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Rosemary, Volunteer Mentor (@rosemarya)

This and That and Talk - My Transplant

Transplants | Last Active: May 27 2:46pm | Replies (1615)

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@hopeful33250

@contentandwell thanks, I’ll look into those websites. While I’ve never had a transplant, I have very fair-skin and look for good ways to protect it from sun. I also get rashes from the chlorine in the pool, I go to a very nice 24/7 health club that always looks very clean, so it must be the chlorinated water that gets to me. Have you found any help for that? Thanks, Teresa

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Replies to "@contentandwell thanks, I'll look into those websites. While I've never had a transplant, I have very..."

@hopeful33250 Teresa, it sounds like your health club may be similar to mine, The Executive Health and Sports Club in Manchester — they are constantly cleaning and checking the water in the hot tubs and the pools. The main thing I do now, because I have never gotten a rash but I did itch, is to go right into the showers and soap up in there. It helps. One day I waited until I got home and showered here and my hands still smelled of chlorine after it!

Regarding the websites, I have not bought a rash guard at Talbot’s but most or my wardrobe comes from there. Get on their email list to be notified when they have sales because I NEVER buy when things are not on sale. I don’t often buy from Speedo, but Lands End has good bathing suits and they too run sales a lot. I think both of those sites are running sales right now.
JK

@hopeful33250 Teresa, the only help for me is showering as soon as possible when I get out of the pool. Yesterday was one of those days when I really had to force myself to go so it was late when I did. They close at 6:00 on Sundays so I didn’t have time to shower. I planned to when I got home but stupidly did not. During the night I woke up really itchy.
After I shower at my club I go into the sauna and put some body cream on, that helps too I think.

I am scrupulously careful about never walking around there with bare feet and the nail tech I go to sanitizes the foot tub thoroughly between clients but darn it, I now have fungus on my big toe. I called to get an appointment with a podiatrist today and the soonest I could get was June 21. I have never had a fungus before, sort of gross.
JK

@contentandwell, Grrrr – I’m glad that you caught it early and can get it checked out next week. Rosemary

@contentandwell I’m sorry to hear about the fungus, not good. I always wear pool shoes, but I could probably still get it if I’m not careful. Teresa

@Thanks. I researched toenail fungus of course and obviously if you are on immunosuppressants you are also less resistant to them with your compromised immune system. I didn’t know who to go to and I have been waiting for a call back from my PCP for two weeks now so I don’t want to call him again. Interestingly, there is a podiatrist in Nashua, about 22 miles south of here, with the same last name and he is quite well rated. I just checked out those sites that rate doctors and I actually have two appointments, one on the 21st and one on the 23rd. I will decide which one to use and cancel the other.
Grrrr is right. I really did not need this and from what I have heard it can take a year for that nail to be fine again.
JK

@contentandwell – Well I have to share my experience with toenail fungus. Of course I’m pre transplant so keep that in mind. Do not do anything I did without asking your transplant team first. I actually had a minor toenail fungus for years and never knew what it was because it was slow growing and just a white spot on top of my big toe. Eventually I learned what it was and spoke with my GP. Obviously the pill (rx) available was not an option for me because it can damage the liver and/or kidney (forget which one). His suggestion was to soak my foot in bleach and water (I did about 50/50) every day for 15 minutes and that did stop the progression of the fungus. I did this for about 3 weeks and then stopped. Now it was just about getting it to grow out which does take about a year. Since my bleach soaking I started seeing a podiatrist for my plantar fasciitis and I mentioned the fungus. I started getting impatient thinking I needed to get rid of it before my transplant. She has some super duper sharp toenail clippers and cut my toenail back so most of the fungus was gone. The toenail gets so thick my clippers could barely cut them. She then did prescribe me Jublia (don’t know if you could use this) which is topical. She said it helps some people. I’ve been using it since January and I don’t know if it is changing anything or it is just that she keeps the toenail cut so short (BTW my podiatrist does not care how the toenail looks so don’t expect your toe to look like you just got a pedicure!). Part of cutting it frighteningly short is so the medicine can get to the fungus. I keep meaning to start soaking with bleach again and use both methods but I have not made the time. All this to say that soaking in part bleach and part water definitely stopped the growth of my toenail fungus, now I’m just getting rid of the toenail. Letting your feet stay cool and not perspire so much helps prevent fungus but that is hard in the summer so I just make sure I air out my feet in the evening since I need to wear sneakers and inserts all the time for my plantar fasciitis.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

@contentandwell – I started getting monthly pedicures when my plantar fasciitis got bad because the foot rub felt so good and really helped. I just assumed I would not be able to do that after a transplant even though the tub is sanitized and the metal implements but the files etc. that are not metal are obviously used on everyone. It will be one of my questions once I get that far in the process.

