Friday, June 22, 2007

Enough About Me; Now Back To Me

I just got dinged via email by a couple of people worried about me because I haven't posted much recently; and what I have posted has not been about my health progress.

Would you believe I've been way too busy to blog? Too many meetings and lunches and evening get-togethers to find my way to my computer?

Didn't think so.

As hard as it is to believe, I think I started to bore myself with...myself. Which therefore must mean that someone who is not me must be positively over this whole topic, desperate for some other subject matter, and completely content to spend the rest of their days sans insight into my GI issues. And who could blame them?

But, just as the whole class is "rewarded" when those two kids ask moronic questions with five minutes left to go in the class, you will now be treated to more Adventures In E's Immune System courtesy of the email dingers.

Short story long: I'm fine. Eating better, mostly feeling better. Still dawg-tired. I'm having major psychological issues with the fact that I can neither floss nor brush my teeth till my platelets are 50,000. I have these little green foam-on-a-stick things that I have to use, but when was the last time foam got some toast out of your front teeth? I was an avid flosser pre-transplant, so the lack of between-teeth hygiene is completely wigging me out; more even than the non-shaving of the legs and the inability to groom the eyebrows that have now gone to an appalling state of nature. It's a good thing I'm blond, is all I can say, or I'd be a shoo-in for the Brezhnev lookalike contest. It's horrifying, but certainly less so than not having flossed for almost a month.

I raised the issue with my doctor (who I am adoring more every day as he gets more comfortable and funny around me). He's the head of the transplant program and--not for nothing--he has the lowest infection rate in the country for transplant patients. How does he keep these numbers so low? Because he's strict and he don't care about your wah-wah-I-need-to-floss drama. He said, "when your platelets are 50K, you can floss again." I countered with, "But I flossed all the way up to being admitted here!" He looked horrified. "Are you serious? Well then you are a very lucky young lady because that was dangerous. With your low white count and your lack of platelets you could have given yourself a massive blood infection, and those tend to not turn out very well." Then he waved his hand at me and said with a sort-of humorous shiver, "Don't tell me anymore about it! That is frightening." Apparently, plaque is bacteria. And flossing can cause microscopic nicks in your gums. Into which the plaque goes. From which you can get a mouth/gum or blood infection if you don't have the immune system to stop it. Who knew!?? I was living on the edge all that time, courtesy of Oral B.

Undeterred by his shock, I circled my way back to the "can I floss now since my white count is getting really good these days?" He repeated in the style that I do with Bambina where you are being really matter-of-fact and on-message because you don't want to have to repeat yourself again: "when your platelets are 50K, you can floss again." Still convinced of the absolute necessity of flossing, I was about to try another tack to get him to give me the nod on flossing when he said (again, like he was talking to a willful toddler. Which I suppose he was), "How about I just tell YOU when you can floss so you don't have to ask again?" I started laughing and said, "Fair enough. Point taken."

So that's where I am. I ate a pickle for the first time the other night. It tasted so awesome. The next morning wasn't such a dill-y of a time (Ba-doom-boom!), but eating it was worth the drama. Mostly I eat vegetable samosas, naan, chicken soup, and cornflakes with banana. That's pretty much my repertoire. Oh--and potatoes. Of course. My whole appetite seems to have shifted. I used to love zone bars, balance bars, all of those meal-replacement things. I literally can't even look at the packages now. I loved pizza, any kind, the greasier the better. Now it has to be a very particular type of Trader Joes frozen. I loved Diet Coke. I can barely even type "diet coke" now. I never imagined I'd be eating samosas and naan for lunch and dinner, but if it works, it works.

So that's the update. Thank you for staying after class for a few moments to get the info. Now you can go steal those kids' lunch money.


nm in mn said...

Thanks for the update. Great to hear the good progress. Being English I am not so familiar with this "flossing" think of which you speak. I looked it up and it sounds interesting. Might give it a try this weekend.

Lots of love from middle America.

Edgar Newt said...


Glad to hear everything is going well. That flossing thing sounds like somebody I know. Flossing is an addiction -- best to break it now. I heard Frequent Flossers Anonymous (FFA) is being sued in a trademark action by Fragrant Flatulence Anonymous.

I'd hate to be in that courtroom.

Emily said...

Thank goodness for the emailers! I was really missing "The Daily Report". I'm glad you are doing so well!

I completely understand the need to floss. Hang in there - this time of no-flossing-allowed SHALL pass.

I appreciate your sharing your doc's explanation of why he's impoed the no-floss rule for now. Who knew about the potential for nicking one's gums?

Vigilante said...

Emily, that's exactly why I never floss.

Anonymous said...

I think you need some sort of graphic on your blog that charts your platelettes and other key performance indicators (KPIs.)of your recovery. Particularly for those of us who take a statistical approach to maintaining our friendships.

That way we can know everything about you in a snapshot without having to delve into the messy details of your pizza eating and the insanity of the WSJ editorial board.

Statistically yours,

PGro in DC

V said...

This is the first time I've felt lucky that I have such lousy teeth I can floss with Q-tips.
You could write about changing your socks and it would be amusing. Keep at it, I miss you more when you don't.