Jakafi, will you save me?

 
 
Today L went w/ me to the hematologist's because I wanted him to be around for the momentous decision. We recounted my itchiness and the doctor said she thought Jakafi would help. It's usually prescribed for people with polycythemia vera who have enlarged spleens. My spleen is a very nice size, unobtrusive. But it is supposed to work on itches. Or pruritus, its proper name. Sounds more serious. The pruritis has made me cautious, given me more of an excuse not to exercise, since sometimes exercise in warm weather can lead to almost unbearable pruritis. The etymology of the word is not very interesting at first--it comes from the Latin pruritus, past participle of prurire "to itch"--but then you can go to prurient, which is related, and it gets lots more interesting. Prurient originally meant "having an itching desire" (1650s), and then became more louche--especially "lascivious, lewd," (1746),  The Oxford English Dictionary tells us that pruritus means "Itching of the skin or other surface. Also fig.: a strong desire or craving." As in the line surely you've heard at Whole Foods, "I sure have a pruritus for that spirulina!" Or the anonymous phone call I got recently: "I've got a pruritus for you that just won't quit." I almost responded, "Then let him out!" the way I do when they ask if I've got Prince Albert in a can. Glad I didn't.

The Melancholic, according to the system of four humors:
  • Humor: Black Bile
  • Element: Earth
  • Season: Winter
  • Age: Old Age
  • Qualities: Cold & Dry
  • Organ: Spleen
  • Planet: Saturn

 by Durer

 


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