Saturday, July 25, 2009


We had an early morning appointment with the vet today to have Etsuko's vaccinations brought up to date and to see about her runny nose. By the time noon rolled around, I was ready for a nap. I woke up about an hour later scratching my neck like a fiend.

When I checked it out in the mirror, I could see that I'd been scratching in my sleep. My arms, neck, and abdomen were red from all of the scratching. I considered taking a benadryl to see if it would help, only to realize that we were out. Rather than drive to the drugstore to get some, I decided to try something else laying dormant in my drug arsenal.

MD Anderson compounds a special concoction to combat nausea during chemo called ABH. It's a combination of benadryl, atarax, and ativan. From experience, I know it helps with that queasy feeling that is so ubiquitous during treatment. In a nutshell, it's like being darted with an animal tranquilizer. You zone out and drift off to sleep, leaving your nausea in the waking world.

Since ABH has two antihistamines in it, I thought, "Why not?" I let Chris know that I'd be taking it so he wouldn't worry about the zombie on the couch and settled down for my little experiment. Within minutes of taking the pill I found sweet relief and most of the itching disappeared. It's been half an hour and I feel stoned out of my mind thanks to the ativan. The rest of the day is going to be a wash, but the pervasive itchies have been banished. Chris has promised to go to the drugstore to pick up some benadryl so I can be functional on the days that I need a little drug interaction to combat the discomforts brought on by a confused immune system.

Now you'll have to excuse me while Chris's cat and I compete to see who can exert the least amount of effort for the next few hours. My money's on Akiko, but you never know, I may surprise myself.


Ronni Gordon said...

That combo sounds like a great drug!
I have all of them separately. I guess it probably wouldn't be a good idea to take one of each.
Glad you found some relief.

Daria said...

Our furry friends have a thing or two to teach us ... take care.

LacubriousOne said...

Ativan is magical. I once had it prescribed for stress induced back muscle spasms. I can't imagine combining it with Benadryl...zzzzzzzzz...although it sounds like just the thing for your situation! glad to hear you are getting relief!