Monday, February 17, 2014

I'm Ready for Some Changes

Last night at 1:30 a.m., I finally got up out of bed and moved to the guest room hoping that by doing so I would finally get some sleep.  The wind had howled for hours.  We had moved our outdoor grill close to the sliding glass door that leads to our deck from our bedroom because the night before, it had been blown clear across the deck.  The more sheltered place kept the grill in place, but it caused it to bang against the door.  Thankfully, Jim slept through it all.  It must have been the nighttime cough syrup that knocked him out.

The cold, windy, snowy weather has not been the only drag on our emotions lately.  We've been sick, both of us.  Jim, who never gets sick, has bronchitis.  He is in his tenth day of fighting this pesky virus. We are keeping Walgreens in business buying Mucinex, cough syrup, cough drops, and antibiotics.  Thankfully, my husband is feeling better today.  I've warned him that this stuff likes to hang around for quite a while.  The doctor told him to plan on three or four weeks before he is really over this.  By the way, we both had the flu shot.

I started my bout with the virus that has been making the rounds right after Thanksgiving.  It began with a sore throat, a headache, and a cough.  The week after Thanksgiving, I began experiencing terrible spasms in my trapezia muscle on my right side.  This was combined with a terrible headache.  The doctor gave me trigger point injections of lidocaine in the muscle from the base of the skull to the shoulder blade.  I also treated the pain muscle relaxants, very strong ibuprofen, with massage, and even was treated with acupuncture.  Something worked; I can't say which treatment was best.  I think it was the trigger point injections that worked the best.

Then, I got an ear infection.

Then, I had an injection for hip pain into my left hip.  Two days later, I had an allergic reaction to the shot.  These are rare, my doctor said, but I definitely had an allergic reaction.

Just after Christmas, I had a bad case of a stomach virus.

Then, the cough came back, and so did the sinus congestion.  Mucinex became my friend again.

Two weeks ago on a Saturday night, on one of the coldest nights on record, I had to have my poor husband take me to the emergency room because of severe upper right quadrant pain and severe nausea.  I have fought this pain off and on since April when I was in the hospital for three days.  We still have no answers on what is causing these attacks.  As my husband drove me to the hospital on this cold snowy night when neither man nor beast should have been out, the spasms of pain reminded me of trips to the hospital when I was in labor.  Yes, I think he hit every pot hole.

The hospital pumped me full of pain medication, anti-nausea medication, and took blood and urine samples, and I had yet another CT scan.  Nothing showed on the CT scan.  My lipase levels were in range.  I had a raging UTI (urinary track infection).  During the time I was being treated for nausea intravenously, I told them I really should not be given Zofran because it puts me at risk for having prolonged QT interval.  The nurse didn't accept what I was saying until I insisted she look up the warnings on the drug and my medical history.  Soon, she came in the room and switched me to a different anti-nausea.

After four hours, I was pronounced stable, given a doze of an antibiotic for the UTI and sent home with a prescription for more of the antibiotic.  The next day, I already was feeling quite lightheaded, dizzy, and not quite right.  I filled the prescription for Lexofloxacin anyway.  Since, my new policy is not to read the literature they give you with medications so I don't freak out, I didn't read the warnings.  Monday morning, I felt terrible.  I was in a very rapid heart rate pattern and light headed.  Once I felt better, I left the house for an appointment.  Half way there, I had to pull over because I was about to black out.  My pulse was 130.  I called my cardiologist who said I needed to get to a doctor immediately.  I was asked who had prescribe the Lexofloxacin.  It is known to cause prolonged QT interval.  Do they not look at your medical record in the emergency room?  Do they not listen when you tell them?

My husband came and picked me up and drove me to the doctor.  I was given an EKG and a new prescription and sent on my way.  A holter monitor was ordered.  As was a sleep study.

Now, I here I was struggling through upper right quadrant pain, nausea, heart arrhythmia, and reactions to a second antibiotic.  Oh, and I also had to get a mammogram, a scan of my thyroid, and more blood work.  The mammogram was normal.  Thank goodness.

