Hello, I am a type-2 diabetic who has lost insurance coverage and cannot afford teststrips. So, I am trying to manage control with diet and exercise. Two weeks ago, I noticed some small red rash bumps on my stomach; then, it has progressed to all over the trunk and back area, and now on my legs, too. At the same time, I was having a very dry mouth/throat-I looked inside my mouth and found 2 identical bumps near the back of my tongue, (about 1/4 inch in size) and the tongue itself is very dark. I have not been on any new meds, so I'm sure it isn't medication-related. In any case, since I cannot see a doctor right now, any suggestions as to what this means? Thank you. Kim
Kim, have you checked with your local health department? I know mine here has an indigent care program for those with no insurance and low income, where you get doctor visits and medications for a reduced cost. Yours might have something similar, wouldn't hurt to ask at any rate. Even if they don't have a program, they might be able to refer you somewhere else to get care.
Since the rash is progressing I would be looking for medical care. Again, check if your county offers a program with low cost or sliding scale costs. Try searching low cost health care an th name of your city.
Have you changed laundry detergent, softener or soap recently? If so, I cannot explain your tounge but an alergy could account for the rash on your torso and legs. You may try benydril or a baking soda bath if the rash is itchy.
Please don't let this get out of control, but I do understand the concern around the costs.
Kim, the fact that it has progressed to the rest of your body and mouth is more serious. When I was sick with a rash, I bought Benadryl at the store with the advise nurse's direction. You must see a doctor, as you don't want your throat closing up, and it getting worse to the point of not breathing.
Write down anything different you've been eating and drinking. Sometimes the meds you take that you weren't allergic to can now make you allergic. My high level of Zocor caused an allergic reaction with a heart medicine I was taking. Check online for drug interactions. That's how I found out about this problem and told my doctor.
Hi, thank you for your advice. I have not changed anything at all, because I have severe allergies that have wound me up in the emergency room on many occasions-so I amvery vigilant with keeping everything the same. The rash does not itch, it's just there. (Everywhere). LOL. I did go to urgent care, they said it would be $40 just for the visit, and if they had to do labs or x-rays, it would be quite a lot more. So because I have very little income right now I just cannot go in. Funny, they will see you if you are dying because the law says they have to-but if you are just hoping to NOT die, it's gonna cost you an arm and a leg.
Thank you for the advice, I do appreciate it from you and the others. I have taken Benadryl, even though the rash isn't itching-I fighured maybe it would make the rash go away-no such luck. It just keeps spreading. I am going to go tothe urgent care center tomorrow and ask to just see the doctor-no tests or x-rays, so hopefully he can explain what is going on. My regular family doctor accidentally killed herself in a freak accident, so I haven't gotten a new doctor yet. And then, because I got hurt on the job, and not working right now, I lost my insurance coverage. I am barely surviving on the disability money and have had to stop taking some of my meds because I cannot afford them right now (I have to eat). But, I'm sure that this will clear up soon enough. Thanks again, Kim.
P.S. I was told "at first" by my doctor that breaking out was just stress. Then, he got an e-mail by our health facility saying that the two drugs cause that reaction, the same as what I had e-mailed him the week before.
Hi, thanks again for your information. I did go to urgent care and was told that I would have to see a dermatologist; the doctor didn't seem to be in the mood to deal with a rash! I know that they are just human beings who happen to have years of specialized training in medical/science stuff-but like you pointed out, they often make mistakes and/or pass the buck when they don't know the quick answer to a problem. I did tell him every single drug I take, plus the ones I cannot take right now due to the costs, and he didn't seem to think it was related to any of that. And since the Benadryl didn't do anything except make me sleepy, he said to stop taking it. I feel like he was a terrible waste of time and money, and I am no closer to a solution now than I was before I went! I will just have to hope that nothing new happens-but if it does, I will definitely get help-but NOT from that jerk! OH-and about 23 years ago, I was given an antibiotic for a salivary gland infection. I took the med. for 3 days before I had a severe reaction to it and had to go by ambulance to the E.R. because I was covered head-to-toe with hives, and my throat swelled shut. They managed to calm down the reaction with meds and warned me never to take that medicine again. I went back to the doctor that prescribed it, and he put me on a new antibiotic. The same thing happened again, but this time I had only taken 1 pill, and it started again. Back to the E.R. The doctor at the hospital called my doctor and told him what was going on, and he called in a new prescription. I was leery of taking another antibiotic, but he insisted due to the severity of my illness. I managed to go 9 of the 10-days' worth of those pills when it all started again! The doctor at the E.R. was getting ticked off and said that they need to put a big red allergy label on my chart at my doctor's office, as well as at the hospital, because otherwise I may not make it to the E.R. next time. All in all, that one illness ended up lasting almost 3 months due to having to keep starting and stopping the meds due to reactions! I ended up being allergic to every single antibiotic except Zithromax. I spent 3 months in the hospital the last episode, and was transferred by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills to be seen by world-renowned allergy doctors-who thought that I had HAE-Hereditary Angioedema. (A very rare disease that is often fatal). Long story short, I have learned over the years to never change anything-I eat the same stuff every day. I never change soaps or shampoos or deodorant, or brands of anything, for fear of dying from it. It is a very monotonous life, but at least it IS a life! A lot of doctors are afraid of me because of all my allergies. But my regular doctor was on top of it all, and then she died. So now, I am searching for a new doctor, and that it really hard, especially when you have no insurance! Anyways, thank you again for your suggestions! I do appreciate your taking the time to share with me. I will post again if anything changes. Kim
Wow Kim...my dad and I are both sensitive to medicines and break out in a rash, but NOTHING like you're going through. YES, you have to find a special doctor that understands your needs. I don't blame you for not wanting to take medicine, but something is making you break out. It sounds like you spent some money on this. Good luck! You might want to check with the nurse of your regular doctor. She might have some ideas for you on a new doctor.
