Monday, January 21, 2013

The Sound Underneath 

Gardiner Expressway seen at night. Image via Daily Dose of Imagery

I hate washing the dishes. Especially now that I do them by hand, in the sink, like a neanderthal or a neanderthal's less evolved neighbour who still cleans his china on rocks down by the river. The heat of the water irritates my hands. I have Cholinergic urticaria; I know, right? Just add it to the list of "what won't kill you but you wish it would." Basically I get hives or a heat rash when I get too hot. It used to be much worse and I dreaded the summer. In the past it was diagnosed as exzema, which is seemingly a convenient word for "You have a rash" or food allergy or "stress" – which is a convenient word for "I don't know why you have a rash." Then it sort of went away. Then one awful smog and heat-waved summer, it came back. This time the diagnosis was "Cholinergic Urticaria" which is a really an inconvenient way to say "heat rash". Anyway, I control it now with refreshing showers, antihistamines and the occasional ice pack. It's not a big thing, and apparently heat is the most common trigger. For some people it's triggered by loud noises or vibrations. Imagine being at a concert, near the stage and when you get home you have a rash, or you're a construction worker and you spent the whole day on a heavy equipment and after work you have a rash. Everywhere.
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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Another Day, Another Treatment 

I went for another bleomycin treatment Friday and all went well and I expect to be back at work on Monday.

It was finally explained why the ECG attachments left a mark on my skin from previous treatments. Apparently in the first 48 hours or so the bleomycin reacts with your keratin (a component of your skin that partly affects colouring - I think) so any "contusion or hematoma to the epidermis" causes discolouration. In other words, any scratches, rashes or bruises I get in the next 48 hours or so can turn permanently brown. I might skip hockey on Monday, just to be safe. I wouldn't want a puck to the leg to make a big permanent 3" brown circle.

For some reason the anesthetist wanted to try a new technique of sedation rather than putting me under general anesthetic. I can't say I noticed a difference.

The only side-effect I've noticed so far has been some nausea (immediately puked up some broccoli and I'm having trouble getting rid of the broccoli-yak taste) but otherwise I'm fine though a bit sleepy - slept for 7 hours once I got home. I'll probably convince myself it would be best to spend the weekend on the couch, eating ice cream, watching football and movies as a form of convalescence.

It will be over the next 8 weeks or so when I'll be able see whether it does much good or not.

Here's to modern medical science and living longer through chemistry!

Note: I noticed a weird spike in page views lately and I feel I just have to add this note to this page that I receive Bleomycin treatments for VVM (venous vascular malformations) in my mouth/jaw/neck and not as any chemotherapy treatment for cancer. So no cancer. Just boring old vascular malformations.


Friday, January 04, 2013

Seen in December

Bond awaits Q in London's National Gallery. Image via Sotheby's

December usually delivers some of the best films of the year and I don't think this was so different except I didn't get to see most of them. Here's what I did see:
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