One of the small collection of drugs I'm currently on is called Lamictal, an anticonvulsant that's also used as a mood stabilizer to treat bipolar disorder (antidepressants make me either more depressed or ridiculously manic, so I'm stuck looking elsewhere). And it was working(ish); minus the natural strain over the last two weeks, I'd been doing better. Cue threatening music.
Unfortunately, Lamictal can cause a fatal reaction called Stevens-Johnson syndrome (don't look it up, the pictures can be icky), which starts with fever and a painful, itching rash, and attacks the mucous membranes especially, basically causing two layers of the skin to separate. It can also cause a completely harmless allergic-reaction rash, just for added funtimes. So, doctors obviously tell patients on the drug to keep a close eye on their skin.
Last night around 6 I realized I'd been scratching at an itchy, slightly bumpy spot between my shoulder blades. Checked with Mom, who thought she could see a faint visible rash where I'd been scratching. Called doc (who I didn't reach until this morning, alas, but then again I didn't call his emergency line, which I should have), left message. Rash spread over the next couple of hours, and also began to hurt, but I didn't develop a fever.
At about 9:30, Mom called the manufacturer's healthcare professional emergency line ('s very useful to have a doc in the house sometimes), who advised her to have me looked at. So, we threw on clothes again and ran out to the ER.
Mom has this habit of doing all the talking, but the last time I had a bad reaction to a drug (it was drilling holes in my esophagus), the doc didn't take me seriously until Mom put her foot down and played the I'm a Professional, Too, You Know card. Particularly important in this case because it's not uncommon for ER docs to hear psych and write off the patients symptoms as being all in their heads. Bleh.
Anyway, checked my vitals (no fever, yay!), poked at my back and arms a little bit, told me to stop the Lamictal (duh), and prescribed me an allergy cocktail (steroid to temporarily suppress my immune system, two histamine blockers) to clear up the infernal itching. I got home again at about midnight, took my mother meds (not the Lamictal), and went to bed.
Shrink actually called and woke me up this morning (I'd been leaving him updates, so at least he knew I wasn't dead), but we're going to talk again later about What I Do Next. I'm just pissed as fuck because I'm still itchy and now I can't take the one medication that seemed to actually be helping.
Short version: itchy as fuck but going to be fine, will be playing the medication lottery once again. Much more excitement than I needed, really.
(Mom's decided that the next time I feel the need for a mother-daughter bonding experience, we should go shopping instead.)