Tag Archives: Medication

NAPS!

Okay fess up who doesn’t like a good NAP? I mean I really think the Spanish have it right with siestas in the afternoon! Take a nap go back to work, you feel refreshed! As a child I stopped napping at 6 months which my poor Mom had to put up with, as an adult I take a nap about everyday now…I think I am making up for lost time…sorry Mom! My Mom really is a saint! She takes me to my appointments, helps with taking me to do odd errands like going to the bank, post office etc. When she jokes about that I am her full time job she’s not kidding!

I am really grateful for my Mom and how much help she has been these last couple of years with getting me to these appointments. I don’t know where I would be without her. It’s been nice to spend some extra time with her. Of course when we spend all this extra time it doesn’t feel like quality time because its always around medical appointments. I am seeing this doctor or that doctor, I’m getting this or that test run. So every once in awhile she and I will pick a day and just go out. We’ll spend some quality time together that is not around some medical appointment or procedure.

I know that my whole life is not going to be based around doctor visits and medical testing but right now that’s what it feels like and it’s exhausting! I have all these pills to take, all these blood draws and tests plus physical therapy. I’m always at this doctor or that’s office for some sort of check up. I have this test or that test coming up. My calendar is already filling up for December and we haven’t even hit September yet… life of anyone with a chronic illness!

Spoiled kitty!

Creme (the cat) is spoiled rotten. We all know this, we all accept this, we all accept that we have played a role in her becoming this way. This morning I was in the bathroom giving myself a blood thinner shot in front of the bathroom mirror and she decided that she wanted fresh water from the sink.

CremeSink

Well I was using the mirror so I was not so happy when she jumped up on the sink and then tried to nuzzle the hand that was busy giving myself the blood thinner shot! NO KITTY! GET DOWN CREME! MOMMY IS BUSY!! She was not happy that I was upset because a) all she wanted was some love b) all she wanted was some fresh water from the sink c) she did nothing wrong. So she hopped down with a disgruntled meow and laid in the kitchen floor glaring at me as I finished my shot. She wanted to make sure that I knew of her displeasure at being kicked out of the bathroom.

I realize that she doesn’t understand that I had a sharp object in my hand and her nuzzling my hand was not good for me, but sometimes you just gotta do what is good for you. She’ll get fresh water later. The Earth does not revolve around her, much to her dismay. I now know why the Egyptians worshiped cats, I mean any cat owner I think understands when they glare at you…you know they mean business!

Creme will be 9 this year so she is starting to get up there in age, but she is a happy cat with quite the personality. She definitely makes her presence known to us! She also makes sure that I am well taken care of in my recovery period after surgery. Creme who is not normally a lap cat becomes more of a lap cat right after I’ve had surgery and you can often find her curled up beside me on the couch. She definitely enjoys my company whether she will admit that or not I can’t say, but she definitely does enjoy being around me.

 

Neck surgery, recovery and sticky cat…

My neck fusion surgery is complete! I had the IVC filter placement and the neck surgery this past week! What I love is doctors who upon meeting me realize I do know a lot about medical procedures. The doctor that placed the IVC filter had NO IDEA who he was talking to when he met me! He asked me why I was getting it and I gave him the very abbreviated version of the story, and how I had already gone over all the risks associated with the IVC filter and I understood that normally doctors do not recommend IVC filter placement before surgery but I was the exception to the rule.

So they used lidocaine to numb where they were going to cut my neck open to put the camera down my neck into the vena cava and they found the hardware in my back, they saw my stimulator in my back, but because I didn’t need sedation I only had a 30 minute recovery period after everything was said and done which ROCKED!

Surgery went well and I only had to spend one night in the hospital which was good. I like the shorter stays gets me out and back home to recover. The physical therapist and occupational therapist were the same ladies that saw me the past 2 surgeries and so they knew I was a pro. We go up and walked and I showed that I am much better at walking than they expected, but hey I have my issues!

Last night I slept pretty well, the pain woke me up a couple of times, but I took medicine and was able to get back to sleep quickly. My arms fell asleep (aka were numb) but hopefully as the swelling goes down from the surgery that will take care of it’s self too! I am happy that the surgery is over and I can go back to living. I know I have to take it easy and I have even more restrictions on me, but I am going to keep getting up and being as active as possible because that is the best way to prevent post surgical blood clots.

Speaking of blood clots…they have me on shots for the next few days to prevent blood clots and I am not thrilled with having to give myself a shot, but eh it could be worse! I have to remind myself that life could always be worse. I am home, I am healing, I am blessed beyond measure!

Creme (the cat) has been stuck to me like GLUE! She is helping me heal I’m sure, but it’s too hot for all that! I love her, but she needs to back up a bit! She always gets this way when I disappear for a couple of days, she wants to make sure I don’t run away with the circus or something… I’m just glad to know she missed me, another reason that I am…..

Tooblessed

Oh Potassium….

For those of you who have been on this journey with me for awhile you know I have this waltz with potassium. For anyone just joining welcome and let me give you an abbreviated version of the story…. Last year right before my 2nd & 3rd spinal surgeries I had my routine blood work done and it was found that my Potassium level was a little low, so they put me on potassium supplements. Then I had a saddle pulmonary embolism (massive blood clot both sides of my lungs), to which I was apparently supposed to die, but I refused..well I’m stubborn like that…to which I continued to battle with the Potassium for months until they stopped one of my medications in hopes that my Potassium would return to normal. I got a good reading and all was SUPPOSED TO BE RIGHT IN THE KINGDOM!!!!

