Monday, November 29, 2010

My new drug of choice

Don't take this the wrong way here, but I want to say that I love Oxycod. It is a synthetic opioid in the morphine family, and I am *not* allergic to it (yet?). It is famous for blocking the central nervous system's responses to pain.

And it *works*. Better than anything I've tried in the past year (or more). And it makes me not only have relief from pain, but I feel good when I take it. I know this sounds dangerous. I feel that, too. But I take only 3 cc once a day, and I'm good. I have only started taking it in the past five days when things were getting bad because of the kidney stones. What a difference it makes. I get *me* back. Robert loves it, the kids love it, and most of all, I Love It.

I saw my doctor today, and she said she sees no danger in it whatsoever. She would take responsibility not to renew my prescription before the time, and she has known me long enough to know I am not an abuser. If I am using something, then a) it is helping, and b) I need it. I've been through a lot. I have constant pain. I haven't experienced real relief in a long, long time, if ever in these past three years. There is no reason I should be in pain if something out there helps make it go away and help me to feel good again.

Unfortunately it only seems to work for about three to three and a half hours, and the script says only three times a day (that usually means every 6-8 hours). But it is enough to get me jump started and going.

More about my doctor visit today: I went for two reasons. One reason is that it was the directive from the ER doctor [I saw on Wed.] to follow-up on Sunday with my GP. I'll do a renal calcification test or something like that in two weeks.

The other reason is that I have had these fevers (38 Celsius; 100-ish Fahrenheit) for five days now. I feel achy and flu-y with that. The fevers, together with the intensified pain from July's surgery has me a bit worried. My doctor had a few theories, and we're staying with the most benign first. She suggested that I may actually have a flu, even though I have no other symptoms (no stuffiness, coughing, stomach upsets, etc.), and that swollen lymph nodes in my belly are putting pressure on the mesh and Gapey and causing the extra pain. Certainly a reasonable hypothesis.

If things don't get better in the next two days, she wants me to call her and she'll order another CT scan to check if everything is OK with the mesh. She said it is unlikely that there is any abscess this long after surgery, and if the mesh is not holding up, pain could be part of the picture, but not fever.

Something I found interesting was with a sixth year medical student who was observing and learning with my doctor. My doctor wanted to palpitate the area to see if she could feel any fluid collection or see anything unusual. She first (with my permission) instructed the student to do the exam. The student carried out the exam for a good long time (with me telling her where it hurts), and in the end, said to my doctor that it is unclear to her what she is feeling. Between the different feeling of an area with only skin graft (no fascia or layers of tissue there), and the mesh palpable underneath, she was on uncertain terrain. I found that interesting. I mean, I know what I am feeling when I feel around there, but I live with it. We've gotten well acquainted over the years. Anyway, she had a new experience, and could not evaluate it. Again, Gapey stumps the doc. :-)

So, between Oxycod for pain, Advil for fever, and drinking lots of water (and cranberry) for the kidney problem, I think I am actually doing OK. Is it OK if things are masked? Well, I don't take anything till I feel I need it; and if I feel I need it, it obviously is not masked all the time.

It's OK. This is Sarah's new reality. No telling how long this will last.

(and BTW, I did make an appointment with the Jerusalem pain doctor recommended to us by the medical Rav. The appointment isn't until the end of January, though. But at least it is sooner than Sept 2011, which was the best that Soroka could offer...)

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