Monday, November 30, 2009

What's Up With the Doc 84? - The Overwhelms

Sorry to be so long away, but it's been a crazy couple of weeks. My energy level continues to decline and resulted in a rather precipitous decision to start my total disability at work last Tuesday. While driving isn't painful, it does seem to take it out of me to drive an hour to work and back and was leaving me little reserve to do anything meaningful. So now I am on total disability. Robert went today to pick up my personal items from work and to drop off pagers, phone and badges. Much paperwork was required - paperwork for the FMLA, paperwork to start a long term disability claim, paperwork for social security. That took up quite a bit of time and energy last week and especially Saturday morning, when I finished the Social Security application. I also saw the oncologist for Zometa on Tuesday and, while we agreed to stop Gemzar, we decided not to do a Hospice referral until I need "help" at home, whatever that is. More on that later.

Emma got in during the wee hours on Tuesday. Lindsay came up later that day and the cooking began Wednesday with turkey stock, cranberry dressing, cornbread for stuffing and desserts. Thursday I sat in the recliner and watched Lindsay and Emma, with help from Hannah, put together one of the very best Thanksgiving meals I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. Not only was the food great, there were no dustups of any kind and an early meal meant early cleanup and getting to bed at a reasonable time.

Friday I slept in and spent the day with Emma - she studying physiology while I worked a little on her quilt. Her father picked her up at 3:30 am Saturday to head for an early flight and once I got up I hit the Social Security website. I can only imagine that it was sitting in the chair at the computer for all those hours that resulted in the remarkable increase in pain I experienced by Saturday evening. Nothing specific. Nothing I could point to as something new. Nothing to say I had an infection or fracture or anything I could think of except all that sitting.

I was not much better on Sunday except that by the afternoon the pain had localized to my left mid back - a new spot for me. I called the doctor on call and we increased my pain meds by 50% and agreed that I would avoid the emergency department unless something new or different happened. So this morning I was on the phone to the oncologist's office first thing for more pain meds and the Hospice referral. They will be out Wednesday and I am looking forward to relaxing into their fine, always available, supportive care.

Today I feel better from the pain standpoint, although a bit high with the increased dose. That's unusual for me and I don't like it much, but I'm sure I'll adjust. I'm pretty sure Hospice will be changing my meds, anyway, so here's hoping for a smooth transition to the next phase of this disease.

I hope you all had as happy a Thanksgiving as I did with my family and ate as well.

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