Prior to appointments yesterday with cardiologist and rheumatologist, I wrote five double-sided index cards with starred symptoms, questions and additional concerns, including random observations. I included two mostly empty cards, one for each doctor with a reminder for the rheumatologist to write RXs for 30 or 90 day supply instead of 15 days (I pay the same but get less medication his way). Updated my current list of medications and called PCP to find out if he had administered any pneumonia vaccine back in September before Sarcoidosis diagnosis. This took over an hour but I've found it helpful in the past, both for the doctors and myself.

In the last eleven months, I went from taking five medications to ten, not including vitamins nor OTC health products. It's an absurd balancing act as some meds interact with some foods or diminish the efficacy of other meds unless taken a few hours apart. Makes my head swim. Then there's the food, even the slightest amount of caffeine c'est n'est pas bon with prednisone. I drink my black tea strong with two aspartame packets and a dash of milk, so more chemicals there. Tannic acid, artificial sweetener. Ironically, my drinking water is filtered with activated charcoal to reduce mercury, copper, cadmium, zinc, and chlorine in tap water.

Oh, and there's the whole mouth cleansing and healing ritual using toothpaste for sensitive teeth, vinegar gargle and if I follow my Russian dentist's advice, a shot of apple cider vinegar four times per day. (After trying it once, turning red and almost gagging, I read online it's best to use a teaspoon mixed with water and or some other beverage.) There is also hydrogen peroxide and H20 with equal parts baking soda and salt to be used as needed or 6-8 times per 24 hours.

For skin hygiene I use Ivory soap, shampoo, conditioner, hand/body/feet/face lotions, deodorant, and varied lip balms. Who has the time for makeup? There is also the exposure to chemicals in household cleaning products, laundry detergent and fabric softener sheets. Lastly, not to mention but I will: dust, cat dander, fumes and germs...and that's just inside my house! Forget about being a material girl in a material world; I'm Chemical Girl in a Chemical World.


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