A few days later, I am received a call from my doctor's office.  "Dr. C wants you in her office as soon as possible to discuss your blood work."  By now, my new doctor's office knows me quite well.  I go in for my consult.  The time before when I had been in to discuss my blood work and A1C levels, she had wanted to put me on insulin.  I cried and begged for six more months to get my numbers under control.  She gave me three months not six.  Now, with this visit, she is very concerned because my iron counts and vitamin B12 levels are getting worse instead of better.  We discussed a game plan.  I told her I had yet another battery of tests scheduled at National Jewish Hospital next week to see what is going on with my iron and my gall bladder/pancreas.

A few days later, my husband got sick.  Now we at least are going to the clinic for him instead of me.

This week, I have a second MRI and second MRI with contrast of my upper right quadrant.  I will also be seeing the cardiologist next week.  I am continuing the iron supplements and B12 supplements.  It appears I am over the UTI.  The heart is mostly settled down again.

So, dear blogging buddies, I've been through it lately.  I am ready for some changes.  I am doing water Pilates twice a week, sometimes three times a week.  I am doing Restorative Yoga at least once a week.  I am trying to walk two miles most days.  I am slowly trying to change my diet.  My doctor says I must try the anti-inflammatory diet.

We will get to the bottom of all this.  We will.  I am staying strong.  The week that I struggled because of the first antibiotic was the worst of it.  I refuse most medications for the reasons given above.  If there is a side effect, I usually get it.  Some of us are just wired that way.  My main goal is find out what is going on with the pain and nausea.  I really think it is the gall bladder.  My doctor is also leaning that way, but it seems it takes more tests before they will take it out.  I'm hanging in there.



26 comments:

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

I had a UTI infection this week!!

My husband went through hoops and several visits to emergency before someone finally said it is gall bladder. He had it removed and so far so good.

Wishing you all the best!

Betsy Adams said...

Bless your heart, my Friend... I am so sorry for what you have gone through --and continue to go through...

I certainly don't need to complain about my little UTI--after reading your post... For me though, I have always been EXTREMELY healthy --and something as simple as the UTI put me in a tizzy. ha ha

Hope you both feel much better SOON.

Hugs and Prayers,
Betsy

Linda Reeder said...

Oh my, Sally, What an ordeal! This is so complex I can't even follow it!
You learn that medicine is an inexact science, for sure. I certainly hope for some answers as to causes soon.

troutbirder said...

Good grief. When it rains it pours....Hang in there Sally.

dkzody said...

Terrible experience. Hope you are on the mend. A suggestion: switch to a plant based diet. Give it a try for a month. If you aren't better , then go back to your old way. What have you got to lose.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Oh, Sally, I'm so sorry you've been through such an ordeal lately! I hope the latest tests give some valuable clues. My sister had a year of illness that turned out to be her gall bladder which she finally had out a year ago. She's a nurse working in a hospital and it still took extreme symptoms and a frenzy of tests to get a correct diagnosis. I hope your bout of illness is resolved soon. You're more than ready for a change -- weatherwise and otherwise!

Weekend-Windup said...

Feeling sorry for your health. Have a regular check up and take care of your health. Stay safe in this weather...

Arkansas Patti said...

Merciful heavens child, you have been through a WAR. You make my reactions seem like a day at the beach. I do so hope they can locate the cause and give you your life back.
I was misdiagnosed for 10 years. The docs said I had ulcers when I actually was passing gall stones. What a relief when they took that sucker out.
Please persevere and find the cause.Let us know.
Hoping both of you find complete relief soon.

Olga said...

Sally, what a trying time you have been having. Good grief. A change is needed indeed. I am certainly far from an expert on the subject, but with all your allergies and reactions, it certainly makes sense that you are a candidate for a clean diet. Maybe it is time to add a good nutritionist to the pantheon? In any case, you are surrounded by caring circles of family, friends and bloggers lending you prayers and healing vibrations (thumbs up for the restorative yoga).

Marty said...

You definitely deserve Spring and a fresh start - I hope both come soon!

Jeanie said...

Good grief, Sally, they should give you a medal (and a refund from the ER) for all you've been through. It's bad enough, isn't it, just going through things and the uncertainty of what it all is without adding medical ignorance to it. I hope your new tests will offer some concrete results upon which you can act. I know it is an overstatement, but sometimes I think just knowing is half the game because then you can actually DO something about it. You have all my thoughts and prayers to send you on your way to your tests.

