When is the last time someone described a rare, deadly disease to you and you were made genuinely uncomfortable by what they said?
For me, it was in regard to ebola…until this morning. When I saw the story of one young woman's battle with a rare condition called toxic epidermal necrolysis, I was shocked like I'd never been shocked before. Just wait until you hear what she endured.
Here is the young woman in question before she came down with toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). Without getting too technical, TEN is a rare skin condition brought on by an allergic reaction to medication.
Here she is in the hospital just after being diagnosed with TEN. In her story, she does mention the medications that caused it, but this reaction is not limited to any particular medications.
The condition didn't just affect the surface of her skin. It also caused blisters to develop in her mouth, throat, esophagus, and lungs.
The medications that caused her allergic reaction were Lamictal, Remeron, and Depakote.
Later that day, her skin got even worse. The pain was unbearable.
By day seven, she was on life support. The staff at this point had to wrap her in special bandages because about 80 percent of the skin on her body was blistering and falling off.
She was also dealing with severe hallucinations and kept trying to pull out her IVs and her breathing tube. They had to restrain her to keep her from trying to escape.
Luckily, the doctors were able to stop the initial reaction, but her entire body was already covered in scars. This is how she looked about two weeks later.
The white dots on her nose formed when the skin around her pores began regenerating.
She had also lost a lot of weight in the hospital.
By this point in her recovery, she weighed just 80 pounds.
I can't even imagine how much pain she had to endure.
The sores and scarring marred her body from head to toe.
Not a single inch of skin went untouched by the horrific condition.
Here's what she looks like five years after her encounter with TEN. Her skin looks much better, but to get there, she had to undergo three chemical peels and several laser treatments.
Now that is an amazing journey. She is the strongest woman on planet Earth right now for getting through that. The next time you're reading about the potential side effects of your prescription medication and one of them is "deadly rash," just know that they're talking about TEN.