Archive | 7:39 am

There’s a party in my pocket…

22 Feb

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I know, it’s one of the cardinal rules of laundry: always check your pockets.

But you know what? So is the idea of not mixing whites and colors, but I do that all the time without consequences. I think a better rule is: separate loads for things that touch your face and things that touch your butt. Cloth napkins and underwear? Should not be in the same cycle – I don’t care how hot your water is.

Anyway… back to my pockets. I learned the lesson the hard way today.

“Was it a Kleenex?” I can hear you asking.


“A pen?” you ask.


“An angry squid?” you prompt.

Um, not that bad. And stop guessing before you ruin my story. 

What your laundry looks like after taking Crohn's medicine.

What your laundry looks like after taking Crohn’s medicine.

I take 11 pills a day for Crohn’s, nine of which are slow-release capsules that dissolve in my GI tract. That’s three doses of three pills, staggered 8 hours apart, which makes the mid-day dose a bit problematic to remember. To solve the problem, I set my phone to go off and remind me, and I carry the pills around in my pocket all day so I have them on me when it goes off.

Apparently I missed a dose last week. Because it showed up in my pocket in today’s wash.

“Wait,” I can hear you asking. “How is washing medicine a bad thing?”

I’ll tell you. Aside from the inconvenience of running out early (and having to fight with the insurance company to authorize an early refill as a result), the deal is this: slow release capsules are apparently made from plastic. And they’re filled with white plastic bee-bees the size of cake sprinkles.

As soon as I opened the dryer door, I understood what had happened. Every piece of dark fabric had hundreds of white dots all over it. It looked like someone had shot a small cannon of confetti into the dryer. I cautiously pulled item after item out, the small white balls dropping on the floor as the static that attached them to the clothing wore off.

I sat down to fold the clothes, wondering if it would be obvious where the origin of the leak had been. It was. I lifted a pair of my new (dressy!) fleece pants from the basket and they looked marbleized, they had so much white on them. I shook my head and plunged my hand into the pocket.

Yes, it was full of even more white dots. But the real surprise was the overall texture of the pocket: it had been turned to plastic. Apparently the capsule casing is some form of plastic that melts when exposed to stomach juices or high heat. My pocket was now stiff, like someone had slipped a Shrinky Dink in there.

When seeing the havoc these three simple pills wreaked on a load of laundry, I found myself wondering exactly how they help my gut. Do I have an ever-growing wad of Shrinky Dinks in my stomach? Do my intestines look like a perpetual parade route lined with confetti?

In any case, I think I’ll install a disco ball in my bathroom.

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Apparently I wouldn’t be the first.