I see you sent an email -- my computer has been down but my friend Kate set her old office computer up last night for me so I'll be getting to email as soon as I can. Sending hugs!

Jeanie said...

I am so sorry you have been going through all this and I hope there will be a firm diagnosis and resolution very soon. You are definitely due for some very positive changes.

Meryl Baer said...

Your problems seem endless. I know how it is with medications - I am the same way. Most meds do not work the way they are supposed to on my body.
I admire you for keeping up with the walking, Yoga, etc. Hopefully the doctors will find out the root cause of your issues soon and fix it pronto.

A Quiet Corner said...

Good gravy! I would say that you have had a rough time of it but am glad you are both recovering!...:)JP

DJan said...

After reading your post and all the comments, I'm inclined to hope it's gall bladder so you can have it out and get well. I do hope they figure it out soon, Sally. This has got to stop, and yes you are definitely ready for some changes. Yikes! Sending you my love and hope for the best.

Sandi said...

Oh my gosh Sally! I was exhausted just reading about your woes! I have trouble with antibiotics, too. It's so frustrating that the stuff that is supposed to cure you often makes you sicker!
Hope you are on the road to recovery. Love you!

Joyce said...

Goodness, that sounds so frustrating. I hope they get to the bottom of things, and you're feeling much better soon!

Nancy Oswald said...


Sally, bless you. And you've still had time to send supportive posts and comments to others. (and goat videos that make people laugh!)I'm sending healing thoughts and prayers your way.

thisisme said...

Hallo Sally. Gosh, what a tale of woe you have been through, and now poor Jim is fighting Bronchities.I really was so very sorry to read of just how poorly you have been - all since Thanksgiving really. That's a long time for anyone to be fighting illness and pain. It really is bad when the medical team don't look up your records before they precribe medication. I know they're busy and all that but, really, this is just so important.I'm just glad to see that you are trying to stay positive, and trying new things. I wish you well my friend, and I will pray for your return to good health. You don't deserve to be put through all this :(

Dee said...

Dear Sally, about all you can do is "hang in there" as you said. But I'd suggest that you always read the side effects to any prescribed drug because it's clear that the personnel of the medical establishment are not doing that. You know your body. I've had to learn to trust myself with this knowledge and to be my own advocate. It's really necessary as we age because so many medical people discount the "ramblings" of the elderly. Peace.

Linda P. said...

What a tough time. I hope you both are soon on the mend.

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Wow, Sally, you have really had a rough time of it. Good for you revving up your activities, and I hope the prescriptions and medical procedures get squared away as well. Feel better soon!

Kay said...

Good gosh, Sally. I am so sorry. That's an AWFUL lot to go through. I've had UTI and wouldn't wish it on anyone. I sure hope things are completely better soon.

Perpetua said...

Oh, poor Sally! That is an awful lot for one person to have to endure at once and now Jim is ill too. This has been a long, hard winter for you both and I do hope things will soon improve. Modern medications can be life-saving, but the side-effects can sometimes be appalling.

Barb said...

Dear Sally - OH NO! You have really been through the mill (Jim, too). I also react poorly to meds. I try very hard not to have to take an antibiotic. My D-i-L must have the bronchial thing that's going around. She is never sick but got something a week ago and is now coughing and feels lousy. Unfortunately, I was with her when I went to see Caden's musical. I stripped when I got home and washed (paranoid much?). Be careful not to take too many Ibuprofen - bad for the heart. I had my gall bladder out in my 30's - your symptoms sound very similar to mine. I had a huge stone that was blocking the duct. PS Do you want my metal cat wreath that bangs in the wind - it would be a nice accompaniment to your grill.

Rose said...

You certainly have been through a lot, Sally! Your prescription mix-up reminds me of when my mother-in-law was in and out of the hospital her last year. She was allergic to iodine and even had a sign posted above her hospital bed; still, someone put iodine on her before some procedure! I am impressed that in spite of all this you are trying to walk two miles a day--that and your exercise routine is pretty amazing.