Friday, September 21, 2007

An itch is an itch is an itch

Why I love and hate the Internet...

This week Daniel had some strange sensations on his back and midriff. It was tingly and sensitive; almost felt like a sunburn, he said. So I go onto Google and type in all kinds of combinations of diabetes/skin sensitivity/tingling/pain. Google is a wonderful tool. I found all kinds of scary information about neuropathy. As my heart sped up and I began to sweat, I noticed that most of the neuropathy-related information had to do with the extremities. There were rarer cases of neuropathy around the trunk. Hmmm…

So I asked a lady in my office (who has T2) if she knew of any diabetes-related tingling/burning sensations around the midriff. She said that she went to a diabetes education class once where the lecturers said that every once in a while diabetics can experience “bizarre sensations.” These sensations can be hard to pin down—they can come and go, lasting a few hours or a few days. There’s a large variety of sensations. But they all fall under the “bizarre sensations” umbrella.

Okay, that made sense. It also was easier to swallow than neuropathy. But I had one more source to check. American Diabetes Association has a wonderful message board for parents of diabetics, and I occasionally go there to read about other peoples’ experiences, or to ask questions. So I posted a question about skin sensitivity. Almost immediately, concern & caring & educated guesses came flowing into my email. And the moms on line reminded me that just because Daniel is experiencing strange sensations, I don’t always have to jump to the conclusion that it is diabetes-related. A couple of them thought it might be shingles, which can start as tingling sensations around the trunk of the body for a few days before the painful rash shows up.

Meanwhile, I’m chewing on the inside of my cheeks with worry, and making Daniel lift up his shirt every half hour or so to check for the slightest blush of a rash.

Finally, Daniel says that it’s not so bad anymore—as a matter of fact, if he doesn’t think about it, it just doesn’t bug him. And my husband said that he gets really sensitive skin in that area when the seasons change and the air gets drier.

Today, Daniel’s skin is back to normal, and the inside of my cheeks are healing. Sometimes an itch is just an itch.

But there’s still something to be said for an ounce of prevention. He’s getting his flu shot on Monday.

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