Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in my Toothpaste

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in my Toothpaste

I’ll get to the sodium lauryl sulfate in my toothpaste in a sec. But first! Yesterday was definitely a day. Mom landed in the ER. (She is okay, but in pain). I got another rejection letter from a literary agent. And I broke my website.

Mom was trying to load some old patio chairs into her Jeep to take to the ReStore in Collinsville, but they didn’t load easily. She fell, putting a pretty substantial gash in her ring finger and giving her a torn meniscus.

The ER was hopping yesterday too, so she was at the hospital for like 6.5 hours, during which time I pretty much felt like a useless eater*. They patched her up but left her with her OTC acetaminophen and ibuprofen for pain. (That’s a rant for another day.) She’s fine, but I wish she was better.

If there’s good news here, I guess it’s that I have no shortage of mobility devices to lend her and my ADA walk-in shower will be pretty useful too.

While that was going on, I got a very kind rejection letter for Who You Gonna Believe. I don’t know if the agent’s assistant said the sample was charming (or that it had its charms—can’t remember the exact wording now) because I have a brain tumor or because it really did have a little something.

But once again I find myself awash in apathy about traditionally publishing WYGB and maybe that’s a sign? The more I think about it, the more I think I should definitely be excited about the idea of finding an agent, and I’m just not.

The rejection letter drove this home for me when I read a line that said—and I’m paraphrasing—we’re just not that into it and we’re going to pass because you deserve an agent that’s obsessed.

Hit me me like a ton of bricks, it did. I should be more excited. Otherwise what’s the point, right?

Which brings me to my website blunder. I read somewhere that my permalink structure wasn’t the greatest for search rankings. There are dates taking up space before the words in the URLs, and that’s not ideal. Not awful, but not ideal. So despite a warning in my settings that said “you should almost never do this” I changed my permalink structure for a few minutes and wrecked everything.

It’s better now that I have changed the setting back, but I’m still finding random messed up links, even after clearing my browser and site cache. I’m sure that will set me back a little bit in my quest to monetize the site. Oh well. That’s what I get for letting all those “you got this” remarks during treatment go to my head.

I might as well update you on the toothpaste saga since I’m here. Someone commented on my last post that the culprit could be the sodium lauryl sulfate in the toothpaste. Well, that’s easy enough to check. Mom uses a toothpaste without it, so I can do a science myself without buying anything new.

My mouth and tongue inflammation are down, but my lymph node hasn’t changed much. Overall, I’m breathing easier, feeling less fatigued, and sleeping better. I’ll keep going and see what happens.

Turns out SLS is in everything though. So if I need to pursue this further, it’ll mean changing more than my toothpaste. Cancer and its treatment break everything. I’m so not amused.

* Feeling like one sometimes is normal. Believing myself to be one is incorrect.

Am I Allergic to Toothpaste?

Am I Allergic to Toothpaste?

I think my natural toothpaste caused my lymph node swelling? Question mark? Am I allergic to toothpaste now?

I can’t confirm anything yet, because my lymph nodes are still slightly enlarged, but they’re much smaller and way less angry. And the only thing I can figure out is that I switched toothpaste.

See a couple of years ago, during chemo, brushing my teeth made me gag. (If you know, you know.) At the time, the Peroxicare stuff Dan and I both used was super foamy, which made me want to puke more. It also aggravated my dry, burning mouth, so I switched to a natural, non-fluoride brand.

Tom’s toothpaste helped with the gagging and the burning, so I bought it again whenever I ran out. Then recently Dan couldn’t get the toothpaste he prefers, so he got something else. He didn’t like the Complete Care he bought. So I thought I’d take the nearly-full tube off his hands when he discovered the Arm & Hammer Peroxicare was back in stock at Walmart.

The Complete Care stuff touts being reformulated, and since my gag reflex is better now… I figured it was okay to try.

I did just fine. No gagging, no burning. But the amazing part was that after one brushing, my most offensive lymph node—the left mandibular one—shrunk a good 30%. It’s probably down about 60% now after a couple weeks on the Complete Care, and I’m almost certain it’s the toothpaste. (There’s always room for a little doubt.)

I haven’t talked about it a whole lot because I fear jinxing my progress, but I’m growing more confident Tom and I aren’t meant to be. If his toothpaste is the problem, I wonder whether I’m allergic to an ingredient or if I need the anti-microbial properties of fluoride in my very sensitive, illness-prone body. Maybe it’s a little of Column A and a little of Column B?

I won’t give it much consideration as long as I’m feeling better. But if it is an allergy, I’d like to know what specific ingredient is setting me off so I can avoid it elsewhere. Know what I mean? I don’t think Tom’s is made with spinach or arugula, but maybe I should check.

It’s good to feel a little better. But also? Fuck potentially years of unidentifiable and very expensive suffering because of toothpaste. Jesus, my life.

Pin It on Pinterest