After my trip to hospital for a transfusion of antibodies in the middle of February and my unfortunate reaction to it, I came away better but with a sore shoulder. The pain in my shoulder initially receded, but on the Tuesday night following my discharge it returned with force.
Over the next few days it continued to flare and extend into the side and back of my neck. By Friday I was taking Panadol and Codeine which helped but I still suffered break through pain, especially at night.
On Saturday night as I was getting ready for bed I noticed my shoulder and the back of my neck had begun to swell. On Sunday I noted that the swelling on the back of my neck had traveled around to the front, destroying the definition at the base of my throat, and it was spreading up my neck giving me a double chin and swelling my jawline.
The pain was continuing. I had been experiencing tingling in my right foot which had become continuous. I had occasional tingling and burning sensations in my palm. On the Sunday my face began to tingle and I experienced a patch of numbness in the area of my left cheekbone which came and went. I began to worry that whatever was causing the swelling in my neck was causing pressure to my nerves or something.
On the Monday I visited a GP. She thought that some of my symptoms could be caused by the stress of my illness and upcoming surgery and speculated that the swelling I was experiencing might be due to an allergic reaction to a medication. However, since I was taking no new medications she decided to send me in to ED to rule out any other potential issues.
So, on Monday afternoon I was back in ED. They took full bloods and x-rays of my chest and neck.
The bloods came back clear. My platelets had risen to 70!!! The x-rays were fine. After some discussion with my Hematologist they concluded that the most likely cause of the swollen collar around my shoulders, my "buffalo hump" as the doctor called it, was a reaction to the high dose of Prednisone I'm on.
Obviously my body has decided to protest the sudden jump in dosage. But I was otherwise responding well to the Prednisone, as evidenced by my blood results. My platelets had jumped from 18 to 70 in a week and my doctors are reluctant to mess about with the dosage and risk another drop in my levels. They advised that I keep up the panadol and codeine for now and they'll review the Prednisone dosage next week.
So I'm sucking it up. I'm taking painkillers when the pain flares ... and trying to avoid any and all mirrors.