All posts by bhplayon

About bhplayon

Betty Brown Hammond, Married to Dennis since 1988, He has been a concert buddy many times. I love God, Family, and my country. I love Music!

Diagnosis: Prurigo Nodularis

After 40 years of going to dermatologists in Carrollton, Newnan. and Atlanta, Dr. Ganz (Olanski Dermatology in Buckhead) was able to get a biopsy that produced a diagnosis.

Apparently I have a rare condition where nodules form under the skin that itch intensely. Excoriation causes sores. It is almost impossible not to scratch, so having sores is inevitable.

This condition has almost driven me crazy. I hope there is a treatment plan available.

I Want to Believe in Unconditional Love

I am wrestling with feelings. Strong emotional connections to someone who has destroyed the trust so many loved ones once had. Love is a powerful fruit of God’s spirit. It is the most important.

My favorite chapter in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13. It speaks of the excellence of Love. Verses 4 -6:

4 “Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice with unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth: 7 bears all things, believes all things, Hope’s all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.

And verse 13: And now these three remain; faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE.”

But how do you show love to someone who is an addict? Someone who blatantly denies taking anything? How do you help without enabling? How do you get them to acknowledge their habit? To realize it has cost them their family?

The hardest thing for me, is knowing they’re homeless, sleeping in the car. They are cold and hungry.

I have food, and a spare bedroom. But they can’t come here. The denial of the addiction has caused open hearts to close.

It is a pivotal point in one’s life when they own their problem with drugs. Only then, can healing begin.

I want to have the love described in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, by the apostle Paul. I really do feel love. I am stumped. Praying incessantly!

Post note: I received wonderful advice from a dear friend: “I think you can still love a person unconditionally and just not like what they are doing and need to show tough love. And sometimes you need to protect yourself from their actions.”

Prayers for Debra

When Debra was born, I was seven years old. She was the first grandchild of mama and daddy. We called her Deb Deb. She was our world at the time. She was my niece, but more like my little sister.

She became a mom at sixteen. Her daughter was premature and weighed two pounds two ounces. She even dropped under two pounds, but due to excellent care at Grady, and plenty of prayers and nurturing, she survived. She is doing well with a family of her own. In 1987 she had her second child, a son. He is currently incarcerated. Her third child born in 1989, a girl, Is grown with children of her own.

Debra was a very good mother when they were small. Her home always clean. The children always clean, and dressed so cute She worked hard and cared deeply for her family. She helped me out at lot when my kids were small. They called her Aunt-Cousin Debra.

Something changed, especially after she lost her sister, Laura. Losing someone that close is horrible, but compounded when they are murdered. Laura was murdered by Debra’s brother in law. Such an hard time for us all, but I know Debra was affected in a very life altering way. Was not long after that she became dependent on drugs. Everything went downhill from there.

I fully believe she has inherited some mental issues from her biological dad. That plus drugs is a sad combination. People empathize if you have a physical condition, but mental issues go undiagnosed and people are unsympathetic.

I do believe she is culpable for her actions. Even though I sympathize with her. She may never admit to all her transgressions. She needs help, but will not accept a professional counselor, or professionally prescribed mental health medications.

Yes, she’s burned many bridges. She even claims her aunts abandoned her for years. When we checked on her, prayed for her, and never once stopped loving her. It’s hard for her to face what has happened in her life.

We’ve reminded her of God’s grace. How her past is the past. What she does now is what matters. She wants people to see that there is still good in her. But she doesn’t know how to get her life together.

Brenda took her in for a while. There was evidence she was doing pills. Passing out while having a conversation, slurring words. Brenda told her if she wanted to continue living there she’d have to cut out the drugs. She vehemently denied using pills and still maintains she’s not using. But sometimes it seems very obvious she’s on something. I genuinely enjoy her when she isn’t on drugs. She is a talented painter, a very hard worker. She has a sense of humor, and seems to care deeply.

Last night I realized she was at the bottom. She’s living in her car! D doesnt trust her, based on things from the past. He was leary of her coming here. So, I drove to where she was. Took her some cokes, snacks, headache medications, a blanket and twenty bucks. In typical Debra fashion she’s on FB next morning saying she has no money for coffee. I invited her here for coffee, to shower and eat breakfast. She never showed.

She was headed for a women’s shelter in Carrollton. But last I heard, she doesnt want to stay with crackheads and their babies.

I sincerely love her, but she frustrates me.

Please pray for her. She is loved. I am not ready to throw her away.

If you know of any way to help. Please PM me.

