Friday, 1-18-02, and the word of the day is "YYYEEOOOWWWWCCHHHH"!!!
The pain in my toes is back - with a vengeance! Man, these little
piggies are hurting big time, just like they were when I first experienced
the pain in them back in December. It feels just like a toothache;
like an abscess; like a bad infection. Yes - the
kind of pain that makes you want to cry or kill something or both.
Things were going pretty well for a while there. I'd been prescribed
Neurontin for the pain, and within a few days it was controlling it very
well. Within a few days after that, the pain was gone
completely. I had to increase the dosage of the Neurontin as I went
along, going from 1 per day for the first few days, then 2 for a few days,
till I was up to 3 a day. That worked great for a few weeks, but
then - BAM!
I first noticed it on Monday, January 14th, but it wasn't too bad, and I
didn't pay much attention to it. On Tuesday, it was a little more
intense, and I took a Vicodin a few times that day to relieve them little
piggies. On Wednesday, I had to take 2 Vicodins each time to control
the pain. On Thursday, it took 3 Vicodins, and I called the doctor
The doc said not to take all those Vicodins because they'll fry my
liver. (Well, that doesn't sound like any fun, even though I DO like
fried liver - Just not mine!) Instead, he instructed me to start
upping my dosage of Neurontin. He said I should start doing 4 and
see how that works out for a few days, then 5 if needed, and I can go up
to 6 per day. I agreed, and immediately swallowed another
An hour later I swallowed 2 more Vicodins. Hey, I'm all for keeping
my liver intact, but trust me, THIS pain you cannot just ignore or deal
with! Until I get enough Neurontin in my system so that it can do
it's job, I don't have a choice, liver be damned!
Here's a link that explains what this type of pain is all about: Neuropathic
I got my blood drawn on Wednesday, January 16th, and the doc's office
called to tell me that my white count is 4.0, Hemoglobin is 11.6, platelets
are at 507 and I.N.R. is 1.86. Don't ask me what all that
means. Damn it Jim! I'm an engineer, not a doctor!
Anyway, the bottom line is that my Coumadin levels are pretty good now,
according to him, and I just need to maintain the present dosage, which
I've got so many prescriptions these days, and have to take certain drugs at certain times of the day, that I had to set it all up on my computer to
keep track of it. I use Outlook as a medication alarm system, and it
works really well for me. Half a dozen times a day, Arnold
Schwarzenegger tells me in his Terminator 2 voice, "My mission is to
protect you!" At the same time, a notice pops up on the screen
that tells me exactly which drug(s) to take.
I sync it up with my Palm Pilot IIIc, and no matter where I am, I get an
alert when it's time to take some drugs. It's times like this that
I'm really glad I'm a geek! Before I came up with this system, I was
fumbling around with, "Did I take this yet? Should I take
another just in case?" The thing about doing drugs is that they
leave you not altogether coherent. As my friend Larry says,
"That's why they call it 'dope'!" He's so wise...
Speaking of geeky stuff, Candy (who is also VERY computer savvy) and I set
up my computer while she was here with a database to work my billing for
me. We entered the names, addresses, total bills, payment amounts
and so forth. Now, all I have to do is click the mouse a couple of
times each month and my computer spits out all the pre-addressed envelopes
and such, keeps track of how much I've paid and how much I still owe each
doctor and hospital, and so forth. Pretty nifty!
Actually, Candy did almost all the work on it. I was pretty busy at
the time laying on the bed with my feet up, resting.
Hey, it's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it! Did I
mention, my sis's AWESOME?!
Anyway, fast forward a few days and I'm now up to 5 Neurontins a day, and
that seems to work pretty well. I can't feel any pain in my toes (or
anywhere else) and I haven't needed to take any more pain killers like
Vicodin lately. So, everything on that count is back to
My "blood clot" leg is still pretty weak, but getting stronger
by the day. At least I'm back out of the wheelchair again now, which
is good. I like it best when it's parked.
Yesterday, Wednesday, 1-23-02, I got my blood drawn again. They'll
likely call me today with the results, adjust my Coumadin levels if
necessary and let me know when they want the next blood draw. When
they call, I've got to remember to let them know that I'm only a few days
from running out of 2 of the prescriptions I take daily: Furosemide
(Lasix) and Allopurinol
(Zyloprim). They'll need to call in another prescription for
them if they want me to keep taking them.
Also yesterday, I paid my insurance premium online for February.
With a little luck, it will all go OK and I'll continue to be
covered. I keep my fingers crossed on that one anyway, just in
I get my 2nd chemo treatment in a few days, on Tuesday, January
29th. So far, I'm still not sick to my stomach and I've still got
all my hair. The only side effect from it (so far) seems to be an
increase in how tired I am these days, which really hasn't been a problem.
All in all, things are looking up, and I feel pretty good!
Next: Clot, Part Deux !