Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Prednisone Mania II: Public Transit & Stripetti Squash

For those who were apprehensively awaiting the report on my wearing a face mask during each of the five flights taken on the California adventure, the venture was successful.  I was quick to smother this small victory, however.  No sooner did I get back to riding public transit to/from work every day than did the urgency to protect myself become inchoate... for whatever reason -- likely familiarity of the daily ebb and flo.  Because the person sitting next to you on the bus when you are at your most vulnerable is always the singular person coughing, and because I got my flu shot last week, I now have a Cold.

This means three things:
1) despite the hypomania of the prednisone I am becoming utterly burnt out by 10-12 hour work days,
2) my concern over catching the flu is exacerbating the hypomania which I am otherwise trying to combat, and
3) I am going to have to push back my third Remicade infusion because it, as an immune system smasher, can't be administered while ill (go figure).
These three things mean three more things:
1) anxiety over maintaining my momentum to see this work week through; the tissue processing, the number crunching, the mice prep for next week's experiments, the drug prep for next week's experiments, the behavioral training for next week's experiments, and the poster that needs to be printed on Friday... they're all very time-dependent and have crucial deadlines which I can't meet unless I continue to work 10-12hr days.
2) anxiety over having to wear a mask on the bus versus nabbing a spot by the back window where I can let airflow through even in the cold/damp without disturbing anyone else, and over not being able to avoid the mask at all in the mornings when the bus is most crowded, and over lacking the chutzpah to ask H.B. to drive me to work every day until I bypass this thing. Yes, you may laugh at the asinine superfluity of this one; I blame the drugs for obstructing my usual paths of logic.  The mask on the airplane is one thing, but on the bus to work?  With the same people I see every day of my life??...
3) and, last but not least, anxiety over interrupting my Remicade schedule at the third infusion (3-5 are the critical stages in terms of crossing a threshold into having an actual effect).  The sooner the Remicade starts to stand on its own, the sooner I can taper off of prednisone, the sooner I can taper off of Purinethol.  One immune system smasher is better than three.

Stripetti hash browns with cayenne pepper and paprika.

Anxiety + Hypomania = Less Than Exalted Nattie.  I am upholding aplomb with vitamin C  and stripetti squash hash browns!  No echinacea, because it specifically induces synthesis of TNF-alpha mRNA (Raduner et al 2006Gertsch et al 2004).  And possibly with the scrapping of late-night work tonight, to be replaced with some much-needed Battlestar Gallactica.


  1. now wait just a second, here. wearing masks on transport -- this is done? because i've been saying that would be a great idea for we immunosuppressed persons, and have been shot down. do you find this is helpful? and thank you, belatedly, for the lovely birthday wishes. hurrah for eggs!

  2. in Japan, this is done. people have such horrendous allergies that it's completely common to mask-up anywhere in public. i observed this about the Asian populace in SF, as well. in Oregon?... not so much. although it does seem a worthwhile assault to my trendiness as the mask has proven itself a commendable first line of defense.

  3. hi,
    thanks for the comment. i love your blog. so much interesting information here. i have to come back and read more (at work right now). been working 10-12 hour days myself for the past 3 weeks. it sucks. 14 hours last friday. i can feel myself getting run down...