Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Day +189

I couldn't sleep, so I've been trying to keep myself entertained without waking everyone else up. Unfortunately, the cats heard me moving around and since they know I can open cans, they've been following me around making a bit of noise. It's nice to be loved for your innate skills.

My dry skin continues to be a problem for me. I can't remember if I mentioned it before or not, but I'm covered in tiny red bumps from the neck down. It seems to be getting worse in some areas and holding steady in others. I've been saturating myself with Aquaphor to keep my skin from cracking and flaking. It has managed to keep me in check, but I'm still hoping for some relief.

Chris has been researching the problem and last night, he thought that he'd found a potential diagnosis. Please keep in mind that I've never in my life had a problem with my skin that required special attention. This excludes puberty, and vanity--we've all lived through it. Chris found several articles related to PTLD and transplants that mentioned eczema. Most of them pointed to immunosupressive drugs and possible GVHD being an underlying cause.

I'm not sure that the tapering of my Prograf started this, because the whole dry skin issue cropped up during my last stint in the hospital. My doctor still doesn't think it's GVHD because I'm not presenting with the usual symptoms. A few articles mentioned family history. I told Chris that there was no way that it could be family history. My mother's side of the family has the most beautiful skin you've ever seen and to date I can't remember any of them suffering from any skin related ailments. My dad had a tendency to get sunburned, but no eczema.

Chris made a very valid point after I stepped down from my soap box. I actually don't know a thing about my family history. Since my transplant engrafted, I've been operating with a whole new system. Somewhere out there could be an extended family only related by transplanted blood. Spooky when you think about it. The woman who donated the umbilical cord blood could suffer from any number of things, including eczema.

There are a host of realizations that I've been dealing with since my transplant. I understand the mechanics of what happened and why, but the science of it occasionally flusters me. I know that I'm in very good hands, so I don't let the small stuff bother me.

These are the ramblings of someone who didn't get enough sleep. I'll try to make more sense later, when my brain catches up to the rest of me.

4 comments:

Susan Carrier said...

Hi Ann, Your insomniac ramblings are both coherent and entertaining.

I remember reading about your college Guinness passion. This latest ad from Guinnesss, a $10 million production, can keep you entertained for one minute.
http://www.flixxy.com/tipping-point.htm

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you can use it, but the recommended lotion for babies with extremely dry skin is Eucerin. They make an orginal and a plus.

Heather

Tina said...

Will you ever be able to find out who your wonderful, wonderful donor is? Is it like open adoption?

Mara said...

First, it's so great just to hear that you are in Baton Rouge for 48 hours at a stretch! Second, unlike you my family sheds like a snake. We all have varying degrees of dermatitis, with mine thankfully not being bad enough to require perscription medication but it can get bad. I have found Eucerin (the cream in the tub, I have never used Aquafor) to be the best thing. It's thick and greasy but (for me) it works! Richmond and I are thinking of you guys and hope you continue to do well.
--Mara