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.



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