Friday, April 24, 2009
I slept pretty well last night; got up around 7:30am to get ready for my gastroscopy.
My mom picked me up at 8:40am so I could get to my appointment by 9am. Felt a little carsick, even on the short trip across town; probably due to an empty stomach, and no water since midnight. Had a bit of a headache starting too.
They couldn't use my port for the sedative, because they did not have to proper needles to access it with. It took 3 tries to get my IV started, 2 tries in my arm, and finally got it in my hand.
I have small, "rolly" veins. The IV would go in, but it wouldn't thread through the vein. It hurt a bit while she was trying, but I didn't complain; the nurse wasn't hurting me on purpose; and with the chemo drugs I have had, my veins aren't the best any more. She felt bad that it took three tries, but I told her I was ok, and she wasn't the first one to have trouble with my veins.
My gastroscopy was supposed to start at at 9:30am. I was getting anxious to get it started, mostly because of my headache, I was just wishing they would start the sedative so I could not feel my headache for awhile. I don't remember much after they put the bite guard in; and I don't remember the scope going in or being asked to swallow it. I remember hearing voices, my doctors and the two nurses in the rooms. It seemed like they were all talking at once, but I'm sure that was the effects of the sedatives. I know I heard talking, but at the same time, whatever words they were saying didn't register with me. Next thing I knew, I woke up in the recovery area, and my mom was sitting in a chair besides me.
I wasn't awake when my doctor came to talk to my mom, but I guess nothing serious was found. I have some mild gastritis, and he removed 3 polyps. They usually aren't anything to worry about, and I've had them before. I'm supposed to call Wednesday for the report on those. Other than that, I'm to keep on my acid reflux meds.
She helped me into the house, and asked if I wanted her to stay awhile. I told her I'd be ok, that I was going to go sleep for a bit. I think it was around noon I got home. I took an Excedren for my headache, took of my shoes and climbed into bed. It was warm outside, but my house was still quite cool. I was chilly enough that I turned my electric blanket on. I had "Nurse Kallie" curled up with me, as soon as I was under the covers, she got right up there with me, sniffed my nose, and curled up next to me and started purring.
The sedative really made me tired this time; when I've had the gastroscopies in the past, I've been tired after, but still felt like sitting and watching tv as soon as a got home. I think they might have had to give me more this time; I took at least a 2 hour nap. My mom stopped in again to check on me after she had been shopping, and brought me some chicken broth. Kallie got off the bed when she heard my mom coming in, and than ran back and sat up by my pillow, like she was saying to my mom, "She's in here!", LOL.
I got up had a cup of the chicken broth, and I've also been trying to get some water down to replenish my fluids. I had some fluids through the IV before my procedure, and few sips of water before I left to come back home, but I was so wanting to sleep when I came home that I only drank enough water to swallow my Excedren.
It's nice and warm outside; around 4pm, it was up to 77°F. I knew I wasn't up for a walk; wasn't hydrated enough yet, and still hadn't eaten any solid food up to that point, but I had to get out and get some air for a little bit. So I walked around in the yard and I also filled my bird feeders.
I have some plain chicken cooking in the oven now, I'm going to try some of that for dinner.
Still feeling pretty tired out from the sedatives this morning.
I still think my last attack was partly brought on by all the bending I was doing when I did the yard work last week. I think from now on, if I do an activity like that, I shouldn't do it so many days in a row, maybe just every other day instead.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I spent most of the day catching up on my housework. I neglected it most of last week, because I was spending so much time working on my yard outside, and I had a couple of days where I had to take it easy because of the nerve block injection. Then I wasn't feeling well the first few days of this week.
I picked up the clutter in my living room too, and rearranged some of my furniture. My back is hurting now; I think because I haven't been used to that kind of physical activity. But I didn't do a lot of lifting, just some pushing and pulling. I am hoping to get to the local furniture store this weekend and shop for a love seat to replace my old, ugly sofa; which is also taking up too much space because it's large too. It's something I've been wanting to do for a very long time, and I was waiting for my tax refund before I did it. There is a clearance sale at the store this weekend only, so I am hoping to find something there. I like this store, because it's locally owned, and also, when they deliver, if you want something taken away, they will take it for you. Last year, when I got my HDTV from them, they took away my old ancient tv that had quit working. I was very appreciative of that, if I had to dispose of it myself, I would have had to pay someone to take it.
But back to my story; I knew before I started cleaning I'd probably end up tired and sore, but since I'm having the gastroscopy tomorrow, it will probably be at least a couple of days before I can go back to normal activity. And also, I plan to rest and relax when I come home tomorrow, snuggle up in the recliner with kitties and watch some movies, and I know I wouldn't feel very relaxed if I had to look at the clutter and the things that needed cleaning.
I have to be at my doctor's office at 9am. Last year, the practice and all the doctors with him moved to a different location, and a much bigger building. Now they do the colonoscopies and gastroscopies right there, instead of at the hospital. This will be the first time I'll be having it done there instead of at the hospital. My mom will be picking me up, as I will be getting sedation for the procedure. The gastroscopy will be at 9:30. They normally take 15-30 minutes, and about an hour recovery time before being released to go home.
I'm not taking my purse with me; I'm taking a totebag and I've got it already to go with my keys, a card of my list of medications which they always ask for, and a book to read in case I have to wait a bit in the waiting room. Also have something picked out to wear, clothes that will be comfy enough to relax in when I get home. So I am all ready to get this done and have it over with.