Update: Debra has kidney stones ended up in the hospital. She fell while there and hurt her neck

She was told to go to Grady for further testing on her kidney condition. But refused to let me help

I took her to One Roof, but they could not provide a place for her to stay. I took her a warmer coat and am praying for a miracle

Debra has not been a good mom since her children got older. They went through hell. She still wont admit she’s done wrong by them. Jenny, especially has given her chance after chance.

But what do you do. Totally disregard the “good” Debra? The one who was a good friend, and would give the shirt off her back for you. The Debra who coddled and loved her kids when they were young? Who gave birth, kept, and loved these kids instead of giving them up. Does helping her now mean you have to have a relationship with her? Nobody knows her history as I do, or her aunts. We know what she went through as a child. I will try to help her no matter how many times she disses me to someone. Trust me. It’s happened often. Just dont judge me for being there for her.

My mom gave me up as a young adult. Over religion. It hurt very bad. But when she needed us, in her dying days. We were there

My dad was never there for us as children. He was an alcoholic. I’ve carried him out of bars while drunk men slapped my behind. But he changed in his older years and was a grandpa to my kids. I was there for him till he died.

I can’t bring Debra here because she has a reputation of drug abuse and stealing. I understand why her children don’t want that around their children.

But she is still my neice and I’m gonna do whatever I can to help.

I’ve heard so much to add credence what we know. Debra is an addict. She needs to come to terms with this which means admitting she has a problem. If she would do this, I would do anything in my power to help her beat the addiction.

Orlando BFF Week 2018

Brittany picked me up from the Orlando airport about 11:30 last Monday. When I got in the car she handed me a bottle of water and a protein bar, This was the first of the extra TLC and nurturing I would get that week. We shopped, took a selfie on a giant beach chair. Then off to her house. I fell so in love with her house! I even had my own wing! It was like staying in a five-star resort!

A couple of days before I arrived, Brit was stung on her foot by something we thought was a bee, but later decided was a scorpion. The redness was spreading, it was hurting itching and could be infected. So, since we had a big week planned, we decided she should see a doc. She was able to get an appointment that day. He set her up with meds to control infection and itching.

Later that evening, I finally got to meet their extended family. Steve’s mom, Deb, sister, Kelli, brother in law, Brian Sr., their nephew, Brian Jr., niece, Emma. I felt like I already knew them, though. We had some tasty pizza. Afterward, Steve brought out this delish Donut cake. It had “Friendship” written in icing, That was a cool surprise!

I will miss waking up to the smell of coffee, already made, being chauffeured everywhere, having my bestie hang out with me every day, chatting with Steve, and snuggling with the pugs!

Tuesday was a beach day. We decided we’d drive to Melbourne. The day was sunny and hot! We braved the hot sand and wrestled with the umbrella tent, then relaxed and enjoyed our view, We waded out into the water and let the waves beat us up. Actually, the waves only beat me. It was so much fun. We relaxed, talked, and watched clouds form into shapes.

Later that day we ate at Tijuana Flats, the most amazing Mexican Restaurant, ever! After that, we enjoyed ice cream at, Twistee Treat, a place shaped like an ice cream cone. It was so creamy and delicious!

Wednesday was Magic Kingdom Day! Brittany’s mother in law, Deb, is a cast member. She went above and beyond to assure we got in the parks. I’m forever grateful. It was nice to get to know her. She is an amazing woman! We were able to cram so much fun into that day! We enjoyed Carousel of Progress, Hall of Presidents, Space Mountain, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, Muppets Theater, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, People mover, and It’s a small world. I’m probably leaving something out, though! One of the highlights was when Brit tried out for and was chosen to be the teapot in the Beauty and the Beast attraction! We ate lunch, at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. My grilled chicken salad was super good. We ate supper at Pinocchios. They had the best flatbread pizza! We had planned on one more ride, then staying for the fireworks, but it came to storm, with lightning, so we decided to go home to relax. We wanted to get psyched up for the next day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

When I first got to Brittany and Steve’s house, she told me she wanted to get me a lanyard so we both could trade pins. When she explained it, I was thinking I would not like to do that. She bought us both a Toy Story lanyard, then set me up with some pins to trade. The next day at Hollywood Studios, we were prepared and ready to trade. I have to admit I was wrong. It was so much fun!

We were especially excited about the new Toy Story addition. Toy Story Mania was one of my favs. Sweet revenge on Brittany’s impressive win on the Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, We did the Star Wars simulator, saw Beauty and the Beast on stage, and braved the Haunted Mansion. Fearless Brittany talked me into the Tower of Terror, and the super scary Aerosmith ride. The picture from that ride is epic! We had lunch at Sci-fi Dine-in Theater Restaurant. It was so much fun! You eat in old classic cars and watch old movies! It began to rain early evening so we decided to head home and relax for the next big day at Disney Springs. We ordered Chinese Food and watched the Braves with Steve.

