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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Pain-Free Window and Another Miserable Night (Medical Update)

Despite yesterday's crazy, drugged-up, day at the hospital,  I managed to rest for an hour before leaving to give my presentation in Elazar.

I am pleased to report that I felt great during my presentation, and the talk was excellent (if I do say so myself).  I spoke for about an hour and then opened the floor for questions.  Many women actively participated, asking pertinent and insightful questions. Even after the evening officially ended, women came up to ask additional questions and share some more personal thoughts.

I had prepared an outline for the evening's talk, to give to the organizers.  I usually do not plan out what I am going to say in such detail.  The outline really helped me to focus my presentation, and the messages I wished to convey.

Right after the presentation, on my way out, I experienced a sudden, new, intense pain, in my upper abdomen, on my right side.  It hurt me to breathe.  I could barely stand up straight.

It felt like a gas bubble was caught underneath my ribcage and I did not know how to relieve the pressure.  The pharmacist had warned me that the pain medications could cause constipation, which I understood to be at the root of this new pain.

As soon as I got home, I collapsed into bed.  Lying flat on my back was the least uncomfortable position.  Turning onto my side caused excruciating pain.  Two hours after I first fell asleep, I woke up from the pain. I could not fall back asleep, the pain was unbearable.

I wrote an email to my doctor then spent an hour in the bathroom.  I managed to relieve at least some of the pressure, but it was not fun to be up in the middle of the night, feeling so much discomfort.

I felt pretty miserable.  It took another hour or so to fall into a fitful sleep.  I did not sleep well.  The pain kept waking me up.  Each time, I had to concentrate on breathing slowly and shalowly, so I could relax my body enough to fall asleep.

When morning finally came around, I still hurt. 

I went to the doctor, who examined my abdomen and agreed with my evaluation.  He prescribed a laxative and gave me a shot for the pain. 

By the time I finished at the doctor's office, the pharmacy had already received my order for the new pain patches.  My mom picked up the new patches, which are 50 mg of Fenta (instead of 12), and I put one on right away. 

The new patch seems to be working.  I took one Percocet when I woke up this morning, but, besides that shot in the doctor's office, I have not needed any further supplements to the pain patch.

I still feel abdominal pain on my right side, but it is significantly less than this morning's pain.  I am cautiously optimistic that I will feel better tomorrow.

Tomorrow is my mother's last day of this visit.  It would be nice if we could do something fun....

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Bernie said...

So glad your speech went well but I am not surprised.
Am sorry about you having a rough night, I always have to use a stool softener whenever I am on pain medication, once you have this settled your tummy pain will go. (I found this kind of pain worse than any other) Good Luck with everything and enjoy your mother's last day visit. Keeping you in my prayers....:-)Hugs

Anonymous said...

I hope that hurdle of adjustment to the meds is done with for good. Have the greatest day with your mom!
Big hug,
Ellen L

Batya said...

Refuah Shleimah, strength.
I'm sure the women enjoyed your talk.

mrg & grm said...

I agree w/everyone else and would add that pain is life-sucking and I'm glad that they're taking it seriously and getting you what you need.
I hope the last day of your mom's trip was enjoyable and that you got to spend meaningful time together.

mikimi said...

I wish there was something I could do to alleviate your pain. I wish you had no pain. Pain-GO AWAY.

Anonymous said...

Pain medication always causes constipation, my friend. As a nurse & also as a patient who has had to take pain medication, I know this firsthand. Do they sell such a thing as Metamucil in Israel? If so, try to make it a part of your everyday routine. As your dr first but it's been my experience that 1 tbsp. mixed with water in the morning and repeated again in the evening does indeed help. I will pray for you, as I always do. Love you! Your friend! Andrea <3

adina said...

Hi -

I'm sure you are getting lots and lots and lots and lots of advice, so please feel free to ignore this.
Also, every recommendation must be weighed against all the other things that you are doing to be sure it will work within your context. But here goes...

Our son suffered terribly terribly from constipation. The thing that worked for him was a combination of:

1. forcing himself to drink as MUCH WATER AS POSSIBLE ALL THE TIME - not to the point of nausea, but to keep keep keep drinking, to always have a water bottle at hand and keep taking little sips, (I think we left a trail of forgotten water bottles all over the country - like oversized crumbs :-), and

2. Getting a box of Sorbitol (a type of sugar that is not really digested by the body, but draws liquid into the intestines and can cause gentle diarrhea) and making him one, two, or even more cups of sweet tea every day with a spoonful of sorbitol as the sugar in the tea.

and also to try to walk as much as possible - even in little tiny bits like to the corner in back - our doctor said that internal movement and flow would be in accordance with external movement...

This routine worked without any painful cramps, which was a big benefit for us, since most of the 'strong' recommendations caused terrible cramps and didn't even work!

BUT also be aware that the sorbitol we found here (white box in the health food store) is corn-based and many people advice avoiding all corn products as much as possible, so please be careful before you accept this advice.

Karen said...

Please know I continue to pray for you....I have sent a very close friend of mine who was recently diagnosed to your blog.I respect the way you continue your life while fighting thid dragon,Hopimg D can get some of your spirit.
Hope your pain management is improving daily!......In my prayers

michele said...

Hope your pain is under control. Feel well.