Fast forward to yesterday…..I had to have more routine blood work done for my upcoming surgery (do we sense a theme here?) and I got to see the results this morning and I’m looking at all the results and everything is looking good some stuff is a little on the low side of normal, some on the higher side of normal, but all NORMAL so I’m like good, good, good..and THEN….I get to the line that says POTASSIUM….I think it’s going to become a curse word in my vocabulary. I mean seriously…. it’s LOW. REALLY???!!!!

So I suppose I get to take supplements again until time of surgery…BLAH…however this also just proves my point that I didn’t think it was the medication necessarily lowering my Potassium levels, I thought it was something else. However I don’t have an MD behind my name! After all is said and done I feel like I could pass my medical boards however! (Trust me that is said very tongue in cheek). If Potassium was a tangible thing and we were in the wild, wild west I would be meeting it at high noon!

Luckily I know it’s no big deal and I’ll just have to take supplements and they’ll draw the blood right before surgery and all is well. It does annoy me however because it’s been this on going battle to get the Potassium to STAY UP.

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Yeti in the tub

I went to the doctor for the hair loss situation. I told him about what was going on basically we have 3 ideas

  1. Medication side effect from the blood thinner
  2. Thyroid problem or other metabolic cause
  3. Hereditary condition

Alex I’ll take I don’t really like any of those options for 200…. So he ordered lab work and I got blood drawn this morning to check for cause 2. He thinks it might be cause 1 which the obvious choice would be to take me off the blood thinner (and put me on a different one) except that I have to have surgery this year and I’m not sure my surgeon would go for a different choice. So we wait to see what the blood work shows and then we decide the next step in the game. In April will be 6 months which I might be able to come off the blood thinner depending on what the tests shows as far as the blood clot is concerned. I’m hoping that I do come off the blood thinner because I’m tired of taking it.

I was talking to a friend who has MS he said to me aren’t you tired of taking meds because of the side effects of drugs? You are taking this drug and it’s making your hair fall out, you take this med and then it causes your potassium to be leeched so you have to take potassium supplements. When does it stop? I feel where he is coming from because there are so many people in that position. They have to take medications to combat the side effects of the medications.

Life is good. We will overcome this.

Dueling Pair

When you have nerve pain there are some nerve pains that are constants. Some are randoms, and some are just down right annoying…wait they are all annoying….So there is this one spot right above my right knee that we call Ole Faithful because it has NEVER GONE AWAY. Other nerve pain spots will come and go, but Ole Faithful is always there is bug the snot out of me! There would be plenty of times I would smack the area and people would just look at me and I would smile sweetly and go don’t worry my thigh is numb. Which of course then I would get puzzled looks because if my thigh is numb then why am I smacking it….Well that is a really good question that we haven’t quite figured out yet, have I mentioned I am a bit of an enigma? So I have this nerve pain patch that is right above my knee on the right thigh that is numb any other time. Yes the area is numb unless I am having painful and I mean PAINFUL nerve pain. So why there? I have plenty of other leg retail space available, but the nerves right there like to bug the snot out of me.

So on my thigh that is numb I will get the more horrible nerve pain. This morning I woke up with it…it’s going to be a long day. Oh yeah did I mention I am on blood thinners now and so any smacking/hitting/etc is out of the question now? Yeah…. so because with the blood thinners I could bruise easier, which doesn’t seem to be happening to me, but to most patients it does (remember I am an enigma…) I am not to smack my leg to get rid of the pain. So I took my nerve pain medicine like I do every morning (I take a second dose in the evenings), I put pain cream on my knees and a bit on the patch per the doctor’s instructions for days like today and I PRAY. I pray that it doesn’t drive me to insanity.

It’s rainy, yucky weather outside which means my asthma is acting up, my arthritis doesn’t want to play nice and my blood clot is reminding me it’s still around, BUT I have to go to the clinic to get my INR checked so I will be venturing out today. It will be a good day. I just have to remember to take things nice and slow. One thing I have learned through this whole ordeal is to take things slower. It’s okay to say slow down, its okay to walk slower, it’s okay to say I’ll catch up. I don’t have to push myself to the point of exhaustion, it’s about self care and the balance of life.

Insomnia

So I have insomnia and I do not take a prescription sleep aid. However when there are ads for prescription sleep aids, especially for ones that are new on the market they do pique my curiosity. Well I was catching up on the latest Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. today on HULU and lo and behold there was such a commercial and just for me they ran it multiple times. So I am listening to the side effects and most of them are common like not remembering that you go up in the middle of the night to eat, drink, go to the bathroom. Then they said a couple that I thought WHY would you want THESE? So it says in rare instances some patients have confusion and aggression. No thanks! I can have plenty of confusion and aggression without you! Actually when I googled the drug to look up more information the first couple of pages basically told me DO NOT TAKE THIS DRUG! One of them was from Consumer Reports….umm yeah not a good start!

I once tried one of these type of drugs, I took it for a couple of days. I talk in my sleep on occasion, but when I am on these drugs I apparently talk NON-STOP. So my poor wife didn’t get ANY sleep, so I went back to my doctor and said for the sake of my marriage this didn’t work. So I just deal with the insomnia. I mean with everything else going on with me I think insomnia is now pretty low on the list of medical woes.

I do believe you need to be a good consumer and look at each drug you take and do research on them and know if the benefits out weigh the risks. There are sometimes that you need to take a medicine that might have some risks but you and your doctor understand that. I do not believe in just taking something because the doctor says I have to because I am an intelligent person and while I did not go to medical school I can research a drug, find out what it is commonly used for, and ask questions about if this drug is appropriate for me and my medical condition.