Friday, March 4, 2022

Coming soon: Steroid injections in my cuticles

If you know me at all, you know I like to do things differently. There were the three Caesareans and the four stem cell transplants, the coma followed by the "your mom might not make it through the night" event, the three-plus months in the hospital, incidental discovery of kidney lesion, and the graft vs. host disease of the skin, requiring a couple of years of my blood getting taken out, zapped with radiation and put back in, a.k.a. extracorporeal photopheresis for graft vs. host of the skin, or ECP, the fall on my head when I was running around the lake and the fall on my head two weeks later when I fell off my bike...

Well, those are just some of the things...

The ECP wasn't that unusual though unusual to me when I first heard that I needed it to fix parts of my skin that were hardening and getting lumpy and bumpy. I had weaned to every three weeks after starting by doing it every two weeks at the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's. Maybe I did it for two years. I have to admit I lost track. I was going to keep cutting back but had to stop abruptly when the pandemic started. My skin stayed OK though, even though I went off prednisone after being on it for 12 years, as I described in this post. 

I was on such a small amount, 1 milligram, that going off it does not seem to be a cause of a new crazy thing: MY FINGERNAILS ARE FALLING OFF!

Just had to put that in caps...

OK, so, it's just one fingernail that fell off. OK, so I helped it off. It turned white, a sign, my fingernail specialist dermatologist said, that the nail had died. It was loose like a baby tooth, and I wiggled it off. Katie gave me a princess bandage so I could cover it up.

Half of my fingernails are OK, But the others are discolored and ridged. 

A fingernail biopsy showed that I have GVHD of the fingernail, or more precisely, fingernails. Yes that is a thing. 

At the end of this month, I have an appointment in Worcester with a dermatologist who specializes in diseases of the nail. She is going to give me steroid injections in my cuticles. On the bright side, she is lovely, as I explained here

Enough of that for now at least.

I am not sure if I mentioned that I got the fourth shot that immune compromised people could get.  That became my booster, and the first three became me original series, or something like that. Same as when I got my 1st booster a little early, I didn't have to do anything other than answer yes, when I signed up, to the question of was immunocompromised. Moving off the health topics...

It has been nice to have some people over for coffee with the COVID situation easing. 

One of the friends brought me cheerful flowers that have been cheering me up.

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