Last Friday, 01/08, I started getting that familiar sensation that precedes an almost complete cessation of activity in my digestive system. That little premonition is always followed by a monster case of indigestion and before I know it, I look six months pregnant thanks to a swollen abdomen. This goes hand in hand with constipation. There. I said it.
I also develop a pain on one side of my torso. It was on the left this go around. While I was being treated for leukemia in 2007, I had my first run in with this phenomena. The transplant doctor who was seeing me while my regular doctor was out on maternity leave explained that occasionally, someone who has had a lot of chemotherapy can develop neuropathy in the gastrointestinal tract. Since I had a significant case of neuropathy in my hands and feet, he speculated that I was also suffering with it in my GI.
That episode lasted for about ten days and was only helped along by a sickeningly sweet syrup that my leukemia doctor prescribed to me. I had to take two tablespoons every four hours until I was able to have regular bowel movements. I went through two large bottles in two days.
Since then the problem has come and gone. It has little to do with my diet and lately I've noticed that it happens every two months or so. It usually occurs right after a flare up of skin GvHD. My local doctor recommended magnesium citrate that last time I talked to him about it. You can get it over the counter at the drugstore and it comes in fun flavors like purple or red.
What's that? Colors can't be flavors? I beg to differ. The purple is labeled grape, but it tastes like an alien imitation of concord grape juice diluted with a heaping scoop of salt. The red is supposed to be cherry. It's salty and sour. Did I mention it's carbonated? They also stain anything they come into contact with.
I think my dear doctor forgot that I take mass amounts of magnesium on a daily basis and have built up an immunity to the little side effects that accompany the supplement. The magnesium citrate never does anything for me physically. Psychologically, it makes me want to hunt down the research and development guys that thought it would be funny to label the red and purple flavors cherry and grape.
A local emergency room doctor suggested I take Miralax on a daily basis. This was roughly the point that I realized that he was just throwing things out in the hope of finding a solution. I know my case presents a unique challenge to the MD's in town and I can't fault them for not knowing what to do.
This last go round, I emailed my transplant nurse asking for the prescription level stuff. She was out, but the nurse filling in for her promised to get something called in. I picked up the prescription two days later. Since the universe has a sense of humor, the problem resolved on its own the day before the medicine was ready.
I'm over-sharing in case there's another transplant patient out there who may be suffering from a similar ailment. I only know two other people affected by this and neither are transplant patients. I've been told that it happens amongst transplant patients and the doctor who initially caught it wasn't surprised by my presentation.
While I was convalescing, I finished making the throw pillow covers and assembled the knit purse. I even managed to finish stitching a shrug that I started knitting in 2007. It's currently soaking in the washing machine, waiting to be blocked.
One of two throw pillows I managed to piece together. I only had to redo the first one three times. It's a long story involving sewing in a zipper and chemo brain. Once I got it sorted out, the second pillow was a snap.
A close up of the purse. For the knitters out there it's a repetition of brioche stitch that's been smocked. I have a closet obsession with smocked fabric and decided to take a chance with smocked knitting. It's not the same for obvious reasons, but I like the end result.
Here's the bag by itself.
Behold the fancy lining I made. Chris suggested pockets after I'd already sewed it into the knit pouch. I had to agree that pockets made sense, so I ripped the lining out and put in four pockets.