February 20, 2017

Two minor but not-fun things: chapped skin and cramps.

The itchy eyes I mentioned a couple weeks ago never did go away completely. Nor did the dryness around my lips. Both of these persist despite my taking in lots and lots of water, and my no longer being in the dry hospital air. Now I suspect that it is a side-effect of the arsenic trioxide, as it also seems to be spreading to other orifices. Daily infusions of arsenic trioxide will tend to build up over time, so it would make sense that nuisance side-effects would slowly increase over time. Fortunately it is only a nuisance: medical staff have recommended just treating the symptoms with eye drops and petroleum jelly.

It does, however, make for another reason I really look forward to achieving full remission so my dosing can be reduced.

The cramps are a bit of an oddity. Yesterday afternoon, after a period of holding some papers in my hands while reading an article (yes—paper!), both of my hands suddenly began to cramp up very quickly. I had to press them flat against a surface or against each other to stop them from painfully bunching up like little claws. Shaking them out didn’t seem to help. For a while I tried to completely avoid gripping anything small, lest the cramps return. It was quite odd, and quite inconvenient!

Around the same time, my feet also had a couple bouts of cramping. Thankfully those were less dramatic, and less odd. My feet have had a cramping habit for a while now.

Cramping doesn’t seem to be a known side-effect of any of my medications. My doc recommends making sure I stay hydrated, and using hot packs or a hot shower to relax the muscles. From my own experience I also know I can get crampy when I don’t move enough. Yesterday, for reasons I can’t explain, I never did make it out of the house for a walk. So that might be a factor.

I didn’t sleep very well last night, again having a really hard time just getting to sleep. To compensate, I spent most of my infusion time napping rather than typing. That’s why this post is coming out in the afternoon rather than the morning.

On the other hand, showering without IV tubes was just as delightful as expected. 🙂

-Markus

This post originally published on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/markus.silpala/posts/10212266427802577

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