So yes, everytime I have any weird sort of symptom, I immediately look for a way to blame it on my RA.
A week and a half ago, I woke up and my armpits were itching. Not just a little bit but almost unbearably. I had just restarted methotrexate so I looked on WebMD and a couple of other places and found a few articles linking this to a. irritation from deodorants or b.some sort of fungal infection not uncommon in those who have suppressed immune systems. Immediately, bells went off in my head. Damn you, methotrexate, damn you!
I was absolutely certain it was (b) but went ahead and bought hypoallergenic deodorant just in case and added it to my list of things to discuss with my doctor this week. The deodorant didn’t help so I just knew, JUST KNEW, that it had to be the immune system fungal infection. I mean, what else could it be?
Tuesday evening, I was sitting on my couch with a cat on my lap, enjoying a cold fall night. I was berating myself for not vacuuming up all the leaves I had tracked in when I saw it. IT. On my cat. A wee beast. Crawling up her neck. And another! On her belly. And OH MY GOSH- another one- on her leg. I brushed her and examined the fur on the brush- little black specks everywhere. THE HORROR.
A quick call to a doctor friend confirmed the sinking feeling in my stomach: generalized itching could also be caused by fleas. Especially if the cat spent the day sleeping on my bed. Which would probably lead to unbearable itching in the morning.
I took a trip to the vet rather than the rheumatologist on Wed (not for me, for the feline) and what I suspected was confirmed: the cat who has never been outside and only sees other animals through the window has a raging case of fleas, most likely picked up from leaves I tracked in.
So with a good dose of Frontline and furious cleaning efforts on my part, the itching is gone.
So, no fungal infection. Can’t blame methotrexate for this. Or even RA.