We had a great day at Disney Springs. Shopping, then lunch at Splitsville, the Disney Bowling alley. After we ate, we bowled. It was so much fun! We were Sissy and Beatrice! After bowling, we went to the Outlet Malls. I had to buy another suitcase to carry home what I bought, and all Brittany gave me!

The last day we had planned to take their boat out but decided to have a relaxed last day. We had done so much walking, we both lost weight, even though we ate so well!

Brittany helped me pack. At one point Miles and Molly got into my suitcase! We watched the latest Jumanji movie with The Rock and Jack Black. We laughed so hard!
Ah, but we became melancholy as my flight time closed in, and they drove me to the airport. But they surprised me by walking in with me. I was glad to have help getting checked in. Then we shopped a bit.
I hope to be able to visit again soon. I had the time of my life!

That Inexplicable Disease I’ve had for 40 years

When I was seventeen, I started having insane itching spells which produced sores. I began my long search for a cause and cure. Many dermatologist were seen over the last forty years. I’ve been biopsied, scraped, given handfuls of sample creams, steroids, and sent away with no clear diagnosis. This went on year after year.

It never has been so terrible consistently. I would have spells, then periods of time with minor issues. However, this year it has been worse than ever. I’m broken out with sores on my legs, hips, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, chest, and have them throughout my scalp. I’ve had these sores inside my ears, nose and on my lips.

It’s rather embarrassing. I look like a crack addict!

In desperation I went to Newnan dermatolog again in the spring. A biopsy was taken that produced no answers. They said I had a staph infection. I was treated for that and was dismissed from their care. Yeah, they gave up on me. They referred me to a neurologist. I couldn’t get an appointment there before September, so I decided to see if my primary care doc could help.

I am broken out so badly and having many itching spells. These spells are so intense it is maddening. Like a thousand mosquitoe bites! I am up all night, some nights.

Dr. McDonald tried steroids for a week with a steroid cream. He gave me Doxipen to be taken at night.

None of that made a dent, I went back today with more sores, looking tired from so many sleepless nights. He tried Hydroxyzine.

Leave it to me to have a chronic condition that has stumped all my doctors. Just know , when you see me, that I am not on Meth! Just dealing with a disease that apparently, doesn’t exist.

After months of no improvements, Dr. McDonald suggested it was psychosomatic and suggested I see a psychiatrist, and a neurologist. He later told me it was because that was what was suggested in the notes from Newnan Dermatology. He felt like he had done all he could do for me. I left in tears. I knew it was a real condition. These sores did not arise from a neurotic chronic scratching session.

I had to go to Emergency Room, Saturday, November 24th. My lymph nodes were swollen and painful all down my left leg. I had knots in places I was concerned were blood clots. An ultrasound revealed no blood clots But they said I had an infection from a wound. I received non narcotic pain meds. (Yeah, disappointing) and was sent home with antibiotics and Tylenol #3 (Yeah, disappointing.) I was so sick with chills and fever of 102. But in a day or so, antibiitics kicked in. I’ve had migraines every day for a week. I think I may have had a virus. The itching resumed. I was up all night and had to figure this skin thing out.

Out of sheer desperation, I got up the nerve to ask a friend who is also a retired dermatology pathologist. He examined my wounds, asked questions about my medical history. He said it was a real condition. He even named something he thought it might be. He wanted to see my pathology report from my last biopsy. When I sent it to him he said a new biopsy was necessary and referred me to a colleague in Buckhead, Dr. Ganz.

When I called their office to make an appointment I was told she was booked through February. I told them I had hoped to get in sooner as Dr. Lee had spoken so highly of Dr. Ganz. I was put in hold, then told something had become available that Thursday! I was again filled with hope after all these years of suffering, I’d finally get a diagnosis, and treatment plan.

Today I saw Dr Ganz. She was a delight. She seemed certain she could figure this out. I was asked to undress and put on a paper gown. I was donning gown and sitting on the exam table when she entered. She put me through a thorough examination of my sores. I was turning one way, then another, lying down, sitting up. I was flipping around on that exam table like a pig rolling in the mud. Never have I felt so fat and gross. I looked down to see the paper gown around my waist like a big old paper donut! I said, ” Well, this was pretty useless!”

She did a biopsy, and they drew blood. Maybe this will result in some idea of what is happening, and has been, for forty years. Hope is a good thing.

My sister, Brenda, came over and prayed a very heartfelt prayer. The rest of my friends and family have been praying. I am blessed.