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Friday, April 22, 2011

Bad into Good

Yesterday I went to see Dr. Pain. I was scheduled to see him next week, but I was having so much pain and popping so many pills without relief that I was getting concerned. So he squeezed me in yesterday, because he and his office are awesome like that. ;)

The majority of my pain right now is in my muscles. Yes, my joints are flaring, and yes, I still have pain from the inflammation in my tummy, but it is nowhere near as bad as the muscle pain. To put it in perspective... when I was in the recovery unit for several hours after surgery, they kept offering me pain meds, but the pain from the surgery was nothing compared to how bad my muscles were hurting. So I kept saying no to the pain meds, because the surgical pain was not that bad. Finally, I started almost crying because I was hurting so much. In my anesthetized state, I asked the nurse if I was cheating if I took the meds for other pain. She looked at me like I was nuts (or under the influence of the anesthesia), and said, "poor baby, we've hardly given you anything. Here's the good stuff," and started pushing the meds in my line. ;) Anyways, all that to say that my muscles have been hurting pretty badly.

So Dr. Pain wanted to give me... Valium. "It's the best muscle relaxant known to man," he said. I said no thank you. I'm already on narcotics, don't really want to add benzodiazepines to the list of addictions. ;) He tried to talk me into it, but I was not swayed. So he gave me some other muscle relaxant to try. He also told me to experiment with some different combinations of the meds I have to see if I can get more relief. And he told me that I'm not taking too many of the meds (which is always my concern).

He also said that he would almost expect me to have more pain right now. The abscess is finally drained, so all the infection and toxins and inflammatory molecules and stuff are getting cleaned out of my system. So they are going to circulate around and cause more pain and inflammation until everything is totally healed. In a way, the pain might be a good thing! That was encouraging! We both feel like I'm on the right track, just have to get the pain under control so I can function.

I took the muscle relaxant yesterday evening before dinner, and I dissolved into a puddle of goo within half an hour. Yeah, this one goes on the list of meds to take RIGHT before you get in bed. But I am happy to report that it definitely helped the pain! Although last night I was too melted to really feel much of anything. Which was okay - I'd rather feel like that than deal with the amount of pain I've been having!

This morning, my phone rang, and my heart sort of sank when I saw it was Dr. Saturday calling. My labs came back, and my white count has jumped back up again. It's not super high, but it is definitely elevated. He was concerned. So I have to come back to see him on Wednesday to do more labs and have him check me out. I dunno if it is mental or what, but my stomach is feeling worse now... I'm trying to not worry, but I just have this feeling that we are going to start this whole mess again - more labs, scans, antibiotics, procedures, surgery... The positive thing in all this, my dad pointed out, is the prompt and excellent care. My labs came back this morning, and within an hour, the doctor personally called me to let me know, check on me, and set up a new appointment. That is remarkable, and quite a contrast to many of the other doctors I've had. So I'm thankful!

On Easter, we remember how God turned a terrible thing - the unjust, horrific death of His perfect Son - into the greatest good imaginable - salvation for all who repent and believe. In my own life, I celebrate how, on a smaller scale, God turns "bad" things into good - that my increased pain may mean healing, that my labs are bad, but my doctor is on top of things and I'm not falling through the cracks.

Please keep my friend, Hollye and Patt, who are recovering from surgery, in your prayers!

Hannah ;)

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