Tonight I am looking forward to my usual Thursday evening tv shows. I can't eat or drink anything after midnight, but I never eat after midnight anyway. I'm glad that my mom will be there with me, even if it is a relatively simple and routine procedure.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
After I posted yesterday's blog, I went to Dr. Pawl's, (my oncologist) to have my blood drawn for the lab work I have to get done every month. I go there instead of the hospital lab, because no one at the hospital lab seems to know how a port works, and the reason I had the port put in in the first place was to spare my veins all the needle sticks. I really think anyone who draws blood as part of their job should be trained on how a port works.
My appointment was at 11:30am, but I waited out in the waiting room for over an hour for my turn. That's a long time to wait, especially if you are not feeling good. The problem is not enough chairs in the Specialty Clinic, and by "chairs", I do not mean out in the waiting room. I mean the chairs in the rooms in the clinics where the patients sit to get there chemo and other IV drugs, and blood drawn through ports. I don't blame Dr. Pawl, or Kathy or Linda, the two oncology nurses. They do the best they can. They come to town from Grand Rapids on Tuesdays, so that means all of Dr.Pawl's patients in Big Rapids and the surrounding area just have that one day to see him, unless they want to make the drive to Grand Rapids. No, I blame Mecosta County General Hospital; they own the clinic, and the last time they remodeled the hospital, they should have added some more space to the clinic to provide more room for chairs. Yesterday was not the first time I had to wait for over an hour, and the average wait time for me and most of the patients is a half hour to 45 minutes. I think when I am feeling better, I will write a letter to the "powers that be" and give them my opinion.
Well, I'll get off my soap box now and onto, as Paul Harvey would say, "the rest of the story".
After I got home, my internist's office called me back after I had called them before leaving for Dr. Pawl's, and they have me scheduled for a gastroscopy Friday morning. I have had them before, so I know the drill and what to expect. I am just glad to hopefully get some answers as to why my GERD has gotten worse, and a solution for something to do about it.
This morning I finally felt good enough to make the trip to the store to get some much needed groceries. Not feeling so bad from the GERD so far today, so I think the bland diet is helping for now. I did end up with a sinus headache though; it's in the 40's and quite windy today.
I've been on the Neurotin for my nerve pain for not quite a week now. It makes me a little sleepy, but it's not really a constant drowsiness; it's more like it just kind of comes in waves that last a few minutes. I still wait until I get home to take my first dose though if I have to drive somewhere. I'm still on just the twice per day doses, but gradually I'll be on it 4 times per day. I am hoping my body will get used to it so I won't have that side effect. I am thankful to not be working now so I can take the time to adjust to the new medication.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I took my Ambien last night, and got at least 7 good hours of sleep, but I'm still not feeling good. I still feel like I want to lay down. I have an appointment at 11:30am at my oncologist's office for my monthly blood work, and it took all my energy just to get dressed and ready for that.
I took an Excedren this morning for a headache, and it felt like it just got stuck behind my breastbone and hurt for a while. Same thing when I ate a small bowl of plain rice for breakfast. About an hour later, I tried eating some yogurt, since I thought some of my weakness was from not eating enough. Even that didn't set too well.
I just called my internist's office and told them what was going on, and now I am waiting for them to return a call to me as what to do next. I'm pretty sure he will want to do the endoscopy, but I might have to go see him in the office first, but maybe not, since it wouldn't be my first one.
I have almost an hour of time to kill before my mom picks me up to take me to get my lab work done. A nap is sure sounding good right now, even though I just got up at 8am.
Monday, April 20, 2009
To start with, I didn't sleep well again because of the acid reflux. I tried to sleep in, but with my stomach being empty so many hours, the hunger pangs kept me awake and kept me from relaxing.
I had planned on getting my groceries today, but I decided to wait til Wednesday or Thursday. I just didn't have the energy to get myself put together to leave the house, let alone push a cart through the store, load the car up in the rain, and then bring everything in and put it away once I got home.
I have been sticking to a bland food diet today, and eating very small amounts at a time. Even that causes some heartburn. I ate plain Cheerios and a banana for breakfast, and half of a can of some Campbells Select Harvest Chicken Soup with Egg Noodles, and one of those single serving containers of sugar free apple sauce for lunch. I also cooked a pot of rice in my rice cooker, so I can reheat some of it for dinner. I ate a lot of rice when I was on chemo; very easy on my stomach, and it's comforting. I used chicken broth in place of some of the water when I made it.
I have been so tired today, from 2 nights in a row of not much sleep. It's so frustrating, last week I thought I was feeling better, and I had the energy to get some things done, and now today, I feel like a weak and tired kitten. I tried to take a nap in my recliner after lunch, but I couldn't sleep, so I watched some tv instead. I did lay down on the bed for almost 2 hours; I didn't really fall asleep, but I felt more relaxed. I listened to the steady rain coming down outside, and Kallie curled up next to me. Once when I opened my eyes, Timmy was standing with his paws on the bed looking at me, lol. Sweet kitties I have, I am sure they sense when I'm not feeling good; especially since I normally don't lay on the bed in the middle of the day.
My hip and leg are really hurting too. It's also cold and rainy. I got to wondering if part of that was the weather; I knew it affected arthritis, but I wasn't sure if it affected nerve pain too. I did some googling, and sure enough, I found some articles relating to that, and it can indeed be affected by the weather, especially when it's cold and damp.
Dr. Wolschleger, my internist, wants me to call when I'm done with the 2 weeks of Kapidex, (acid reflux meds) if I'm not feeling any better. That won't be til the 29th though. I'm going to see how I am feeling tomorrow, I may call before then. If I have to feel like this another week and a half, I don't know if I can get through it.
Tonight, instead of taking my bedtime dose of the Neurotin, I'm going to take my Ambien instead, and try to get at least one good night of sleep. Tomorrow, I go to Dr. Pawl's office for my monthly blood draw.
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