Lebo

I live in South Africa and was diagnosed with DRESS in 2015 after being incorrectly diagnosed with and treated for Tuberculosis (TB). It took 8 months of treatment in and out of the hospital, and three years of healing to finally get to where I am today. 


In December of 2014, I was diagnosed with TB and prescribed Rifampicin. A few weeks down the line, I started feeling unwell - my throat felt blocked. After a consultation at the emergency room, I was given the antibiotic Augmentin to treat a tonsil infection. A few weeks later, I ended up back in the ER, this time with a severe rash on my legs and forearms. I thought it was just an allergic reaction and that I would be fine. Little did I know it was just the start of my worst nightmare. I was admitted to the hospital at Mediclinic Bloemfontein by Dr. Riaan Flooks.

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Dr. Flooks told me that I was wrongly diagnosed with TB, and that this reaction was caused by Rifampicin and also Augmentin. I became very sick, and my organs started shutting down. My treatment consisted of Solu-Cortef, pain medication and prednisone. To this day, I still struggle with liver and kidney problems. 

Unfortunately, I've had a few episodes where I've reacted adversely to other unrelated medications. In 2017, a couple of years after recovering from DRESS, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy.  In an effort to increase breast milk production, I took a medication called Sulpiride and had a reaction to it. And recently, I had and adverse reaction to an iron treatment given for anemia.

 

We are now getting into spring here in South Africa, and I fear my struggle with the sun is about to start.

I am thankful to Dr. Flooks (physician), Dr. Bam (dermatologist), Dr. Strauss (dermatologist), and Dr. Bester (physician). They all did their best to save my life. And, most importantly, I'm thankful to Nancy for creating awareness about DRESS.

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 Day 5 at the hospital as I couldn't open my eyes for the first 4 days, nor could I lift my head due to swelling.

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A few days after being released from the hospital, I developed a rash again.

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My skin was flaking and painful on the hands and feet. It was like I was literally burned.

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I I thought I was getting better, and I was now painfully drying up. I could feel the extreme dryness in my mouth and eyes.

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Almost 8 months since I started fighting the BEAST, and here I  was still in hospital (thank God I was recovering).

Precisely on the 28th of September, I was finally released from the hospital, for good this time.