Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sixth Treatment Day

Still at 20 mg. Prednisone, Diflucan and using the Nystatin swish. Only four hours of sleep last night. Here I am titering down off the Pred, and NOW I can't sleep! I took an ativan, but damn, I sure wake up in a fog. Is it worth it?

Though the right lateral side of tongue is still very sensitive to the teeth touching against it, I tolerated a way better diet today. I ate a microwaved turkey dinner, mashed potato and dressing, and even cooked some kabocha squash.

Heaven. I'm in heaven!

In a communication with a friend in Chicago who almost died from a fungal infection which developed within a closed surgical wound, she informed me that she has blood tests done regularly to see if her "Aspergillus" is under control. She has been on anti-fungals for a year.

I am unaware of how many kinds of fungal infections there are, and wonder if they are different depending on where they are located in the body. So, for example, mine seems to proliferate in my mouth. But does that mean it could also be systemic....in my bloodstream? Can the degree of my "infection" be followed and put to rest BEFORE it flares up? Or is it completely dependent on the Lichen Planus manifestation to encourage it to grow?

I know there is a very delicate balance with certain medications that seem to encourage Thrush (Candida) to proliferate. So, for example: Antibiotics manage to kill off the good bacteria in the gut, thereby causing diarrhea, which seems to be related to an increase in fungal infection. At least, that is the way it was explained to me by a gastroenterologist. He suggested that I take yogurt to reverse this. If this is the case, then why doesn't yogurt take care of thrush?

I guess I need to research the facts!

Another friend who has had major surgery within her neck, including laryngectomy, and spent many months living with Thrush, told me that, though she could eat nothing at all, she sucked on potato chips. She thinks that the salt helped her Thrush.

Hmmm....... ?

As much as I crave salt, I cannot tolerate much at all. Not yet. Though, I am sure some must have been in that microwaved turkey dinner!

Note: I found the following from Mayo Clinic article on Thrush,
Try warm saltwater rinses. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water. Swish the rinse and then spit it out, but don't swallow.

Today, I learned another friend died. Of course, I cried. I have cried a lot over the last two months. Too many deaths when you take care of a cancer support group. Some would say, "that is why you have such a bad flare up! Too much stress!"

There is supposed to be a connection between stress and Oral Lichen Planus. But, what about the times when I have little stress going on my life for months at a time and I still get bad flare ups?

I think having Oral Lichen Planus is stressful enough all by itself. I have been in stress all my life. Isn't everyone? Why do some get OLP and some do not if we are all in stress? I cannot believe that stress is the cause of OLP. More likely, I think there must be a genetic component, like in cancer when the cells mutate. Though a very, very small percentage of people with OLP get cancer, it makes me wonder.

Everyone is supposed to have cancer cells floating around in their bodies, and we are constantly killing them off. But, when our immune systems begin to fail, then, supposedly that is what allows the cancer (whatever kind) to grow.

That is probably a very simplified description, and I know there is a whole lot more to it than that, especially after reading too many incomprehensible medical articles on the subject. I just don't have the bio-molecular education I would need to understand it all.

I take that back! Even those with that kind of education have told me they can't understand it all. Only their sub-specialties.

To honor the memory of my dear departed friend, "Zipper Tom" and just to provide some uplifting beautiful music on an otherwise depressing Blog, here is Amir Beso, playing "Balkan Nights"

Erosive Oral Lichen Planus

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