Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Less Than One Percent

I've always tried my best to be open and honest here. I find that many times a blogger tends to be all sunshine and butterflies when there are plenty of readers. While I love being optimistic and tend to look at the brighter side of things, I never want to mislead you in thinking that I have the perfect life. I am unbelievably blessed with much more than I deserve. God has given me a beautiful life and I enjoy sharing everything He has done for me and my family.

With all of that said and with keeping it wide open and honest here for all of you, I'm going to share a new development in my life. I have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called vitiligo. It is a rare skin condition in which I lose pigmentation in patches of my skin. For now I have a few small places and they don't bother me at all. I have the same skin condition that Michael Jackson had... in case, like me, you have never heard of vitiligo. I wanted to share this here in case you've stumbled across the blog searching about people living with the condition. 

After I had Caleb, I noticed two patches of skin that had turned white on the inside of both of my wrists. I type pretty much all day, I assumed that maybe my skin had rubbed too much while I was typing. Or maybe those pesky pregnancy/postpartum hormones were making my skin do some weird things. It didn't bother me, so I just ignored it. I was too busy figuring out how to be a new mom to worry about the way I looked! After the tornado at Island Cove, life was stressful, hectic and overwhelming at times. I spent a ton of time helping with the clean up efforts around the marina and started getting a tan. That's when more white spots began showing up on my hands and fingers. I still chose to ignore it because I thought maybe they were scars from working at the marina. I wasn't exactly careful and small cuts really don't bother me. 

More spots began showing up where I knew there were no cuts or scrapes. They developed an abnormal shape to them as well. One of my coworkers suggested I get them checked out....





I made an appointment with my doctor and was told it was caused by a yeast infection within my body and the skin condition was called tinea versicolor. I was prescribed a thirty day supply of 100mg of diflucan and was told I would see skin improvements within a week. I'm overly cautious, so I entered the condition into a Google search to see pictures. The thing is, my skin looked nothing like the images of tinea versicolor. I also searched side effects of the medicine prescribed to me before filling the prescription. I truly wasn't comfortable with the side effects of the medicine and questioned it. I went to my dad for advice and he called a friend of his who happens to be a local doctor. 

This doctor and one other in his office both confirmed with certainty that I have vitiligo. They performed an EKG and drew blood. At this point, we started checking for thyroid problems and other autoimmune issues. All of my blood work came back normal. That's pretty much where I am in this whole process right now. We learned that you can use a black light to find the spots. They show up white. I've found a few more spots but they are barely noticeable right now. It's mostly on my hands. We've learned that more spots can develop during stressful times. There's no known cause and there's no cure. There are a few ways to cope with the spots, but I'm looking into those options. 

I'm actually doing okay with it. It is a rare condition and I just so happen to be one of those people who has it. Actually, less than one percent of the population has vitiligo. It's not contagious at all, so that's awesome news. My husband is one hundred percent okay if it spreads. He loves me despite my spots! In all seriousness, I am so very lucky to have his full support as I go through this. I realize that many reading this right now are family and friends. Ryan and I have kept things really quiet lately until we found out exactly what was going on. I want you all to know since more than likely you will notice these places on me. And if you want to talk to me about it, please feel free. I don't mind at all. 


Want to learn more?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitiligo
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001834/
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitiligo/DS00586
http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/vitiligo-common-cause-loss-skin-pigment

1 comment:

  1. My dad has the same thing on the inside of his upper arms and a little on his chest. You really only see it on him though in the summer when he has a tan. I'm happy to hear you say that it doesn't bother Ryan or you (as it shouldn't)!

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