Friday, November 5, 2010

Autoimmune freak-out.

You probably think that my boys’ immune systems were satisfied with killing off the beta cells in the pancreas.

Not so.

Their immune systems had other ideas and thought it would be fun to plague my cuties with other auto immune ailments.

Even though these ailments are harmless and cause no pain…they still tick me off.

Can’t autoimmune jerk face stop causing issues for our family??

J was the first one to encounter said issues.

It started four years ago with a spot on his leg, about the size of a quarter. That spot grew and grew and grew until it became the size of a jam jar lid. (A wide jam jar lid.)

Then more spots came.

Then more.

We brought him to the doc a few times. Brought up the subject at endo appointments. Everyone was stumped. It was when J refused to wear shorts to school I took him to the dermatologist to do a biopsy and put a name on this sucker.

Granuloma annulare.

Here is what it looks like on the outside. He only has them on his legs. The leg with the smaller spots used to be his bad leg. It gives us hope that one day they will just go away.

A granuloma is a medical term for a spherical mass of immune cells that forms when the immune system attempts to wall off substances that it perceives as foreign but is unable to eliminate. In J’s case the substance that the immune system finds to be foreign is keratin. Keratin is the key structural material making up the outer layer of human skin.

Here is what it looks like on the inside.

Anyway…his immune system is attacking something that it shouldn’t be…sounds familiar, right?

These spots do not hurt. These spots do not itch. They are just there. We tried topical lotions to no avail, and even had the spots injected with something to lessen the redness. The shots helped a bit, but not enough for J to go back for a second round. The pain of the shots was just too much for him.

Fortunately they are smaller and less red than they were. J isn’t embarrassed to wear shorts anymore, mostly because he knows what they are now.

Knowledge is power I guess.

L was the next to be blessed with yet another immune system freak-out.

It was after eating pizza one day that L was asking me quite a lengthy question. As he was speaking I caught a glimpse of his tongue and almost fell off my chair. I had him open wide and this is what I saw.

So of course I think he has tongue cancer or ring worm, or something. I Googled “funny looking tongue” and searched like a mad woman for the answer.

Luckily the answer came quickly.

Geographic Tongue.

This is another harmless auto immune thing…much like what J has, but on the tongue. It gets worse, (or more funny looking,) when he eats spicy foods. Luckily it is completely harmless. The rings on the tongue move around and often disappear too. Actually, it is kinda cool.

A little freaky. But thankfully…nothing to worry about.

So, I’m going to take this opportunity to publicly ask the boys’ immune systems to please stop the madness.

Enough is enough.

Don’t make me come and kick your arse. I have friends all around the world! Strong, sleep deprived friends! And I’m NOT afraid to use them!


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