Whew, what a week. Last Tuesday I had an atomic bomb placed in my liver. Other than a little fatigue, I felt pretty darn good. Wednesday I had an appointment with Dr. P which included a physical that found him pressing on my newly nuked liver. No problem, felt fine, no pain and good to go. Dr. Z had prescribed a few oxycodone to get me thru the initial few days, but I hadn’t needed much. I hate to take narcotics. Fortunately I have a high pain tolerance.
Thursday was a whole different day. I woke up in intense pain. I needed my little pills. I was concerned as I looked at the calender of my planned activities: displaying my wares at the art fair on Saturday and Sunday, followed by a book presentation on Monday. Hard to sell art (even my brilliant renderings) or do public speaking when you’re grimacing in pain. Heck, there was no way I could make it through the weekend without some more narcs. Unfortunately Dr. Z is an hour drive away and you can’t fax or phone narcotic orders to the pharmacy so little Lee was gonna have to drive an hour north to get my drugs. This is rather unusual here in southern Arizona as you usually drive south get drugs. In any case I called Dr. Z, got ahold of her Physicians Assistant and pleaded for DRUGS!!!! The PA was taken aback. It was highly unusual for the level of pain to increase, let alone increase dramatically. She inquired if I had taken my Medrol, a steroid that reduces inflammation. I confirmed that I had taken them as prescribed, one 4mg pill Wednesday and one 4mg pill Thursday morning. There was a long pause on her end of the line. The prescription was for a Medrol Dosepak, which has the user take 21 tablets, taking several pills per day over a six day period, with six pills on the first day gradually reducing to one on the sixth day. The prescription I received was for 21 tablets with directions to take one pill per day for 21 days. By the time I spoke to the PA I should have already taken 9 pills instead of just the 2. As a result my liver was inflamed and elbowing my other organs causing severe pain. The PA immediately gave me new instructions for the remaining 19 pills and I felt much better by Friday morning. There was a fumble between the hospital nurse assigned to me who called in the prescription and the pharmacy, I don’t know who screwed up. But all is well now.
Friday through Monday morning I had the normal side effects of a Y-90 procedure: body ache, low grade fever, fatigue and heart burn……NO pain. Lee and I had a good art sale. We each sold several paintings and garnered some new commissions. Per Lee’s suggestion, I also took some of my books to the sale. This gave me the opportunity to not only sell a few books, but also talk to people about dealing with crappy diseases.
Sunday morning my column appeared in the Green Valley News, with a feature box highlighting my book presentation on Monday afternoon. Fortunately by Monday afternoon the body ache and fever disappeared and I was my normal goofy self for my “standing room only”presentation (one person had to stand).
Today is Election Day, hopefully you all voted. As I’m sure most of you do, I hate all the advertising and bumper stickers during these times. But yesterday I spotted this bumper sticker to which I heart fully and with no restraint agree: