said the bumps have nothing to do with her blood disease, and are not a sign of a blood clot. She hadn't thought so but had been a'feared anyway. He said she could try taking and he added that he had other patients with uncontrolled itching and he was sympathetic, and besides, she had an appointment in a week.

How was Cancer Bitch supposed to wait a WEEK when she was itching itching every single moment?

He also said to take Atarax every six hours. CB has been taking it when symptoms arose--sometimes, after four hours, sometimes after seven or eight hours. So she will take it around the clock.

The itching calmed down and the Bitch calmed down and went about her day. And was amused to find, via Google, that lots of dogs have raised red bumps on themselves. It's sad for the dogs, but shows how mysterious and universal these red bumps are.
CB had lunch with her friend D, who told her that a doctor said recently, referring to an eye problem: If it's bad, it will get worse. Which means, if it's not a bad or serious condition, it will resolve itself. Lunch was at Ben's Noodles & Rice, where you can get a lunch special (soup, appetizer, entree) for pretty cheap--$15 something for two, counting tax but not tip.

Cancer Bitch made an appointment with her internist for Thursday. (She needs to get an EKG at the doctor's anyway, to make sure her heart can undergo anesthesia before her fibroidectomy next week.) Cancer Bitch suspects that the hematologist and her assistant think that she consults with them about things she should be asking her internist; well, it's true, she does. The hematologists are easier to get on the phone and the doctor answers email.

So, dear reader, with a day and a half before the doctor appointment, armed with the description of the red spots, please make your diagnosis in the Comments section.

Out, damned spot! Out, I say!


Dan said...

You did ask, so: If the bumps itch significantly (which you didn't note), AND if they develop a little central spot that oozes clear fluid when scratched and then crusts over -- you got chiggers, most likely, outdoor animals that love the ankle/top-of-sock area, and which I assume a native Houstonian wd've encountered before, but maybe not. If chiggers, try an old LA/KY remedy: dab spots with liquid bleach.

Cancer Bitch said...

I thought of chiggers last night. But they don't itch very much and there's no central spot. Maybe lazy cold Illinois chiggers? I'll try the bleach.

Jeff Epton said...

I have round, red, raised welts on the outside of my legs-a couple on each leg, about the size of a dime, too.

Marrianne says they're ringworm. A podiatrist I went to in Chicago a couple of years ago, who was very impressed with my fungal toenails (does your wife want you to do something about those? he asked) thought the spots were from something I picked up swimming in the lake (he doesn't swim there, I don't think).

My red spots don't itch. They just sit there. I think of them as a sign of perpetual existential alarm--in your case having risen about to the height of your ankles, in my case, to somewhere a little below my knees.

Cancer Bitch said...

I like that about perpetual existential alarm. Ringworm usually consists of a ring. You can get rid of it by applying Tegren shampoo.

Anonymous said...

I found, last year when I was totally covered with poison ivy (one of the prices you pay for going to work in the woods in shorts and tee shirt) that the best temporary remedy I could find for the itching was my grandmother's old remedy - Witch Hazel - and that it was considerably cheaper than anything the doctors suggested.

Like I said, it provides only temporary relief, but it can be used frequently and liberally.

Or, as your friend said, "If it's bad it'll get worse." I hope it's not bad.


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