New Side Effects

Yesterday was my fourth phototherapy treatment. We’ve been having snow almost everyday and temperatures in the single digits. We thought that the interstate would be clear, but we were unpleasantly surprised. Snow was falling and freezing on the windshield. The roads were plowed and sanded but the weather wasn’t cooperating.

Thankfully we have an all-wheel drive and hubby is good at snowy weather driving. Once we got in the city the roads were even worse. We had to slow down in order to arrive safely. What hurt me was that to keep the windshield clear we had to turn up the defrost as hot as it would go.

snowy roads

I don’t handle heat well at all. I sat in the back seat with the window cracked, but the heat got to me. After the treatment I was feeling bad.

I got a bad headache and felt like I was getting the flu. When I got home I started to chill and felt terrible. I was so exhausted and nauseated. All I could do the rest of the day was to rest in the recliner. No supper was cooked and all I felt like eating was dry toast.

Hubby gave me a hard back rub because my muscles felt like they were screaming. I think this level of phototherapy finally got to the level where I felt the side effects. Some side effects that are common can be red or itchy skin. So far, I haven’t had any redness or itching. This time my treatment lasted for 50 seconds.

After feeling so bad, this morning I tried looking up other side effects. There it was…the side effects that I found included: headache, fatigue, cataracts, premature aging of the skin and diarrhea (mostly when infants are using treatment for jaundice).

Woman on computer

I wear goggles to prevent eye damage, because I already have small cataracts. When I go back tomorrow I will know what to expect. I’ll plan on taking pain medicine, a pillow, an ice-pack, and a blanket to help me in the car. I’ll lie down and try to deal with it. I always find it easier to handle something bad if I know what to expect.

I didn’t know about these side effects, but all of us with chronic illness need to know all the facts before we undergo treatments. Living with the beginnings of Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma is scary enough without having all the facts. I guess that I should have done more research.

Since I feel better today, I at least know that these side effects are short-term. We have snow in the forecast for the next three days so I’ll be praying that we can drive safely again.

@2021, copyright Lisa Ehrman

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical expert. This post contains my opinions and is not meant to be taken as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, please consult your personal physician.

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