Hi, and thanks again for your ongoing suggestions. I didn't even think of asking my old doctor's nurse who she would recommend, so thank you. I will try that. As far as my having to spend so much money on medicines-yes, I have had to spend a fortune on the ones that weren't covered when I did have insurance. One of them alone, the Brand-named drug was costing the insurance $7000 (yes, seven thousand dollars) a month for my pain medicine, because we had tried 26 different ones and I was either allergic to it or it didn't work. But then when the insurance company took that medicine off their covered meds formulary, my pain medicine doctor ordered compounded equivalent, and I was having to pay $900 a month just for that one medicine! I was only getting $1098 a month income, so I had to juggle my regular bills to be able to pay for everything. I have to eat because I am diabetic, too- and so it has been very rough. And having to keep going to doctors when you don't have insurance is very expensive. And the county's low-income clinic can only do the very minimum and then refer you out for anything else. So it's a vicious cycle. Anyways, I thank you for your continued suggestions, and believe me, I will call the nurse for my old doctor in the morning and see what she has to say. Take care and have a nice evening! Kim.
I've also learned NEVER to hesitate to make MY own health decisions, whether or not they agree with my doctor's advice. You have lived in your body much longer than your doctor has known you.
The following is a section of my community profile:
In December 2008, after feeling strange for several months, my sister (who has been diabetic for 25 years) tested me with her meter & my blood sugar was 491. She dragged me to the ER where I got 2 shots of insulin & a meal that included turkey, gravy, a box of sweetened cranberry juice & chocolate pudding which my sister advised me not to eat. After paying the $2,400.00 tab, I was instructed to make an appointment with an endocrinologist & I was sent home with a prescription for Metformin, daily aspirin & NO dietary advice. My sister suggested buying a meter on the way home. None of the two doctors or RN's suggested getting a meter & testing. I started taking the Metformin as instructed.My appointment with an endocrinologist a few days later was another eye opener. As soon as he walked into the room, without even looking at me or my meter which I brought with me with 80 stored blood sugar readings, he said "You need insulin." Then he started to do a physical & said "You need to be hospitalized with an IV because you're dehydrated; do you have medical insurance?" When I said "no," he said "Get some Pedialyte and Gatorade & drink 6 glasses of each per day." I asked "Don't those drinks have sugar in them?" He said "Not really." He gave me a prescription for "Januvia" ($400.00 for 100 tablets) & directed me to take two/day. He then handed me an 1800 calorie/day diet (complete with drug ads on each page)& disappeared. After paying the $1,200.00 for the visit & labs, I started taking the medication as directed. Luckily, I chose not to follow the doctor's advice about drinking Gatorade or Pedialyte; an RN I spoke to later told me "6 glasses of liquid sugar per day might have put me in a coma or killed me." (lab tests later showed I was not dehydrated, so, had I followed his advice, I would likely have died or ended up in a coma....FOR NOTHING.)
After two weeks, the medication made me too ill to drive or exercise. I also had to get up 3 or 4 times each night to eat. I phoned the doctor several times over the next week to get a different medication but he never returned one single call so I stopped taking the medication. At my next visit, when I told him the medication was making me sick, he said "Just keep taking it, the symptoms will subside when your body gets used to it." He said my A1C was 8.9%. One week later, I found a different doctor but my new doctor wasn't interested in seeing me unless I paid him another $1,200.00 to repeat the physical & labs from two weeks ago even though I had a copy of my labs & he could consult with the other doctor.
(I now see a doctor once/year for labs only (no advice) & manage with only diet & exercise). The doctor I see now says I'm doing very well.
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