Quoth the raven, Ever Mooi
Monday July 05th 2010, 11:07 pm
Filed under: Crohn's flare,Friends,Knit,LYS

Background shawl with thanks to Mary, who so earned it.

Every time I think I never have to take the squirrel-on-crack-effect prednisone steroid again in my life, they think up some new excuse. Short term but massive, they want now.

I argued with the nurse. *I’d had a doctor give me a bedside lecture last year that despite my reaction to topical iodine, iodine is an inert mineral that, he said, it is impossible to be allergic to. A medical myth.  The stuff they mix it with? Sure. Iodine? No.

And so (just like last year just the same) they want me to take Pred and Benedryl for a CT scan so I won’t react to this iodine I can’t be allergic to.

I got nowhere. The nurse who called me to tell me had no idea. This is just how we do it, sorry.

Yes, and walking around with 80/40 bp and the like is how I do it, do you know how I react to Benedryl? Is it in my records?  Do you really want to depress that?

You know?  I think I’ve been more stressed about this than I thought I was.

Just before my first Stanford stay last year, when I was too sick to sit up, much less knit, the community at Purlescence filled a large basket for me of newly-picked oranges from Jasmin‘s trees and yarn and handknits to cheer me on and to give me something to keep me looking forward.

One of those things was two skeins of Mooi from Nathania, Sandi, and Kaye–a blend with buffalo and cashmere that was probably one of if not the most expensive yarn in their shop. I was alive enough to realize and hang onto the idea of what a treasure they were offering me: in my intense pain and weakness, being able to anticipate specific moments of joy in an as-yet uncertain future.

How do you live up to that intensity when you’re puttering around happily back in normal life? It has been bothering me that I haven’t done that great gift justice. It kept waving other skeins ahead of it, going, no, no, you go on, wool, you’re fine, no problem.

It’s time.  I guess I can’t say I refuse to let this ongoing post-ops stuff buffalo me now.  This is lovely stuff, with a brightness to it that I didn’t see in the ball and didn’t expect as it weaves around my needles, and it didn’t even hit me till I started playing with it that those women had picked the color in their stock that matched my favorite teal-blue skirt they’d seen me in a million times.  Man am I slow on the uptake.

And now I can begin to really tell them thank you for that Mooi. At last.  It’s gorgeous stuff and it is a great comfort. Again. A CT scan? I was worried about a stinking *CT* scan, fer cryin’ out loud?! What was I *thinking*!

(Edited to add five weeks later: I talked to my radiologist brother-in-law, and he said that while one might not technically be allergic to iodine, it is very common for iodine to bind with various cells that one then makes antibodies against–causing a potentially dangerous and yes, allergic reaction.)

15 Comments so far
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That is just beautiful, Alison! Such thoughtful friends, too 🙂

Oh, and I, too, have an allergic reaction to that CT injection, which my allergist had attributed to iodine. It’s also why I am allergic to crustaceans (slight so far), according to him. Apparently a lot of iodine involved there. Hmmm…

Comment by Cathy (catsandyarn on Ravelry) 07.05.10 @ 11:59 pm

Same as above. I am not allergic to iodine, but when I did medical secretarial work and booked patients for their CT’S, one of the questions was ‘are you allergic to fish or shellfish’ because people who don’t like to eat, don’t like the reaction on being injected with iodine.

Now I do medical typing at home (I told my neice that with five people in the house, it allows me to have ‘a close relationship with my washing machine’ – she smiled quietly, she knew just what I was talking about).

Comment by StellaMM 07.06.10 @ 1:43 am

I’ll never forget the little boy in the pediatrics ward when I was a student nurse: “I don’t want no Dog Scan!”

Comment by Barbara-Kay 07.06.10 @ 4:08 am

The yarn was a gift of love. Enjoy every stitch!!!

Geesh!!! Don’t they color-code your chart to alert them to such allergies!!!

Comment by Joansie 07.06.10 @ 4:53 am

Beautiful. I think I have Mooi in the same color.

