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Change Jobs, Lose a Pet, Improve P
from John

Hi Ed: I haven't written in some time. (See Don't Call It a Disease.) 

So much has been happening. I have changed jobs, which is for most people a stressful time, but I find myself able to relax even more. Of course working in Silly (Silicone) Valley, California, changing jobs means making even more money and perhaps that’s curbing the stress!

I have pretty much stopped my intake of beer. Although I will join my friends now and then. It has had no effect on my P. Oh well.

A couple of weeks ago my dog died. Now the strange thing is since then I have noticed a clearing of several of my patches. Have you heard of any related cases? (No, I am NOT recommending anyone get rid of their loved pets to help their P.)

Well back to the grindstone, keep up the great work. -John

*****

Ed’s Response: Good to hear from you again, John. I enjoyed a period in my life where changing jobs naturally meant more money and I, like you, found such changes quite the opposite of stressful. I think stress plays into job-changing when you’ve got a family to move as a result of the job change, or later in life when you become motivated to change jobs so new bosses and colleagues won’t detect how really worn out you have become — and often you settle for less money just to perpetuate the ruse.

I had high hopes that eliminating alcohol would improve my P, too, which it didn’t. But I so enjoyed my sense of the world sans booze that I’ve given it up entirely. One of the happy consequences of this has been a restoration of completely normal liver functions, which enabled me to try first methotrexate and, now, cyclosporine, and I’m lesion-free for the first time in a decade. So, in an indirect sense, I guess my P has improved as a consequence.

Funny you should mention the unfortunate loss of your pet dog as possibly connected to your sudden P improvement. I’ve argued long and ineffectually in support of a connection between allergies and P, and one of the things I hear from my most intimate detractors is that, if I really believed allergies exacerbated P, I would get rid of my cats. They say this because they know years ago, in an allergen scratch test, I registered positive to animal dander.

Frankly, I still believe that if environmental agents can act as P triggers (which I believe they can), then the things animals contribute to the environment could be triggers as well.

And, to my detractors I say, "Living with P is bad. Living without my cats would be worse." -Ed

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