Sunday, July 27, 2008

The fine print

Its there for a reason. Those thousand plus words on those prescription information sheets are not their for the sport of it. They are there for good reason. If you think you know it all because your doctor told you the side effects, you are wrong. There is more. And sometimes you need to advocate for yourself a little to err on the safe side.

I, my friends did not do this. I never do. I figure if its bad they will tell me right?

After a week of having the following either injected or swallowed:

As well as two surgeries under General Anesthesia

You would think that someone, one of the many doctors, nurses, medics, or pharmacists would have reminded me, or someone who was less doped up, that all of these medications cause a system back up, nay, shut down, if not properly "taken care of".

Well, no one did. Until Friday. One and a half weeks after this all started. And it was too late.

I was very cautiously ambulating myself around the area of which I needed to focus my attentions for the set up of Relay For Life. I was doing really well, and was very proud of myself. I mean really, I just had surgery a day and a half before, and here I was sticking to my word, keeping up my commitment as Chair, and showing nothing was going to stop me.

Boy was I wrong.
I went into the camper to do the things that you do when you are blessed with a kidney stent when all hell broke loose, or better stated, stopped cold and hard. As I was walking back to where I was working, all of the sudden I had a very sharp pain that made stop dead in my tracks. Not because the pain hit so hard necessarily, but because literally I could no longer move on my own. Luckily my mother in law was there, and I was able to call out to her. She came in and helped me get to the bed, and then to a horizontal position for which later I discovered made the next hours worth of events more traumatizing.

She immediately called Jim who was out getting potted flowers from a friend to place in the Survivor Hope Garden. He was there almost instantly. Having many friends in the medical field, and several who work on the local ambulance company, he called one of our friends and told him what happened. And the next thing I knew I had 4 fella's and a lovely lady (most of which I knew very well - so this was really embarrassing) in bed with me trying to get me on a back board. Now remember, I have been living with a very very large kidney stone in an already damaged kidney for several weeks, as well as a stent which makes my life miserable at every move, but this pain was worse than all of that multiplied a thousand fold. I literally thought someone took a hatchet to my lower back and chopped me with it over and over.

Thats pain.
So in the ambulance I go. My fellow Relay'ers scampering to see what happened, as they all felt I should not have been there (really I felt good). I get to the hospital and my friend/doctor meets me with Morphine and Vistaril. Now Morphine does nasty things to my heart rate and bp, and my pulse/ox drops to very low levels, but Morphine is a fairly standard immediate relief medication.

I was numb, but the stabbing pain was still there when I moved. It was determined that I did not injure myself, so the next step was getting me out of bed and into X-Ray and CT. It took a lot of encouragement, plenty of screaming and a lot of patience on their part for me to get out of the bed. I asked to use a wheel chair not to sit in, but to hang on to so I could walk off some of the pain in order to get to X&CT.

And now is when the "read the fine print" became important to me. As the X was being taken, all I heard from the viewing room is "it looks like she is FOS". Jim walked over to what they were looking at (we live in a small town and knew most of the people in the room personally, so he was not shy, and they allowed him in the room), and asked what "FOS" stood for. I am guessing that by now you have figured it out.
My large colon had shut down. Completely. And it as well as my lower large intestine were resting right on a nerve in my lower spine.

After a nice "cleanse" I was still having a lot of pain but decided that there was no reason to hang out in this boring old room when I could be sitting outside my camper alongside the newly created path of luminaries and do one of my favorite past times, people watch, while I awaited the relief of pain.

So we returned to the place of my earlier horror, and watched the survivors (I missed out this year) lap, and the team lap, and got to answer a million and 3/4 questions about what happened, how I was feeling and why I was there. I then trodded inside, crawled into my bed, and proceeded to sleep through the rest of my favorite event of the year.

I am still in a considerable amount of lower back pain, my stent is causing me grief, and I am trying to stay hydrated. I am also staying away from my medicine cabinet, taking ibuprofen and trying to ambulate ever so often to relieve pain. I am hoping to go into work for a few hours tomorrow for a different view, and then very much hoping to get this stent out on Tuesday after another Xray and Cystoscopy.

And I am keeping the metamucil close by.

Friend to friend, if you find yourself in a position of needing alot of narcotic pain relief, please remember that not so sweet place in your lower regions that needs a little more TLC than you would think.
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