Although, I think public pools are the worst for things that grow in moist environments. I know people who have gotten Molluscums (like a wart) on their legs and it took many trips to the dermatologist to get them dug out. Pools are tough I think.

@lcamino Lynn, thank you so much for sharing your experience. I have been wanting to hear some info from someone who has been through this.
Being summer is a mixed blessing. I generally wear sandals all summer so that lets my toes breathe, but of course I am afraid that if people notice my toes they will be sort of grossed-out. Interestingly the nail on my little toe lifted about a month ago and was just attached on the inside edge. It did not look discolored or anything so my nail tech trimmed back right to where it was rooted for me. We had assumed that I must have damaged it some way but now I am assuming that must have happened from fungus also.

I have three appointments set up with podiatrists right now. I have one tomorrow but it’s a distance. It’s a podiatrist my sister has been to for plantar fasciitis and she has known other people who have gone there and liked them. I also have an appointment about 20 miles away next week and one closer to home in two weeks. He is the one I would most like to go to but I hate waiting that long. Maybe if I do the bleach I can wait. I also plan to call my transplant team to ask what medications I should avoid.

The thought occurred to me this morning while putting on my slippers can this spread from wearing the same shoes? If so I wonder how long the fungus can survive inside of shoes, particularly my sheepskin lined slippers. I think I will try to find some inexpensive, comfortable slippers today that will not cover my toes. I saw some in Marshall’s but they weren’t that comfortable. I hate to spend the money on something like Uggs which are great but pricey. I have two pairs for cooler weather and love them.

I read somewhere that you can get toenail fungus in swimming pools! I am wondering what the podiatrist will say to that. In a chlorinated pool that seems unlikely to me but what do I know?

As I mentioned before though, I am scrupulously careful about not walking around the club in bare feet or anything like that.

Thanks again, Lynn. Looking fotward to you coming to Maine. ;-0
JK

@lcamino Lynn at the nail salons around here they give you disposable file after your mani or pedi, or throw it away. I believe they sanitize the metal tools too but I was thinking about that yesterday and plan to check on it.

Your comments on pools is not encouraging. I get the major part of my excercise in the pool so that will really set me back if they tell me not to use one. I am sure in our discussions they know I have been using one for exercise though.

I am even careful when I go to Pilates. Many people do it barefoot but not me.
JK

After my transplant, I was given a 4-page paper about preventing infection after transplant. I do not know the source, or I would reference it here. And I do not know how strict or how long the adherence is recommended. But, I do want to share with you, what it says about this current topic that you are discussing. It is something to consider, or maybe ask your transplant team.

“Avoid all use of hot tubs, especially public ones. Swimming in pools or the ocean is okay as long as you do not have any open cuts or sores. Do not swallow the water. Wear water shoes or sandals when walking along the beach or wading into water from the shore.
Bring flip flops for the shower when traveling.
Bring your own equipment for manicures and pedicures if possible.”

Does anybody else have any thoughts or information or experiences to share?
Rosemary

@contentandwell, You bring up a good point about being ” scrupulously careful “. I, too, try to be that way. And it is so frustrating when – in spite of best practice – something happens, like a toenail fungus, or athletes foot, of a swelling or redness on a scratch, or an upset tummy…I usually find myself trying to figure out what I ‘did’ or ‘did not’ do. And I end up playing the Blame Game.

A note to you, make sure that when you need treatment anywhere that is not your transplant facility, that you tell them that you are a transplant recipient and that you are on immunosuppressant medications. My PCP usually squeezes me in to see him.
Rosemary

@rosemarya Thanks, I do all of those things already except bringing my own equipment for nail work. I plan to ask my nail tech about that.
I asked my surgeon about hot tubs when I was there a couple of weeks ago. I told him I belong to a pretty pristine club and they test the water frequently. I hardly ever go in the hot tub, I use the sauna to warm up, but very occasionally I use the hot tub if I have been in the pool for a long time, about an hour or so, and no one has been in the hot tub in that long. He said that it was my decision but they generally do not recommend it. There are a lot of things they are very insistent on, like wearing a mask when flying.
I wear water shoes not just because I don’t want to risk infection, but also walking over the pebbly surface around the pool is painful for me.
JK

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