Category Archives: Illness

It wasn’t Chicken Pox, it was Pityriasis Rosea

A few weeks ago the young man broke out in a strange rash on his torso. At first glance chicken pox came to mind. Now he had had chicken pox as a child, but since his sister had the virus twice, I figured the same with the young man. We didn’t give it a second thought at the time. After about another week or so, I thought it was best he see our doctor because I was no longer sure he had the chicken pox.

At his appointment, our doctor agreed, it did appear the young man had chicken pox but he would have to see him again to confirm. Another week went by and the rash was getting worse, along with the itchiness, with no sign of abating. Plus, it was only on my son’s torso, buttocks, and upper thighs, which again made me question the diagnoses.

Another appointment was made with our physician, and at this time, after further investigation, he informed my son that he had a skin rash called Pityriasis Rosea (adding “look, there’s even a Wikipedia page on it!” (Inserts laughter)). Note: We have been blessed to have, for the past twenty-two years, an absolutely excellent family physician. After putting his shirt back on, the doctor asked my son if he minded taking it off again, so his intern could have a look, being that Pityriasis Rosea is quite a rare condition.

The doctor explained the rash would last about six weeks in total, and the itching may get worse before it started to disappear. To top it off, since little is known about the virus, all my son could do was take an antihistamine in hope that it would relieve the itching. If necessary, the doctor could prescribe a corticosteroid.

In total the young man ended up having the rash for the entire six weeks. It wasn’t until the fourth week, that it started to fade. Thankfully, there were no lasting side effects. Will he get Pityriasis Rosea again? We don’t know.

Assisted suicide should be a choice

About twenty years ago my great aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was in her early seventies. Up to that diagnoses, she was a very active senior. She was still driving her own car, picking up my grandmother almost every day so they could go to afternoon bingo, a favourite activity of theirs. The cancer diagnoses was not good. My aunt soon started treatment, but it took a toll on her and with no one at home to help her, it became obvious to her immediate family that she could no longer care for herself. It wasn’t long before she ended up in hospital.

My aunt was admitted to the Henderson General Hospital now the Juravinski Hospital in Hamilton. As time went by, it became obvious that my aunt was not getting better. On one of my visits to see her, my grandmother, and uncle were already there when I entered the room. I knew things were not right, my grandmother, as gently as she could, told me, my aunt, her sister had had a stroke, and lost her ability to speak and eat.

I continued with my daily visits, but her condition worsened. She had difficulties swallowing, so I would give her mouth moisture using one of the sponges meant for brushing teeth. Then one day, I noticed her i.v. was gone, her children along with doctors had decided a course of action. It was a course that many of us did not approve of, the i.v. was back but was not doing anything, it was there for appearances only. My aunt was soon moved to a room by herself, it seemed some thought she would only last a few days without nourishment. That didn’t happen, and she was moved back to a ward. It took over a week for my great aunt to die.

Now I cannot say whether or not my great aunt would have chosen assisted suicide, but it should be a choice. It’s time for our government to talk about it. What do you think?