Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Penicillin and the dentist

This morning it looked as if the "ring" was fading. The redness round the edges had gone and it looked as though the skin might heal.

I wondered why it had suddenly healed. Perhaps it was the swine flu virus or the effect of fighting an infection in the teeth.

The best guess is that it was caused by blue cheese, as I ran out of Stilton in the middle of last week and had been eating it almost daily up to then. I had followed through the links on the subject, erythema annulare centrifugum and found a very detailed text book page. This would appear to summarise all the reports on this problem and there would appear to be limited links with salilcylate allergy or montelukast. There is however an established link with blue cheese. The site states that blue cheese causes a problem because of the fungus Penicillium. And a list of the drugs that causes the problem includes salicylates and penicillin.

Today, by coincidence, I finally went to the dentist. A series of sharp pains last week ended up in a dull ache in my lower back jaw. I used warm salty water and this seemed to clear the inflammation of the gums but it failed to remove the dull ache.Wisdom tooth, I thought.

My National Health Service dentist has gone private - so the bill for the day was not small. The dentist x-rayed me, removed a wisdom tooth from my upper jaw and gave me a deep clean. The pain, she blamed on food trapped in the gums causing an infection. She then gave me a prescription of antibiotics. I couldn't say I was allergic to penicillin. The thought had hardly crossed my mind - so I told her penicillin was okay.

The dentist, by the way, accepted I could not find a safe toothpaste or mouthwash. Otherwise, I think, she would have tried to treat the infection with mouthwash.

I also got my fresh prescription of montelukast. It's been that kind of day.

Tonight the ring is again inflamed. I think I'll have to put up with it for three days and hope it does not spread any more. If it does we'll have to add penicillin to everything else. And do without blue cheese, groan.


Sunday, June 21, 2009


My partner's been urging me to try E45 cream for a while now. So yesterday I did. I checked the ingredients first. It seems to contain palm oil, which would not be very good. However the ring on my chest was starting to tickle a little so I thought it worth a try. I went a little over the top and smeared it on the ring and also on the insides of my elbows. The immediate results were not promising - everything went red. The tickle's gone today but the ring remains inflamed. So I don't think E45 is sensible. We have another skin cream I am going to try - again the ingredients seem innocent but they also seem to be not as detailed as I would lack.

Looking back I'm reminded I cut back on montelukast because the ring, erythrema centrifugum, might be caused by a side-effect of drugs or by blue cheese. It didn't make any difference - all that seems to have happened is I've lost a sachet of pills so far as I can tell. Or else I'd used more than I thought since April. So I've had to order some more.

I'm now abstaining from stilton cheese in the faint hope that it might be the cause of the ring, rather than salicylate. Not much hope there and I'm worried it may be sprouting a second one. Uugh! I may even have to go to the doctor. Perhaps some sun-bathing would do the trick. My arms have been a great deal better since they got a dose of sunshine.


Monday, June 15, 2009

The sun shines!

 One factor I forgot to mention in my recent troubles - the sun. Perhaps because there has not been a great deal of it during the British summer in recent years.

Two weeks ago we went for a picnic on a blistering hot Sunday. In desperation I borrowed some sun tan lotion off someone. It's hardly any wonder I had trouble with my skin for the last couple of weeks and that the trouble has been mainly on the arms and the face.

Last summer or the summer before I went to quite a lot of trouble to find hypo-allergenic sun tan lotion. I can't find any record of it on this blog and in the end I did not have to use the stuff very much. But over the weekend I found some of this lotion in the house "for sensitive skin". I used it yesterday when I was outside all day and the sun was shining blistering hot again in between cloudy intervals. When I first put it on my skin went all red. I didn't apply it to my inner elbows and they got burnt by the sun. I applied it to my face and that was still quite burnt.

There doesn't seem to have been any longer run effects. I had a cold bath at the end of the day and my arms do not seem too bad. I need to check the ingredients of the stuff I am using.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Swine flu?

I have been wondering if I'm suffering from a dose of swine flu as it is around in our neighbourhood. I have been feeling dreadful all week.

Maybe it's just coincidence. Maybe I drank too much Jack Daniels over the weekend. My experience over the winter was that the flu virus - if it was that - suppressed the immune system, led to other symptoms disappearing and allowed me much greater flexibility in my diet.

As of tonight, my arms look as though they're suffering from chicken pox. There have been a couple of breaches in the diet in the last few days but I have also been taking montelukast daily. Yesterday in desperation I took an anti-histamine and that may explain why I've been feeling groggy for the last 24 hours.

Leaving aside the whisky, I think it started on Sunday when we discovered we had run out of soy sauce. I was persuaded to try a cheap commercial chicken stock on the grounds the ingredients did not display any obvious salicylates, no herbs or anything.

Gravy was the problem a couple of days later when I went to a function. I asked if they could produce me a meal without sauces, herbs or spices. First the waitress told me they would have to cook it specially but a few moments later she returned with a slab of plain chicken, which they just happened to have prepared. Unfortunately it was soaked in gravy. I didn't have the heart to send it back.


Saturday, June 06, 2009

Apple sauce

 Tonight we began cooking pasta and then I realised there were no fresh green vegetables, cabbage, leek or celery, to make my sauce.

So I chopped up a golden delicious apple and stir fried it. I then added a tin of tuna. The tuna was in sunflower oil, which was unfortunate, so I had to drain the oil off so far as possible. My first tasting seemed a little disappointing so I added a little soy sauce and then some more rape seed oil. Nothing else.

It was delicious - by far the best tuna sauce I have made.