Thursday, May 20, 2010

Weeks 4 and 5: To be Honest, I've Been Better

The last 2 weeks have definitely been full of highs and lows for me. I'll start with the lows so I can end on a high note.

When I saw my surgeon over two weeks ago, he asked me to start weaning off the strong meds (narcotics) I've been taking since the surgery. So over the course of the last couple weeks, I have been reducing the medication by half and also spacing it out more. Finally, I felt good last Thursday and decided to stop taking it altogether. I was so proud of myself, my operated foot felt fine and so I went most of the day without taking anything.

However, my old pains had a different plan in mind. The medication was so strong that it made me forget how strong the pain in my legs really is when I am laying down for hours at a time. No medication or treatment I have ever tried has worked to calm them, except for this, which is clearly not the right solution. So that first night I battled with myself not to take anything and see how far it could go. Well, I ended up giving up at 2am and taking a full pill because I had already been brought down to tears and it was just ridiculous at that point. So the next day I tried spacing it out 12 hours - not good. The following day, 10 hours...didn't work.

On Sunday night, I talked with a friend from church and her husband, who is a doctor, who were kind enough to sit with me and try to figure out what kinds of treatment may be helpful for me. He was extremely resourceful and had lots of ideas that we could try and he was also going to speak to a pain specialist about my case. Thank you C & G!!!

On Monday, I went to see my regular podiatrist who has been so helpful and kind to me over the years. We talked about different options to try to ease the pain and I also talked to him about the ideas that we had discussed the night before with our friends. The first thing that was important for me to do was to increase my dosage of Lyrica to try to help with my nerve pain...since the surgery, I've had really bad nerve pain on my left foot. He also gave me two prescriptions for new pain meds that are very strong, try one for a week to see if it works, if not, then try the second.

I started with the new medication immediately. It did have its side effects so I spent most of Tuesday in the bathroom (I know this is TMI). However, I wish that was my biggest concern. As my stomach started to calm down towards the end of the day, the pain in both my legs and the nerve pain picked up and I couldn't sleep until 6am on Wednesday. It was one of the longest and most difficult nights of my life but I have my parents to thank for sitting with me, for crying with me, for taking turns with each other so the other could catch a few zzzz, after all they both had work the next day. I have to say, I hope to make them both very happy still...because the saddest thing is to watch your parents cry for you because they see you in pain. I can't promise it won't happen again, but I do hope to still give them many tears of joy.
Kal & Mica - didn't want you to worry so I didn't tell you today...but I'm better now so please don't worry.

Tonight the pain seems to be ok, not gone, but under control. I just can't sleep so I turned to writing on my blog again at an odd hour of the night....that's when the magic happens!!

As for the highs, it would seem that it's impossible to find them when the last two weeks have been about managing my pain, but I have been fortunate to go to church a few times, I can feel my upper body getting stronger and holding me up better, and I have gone home to spend a few days with my hunny.

At church, I got to see sooo many dear friends and hear some words of comfort and support from everyone. It was beautiful to see how many of our friends lined up to help bring my wheelchair (with me in it) up the stairs. I am really phobic of stairs so it wasn't the easiest thing for me to do, but I made it. I heard a lecture from a young woman my age whose life I could really relate to...and she chose to end her lecture by singing a song about how the pain will pass. I was already emotional enough from the outpouring of love and support, so it was no surprise that I let out my "bucket" of tears. I truly enjoy a good cry and I just felt so much lighter afterwards.

My mom drove me home to CT and I was able to spend a couple of days with John and also got to see so many of our friends there. It felt nice and odd to be home, since it had been almost a month that I'd been gone. I have to say, he's doing a great job keeping up the place on his own...I've taught him well :)

I knew this journey would be full of ups and downs and I was ready for them. Sure, it's not easy as I'm going through it, like a sleepless painful night. But today, that's a memory. At first, going up and down the stairs was so difficult and now I've actually done it twice in one day and even a few days in a row and no soreness. I know it will get easier as I go and hopefully I'll be out of the cast and able to move a little more so my legs won't be so sore. I am hopeful this new medication will work for me so that I will be able to keep taking it even after I'm healed to get some relief.

Today, I was so tired from not sleeping so a couple of friends came over to help. One of them (who is older than me) just recently went through her own medical scare and sudden surgery and in a moment of difficulty, she said she thought of me. That she had seen how strong I have been through my process that she had to try to be stronger through hers, that I was an example she wanted to follow. That was so sweet and nice to hear!

Good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience.
Both are essential in life.

I am keeping the faith....


Anonymous said...

Every new word you write takes us readers through a journey. And we become so enthralled that your pain becomes our pain, your tears flow out of our eyes, your joy echos in our heart.
I am very proud of you sister. Keep the faith, you are very right. The good and the bad make life --lucky people enjoy the first and learn from the latter. I love you!

Post a Comment