Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ohhh Loopy....I'm home

So my feet have been killing me and today I was at SVCCC to run more bloodwork and have a few tests done. It was an exciting day. I drew 14 tubes of blood - I had to wait as they had to warm up some of the tubes (apparently some tests require warm tubes!) Additionally, I had a mini-Lyposuction done today for one of the tests. This test has a great visual but I forgot to take a picture. There's a needle (of course) and this massive aluminum handle gadget, imagine the extension gripper thingy you see on late night informercials (to get that cup from the top of your kitchen cabinet - they never explained how you were able to place it there initially but hey, it works!). The doc goes to a nice fatty area of your body (which, due to my recent bout of inactivity, I was easily able to provide), sticks in the needle and then pokes around in a variety of directions while using the gripper to slowly suck out the fat cells. "You may feel a bit of pain, if it gets bad let me know as we may be hitting a nerve rather than getting into the fatty tissue." Me: "Ok, I feel that now, yes, it's starting to hurt now, yes, that part is painful". Him: "I'm going to count to 10 and then we'll be done, one............two........" and this goes on for the slowest 10 count I've ever experienced. So what happened to we may be on a nerve? He had to do this twice. It wasn't really that painful and he was done in about 10 minutes. This test is to rule out another related issue (related to Myeloma) that could be potentially causing the neuropathy.

There were a rash of other tests performed today as well, checking B vitamin levels, as well as testing for other potentially harmful bacteria or viruses in my system (hepatitis, etc.) I was also given two injections/vaccinations to help prevent against potential issues. As mentioned previously, due to my low IGG count, I am susceptible to infections (sinus infection, etc.) These vaccinations will help prevent any issues. So let's think about my day thus far: blood drawn (one needle), liposuction (two needles) and vaccination one and two (two needles, into muscle area of either shoulder). I'm having a blast thus far just trying to find all the band aids I need to remove.

I next met w/ the pain management nurse to discuss my feet. We discussed a variety of options and she got me over the scare of opiate based drugs. To start, the expectation is the neuropathy should be over with in about a month and a half. We decided on two things to assist. First, there is the Nortriptyline (see link for details) that is supposed to work with the Lyrica to assist in rebuilding or fixing the nerve endings that are being affected. Take one of these at night time (as it will make you sleepy). Next is the Dilaudid (again, see link) which is an opiate derivative. This, like morphine, is the pain killer. To make sure it worked, she gave me two, very small tablets, 2mg each. We had to wait for 45 minutes to confirm if it was working. At the end of that time, my feet were still shooting their fireworks with really no change (except for a slight fuzzy/tunnel vision feeling around my face). When the 4mg wasn't working, she gave me two more, saying, "well, you are a big guy." After the prescribed period I could definitely start to feel an improvement in the feet. There was a markedly increased amount of fuzzy and tunnel vision as well. It isn't quite like being drunk, but there's definitely a buzz and I'm walking around in a displaced, absent minded manner (please feel free to insert the sarcastic comment I know you are thinking of at this time.) Everyone should be pleased that I did speak w/ the nurses in charge and did get clearance to have beer while on the medications. I was told I may get loopy rather quick but go slowly and gauge myself. I'm all set for that scientific experiment!

I will say, this process started around 11am with the second dose shortly after Noon and my feet still feel free and clear (as of 1740). This isn't the end as I'm still going to see a neurologist next week so they can look at my feet and I'm also scheduling an acupuncture session to see if that helps (SVCCC has an acupuncturist on staff).

For me, this is very good news. I was also cleared to start up the Revlimid maintenance. That will all start in the next week or so. Numbers-wise, my WBC and RBC counts are still a bit low but very close to normal and everything else is looking fine. So potentially I may not have much news in the immediate future - so I'll try to find something funny to talk about!



Bill McHugh said...

You need to see Dr Gregory House. It only takes 60,minutes, but he always finds the problem and solution. (Address Fox TV)

rugbyhubby said...

I thin k I've got enough doctor's for now thank you, let along a Fox TV quack!