MJ is sensitive to iodine. After playing the food allergy “game” with Sissy, I get bent out of shape over semantics. Doesn’t matter (to me) whether it is a TRUE anaphalactic reaction or a “sensitivity”; if it causes bad side effects…

I’m blessed to have doctors who agree with me. I am allergic to morphine and other similar drugs, not because I swell up and stop breathing, but because my low blood pressure bottoms out and bad things happen. It’s easier to just say I’m allergic and avoid all the questions.

Comment by Channon 07.06.10 @ 5:58 am

I’ve heard this whole “you can’t be allergic to iodine” routine too — and I’ve also spent hours in the emergency room with a child who, after having had knee surgery where they used this supposedly benign stuff, was covered with a terrible rash — if it causes enough of a reaction to require Benedryl, I think its an allergic reaction — and all of her charts (and my husband’s too) say so

Comment by Bev 07.06.10 @ 6:53 am

About the semantics, years ago when I had constant dermagraphic urticaria which was investigated by a hospital consultant dermatologist , I recall one of the items under investigation was nickel in foods. If nickel can cause such allergic-type reactions in people, I don’t see why iodine couldn’t and why the staff won’t listen to an intelligent patient who knows her body well. (Btw, nickel was ruled out as a cause.)

Comment by LynnM 07.06.10 @ 8:28 am

I have to agree with the above comments. Every time I’ve been to the hospital I’m asked about allergies. “Nuts, full strength aspirin and codeine” I tell them. And they insist I can’t be allergic to codeine. Well, it makes me sick to my stomach. That’s not an allergy, they say. It still makes me sick to my stomach! Confound it! There are (too many) times when I think that ordinary people are smarter than some so-called professionals.

Comment by Don Meyer 07.06.10 @ 9:11 am

Yes, I too have a friend who has problems with Iodine, but for some reason, he Dr.s don’t tell her its impossible. They tell her to avoid it, wherever it is found. Hope the stress doesn’t ruin too many days for you.

Comment by Ruth 07.06.10 @ 9:12 am

This is a shawl meant for you. Enjoy the entire process, designing, knitting, feeling it run through your fingers and become something lovely. You will feel the love and caring for ever! Can’t wait to see you model it with your blue skirt. g

Comment by gMarie 07.06.10 @ 9:12 am

OH, that is a lovely color. I want to see you model the shawl with the skirt. As to med folks, they sometimes don’t give us enough credit–hang in there and don’t let them wear you down.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 07.06.10 @ 11:44 am

The problem is, allergies and sensitivities may respond to totally different treatments. They should have two questions – are you allergic to anything and do you react adversely to anything else?

Regardless, I hope you have alerted them sufficiently to take extra care with you. Maybe you should wrap a strand of that Mooi around your wrist for comfort and luck.

Comment by twinsetellen 07.06.10 @ 5:47 pm

Alison, I love the color, and what a lovely gift – the gift of hope. And now you can feel it and love it.

I’ve had CT’s and MRI’s w/ contrast and they’re not fun. I don’t react to the contrast, but I feel for those who do. Good luck with the CT, and I completely understand your worries. I hope your BP and general health stay good. We all worry about you.


Comment by Mary 07.06.10 @ 6:44 pm

Adding my good vibes to those alraedy sent your way. May the CT scan go well and your bp hang on so you can get back to creation and discoveries as soon as possible!

Comment by Suzanne in Montreal 07.07.10 @ 5:50 am

I read your blog just after returning from the doctor and yet another ” short but massive” course of the squirrel-on-crack prednisone. This time with a spinal surgery , on Tuesday, attached. My life, and my knitting, comes to a grinding stop, AGAIN! Just when I finally started to get my life , and knitting, back. It’s always “just temporary. Day 17 of ” just temporary”, and counting. I know you can relate.
Then, I too, remember times where things were a lot worse, and it wasn’t just a short course, but an open ended, big deal course.
So I’m with you. Enjoy the Mooni and all the love that goes with it. The heck with the CAT scan. Knit in a fog of beautiful color and warm feelings…..

Comment by Janice 07.07.10 @ 6:42 pm

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