Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 3: The Going Gets Rough

I suspect the going isn't really rough yet. I think I'm just having to gear up for the first time.

My mouth gets more red and inflamed each day, though I don't have any actual sores yet. The nurse told me that the salt and soda mix may be too harsh already. I switched to "miracle mouthwash," which has lidocaine, a tiny amount of benadryl, and I think Milanta in it.

It's a real effort to get up and go to the sink to rinse, probably much like having the flu. However, if I fall asleep for a couple hours, my mouth is dry and burning when I wake up, so there's a lot of motivation to get up and take care of it. It may be inevitable that it gets worse, but no sense compounding the problem.

In a few minutes, they're going to give me a pain pump so that I can hit it and give myself pain medication whenever I want. Usually, that would be morphine, but morphine doesn't work on me. The last time I got morphine, they gave me two doses because my shoulder was out of joint and the doctor needed to set it. It didn't relieve any pain, and it confused me so that I could no longer deal with the pain myself. I really don't want to try that again.

So this is Dilaudid. It's pretty potent. I remember how well it worked last time when I was having terrible cramps and nerve pain from receiving Cytarabine in my spinal fluid. It comes in through the IV, so it goes into effect in about 10 seconds.

I don't need it right now, but it will probably be very helpful for hemorrhoid and going to the bathroom issues. I wish that getting IV nutrition without eating meant that nothing had to go through my bowels, but it doesn't. They want me to be at least a little regular. I don't know how all that works, and I really don't want to spend any time thinking about it.

I seem to sleep okay, even if it's all in one to three hour stints.

Because I'm sleeping in naps, the easiest time to get up and exercise last night was at 2:30 am! It just worked out that was when I felt most rested. I walked a half mile.

The hemorrhoids can affect the walking, and they may do so more over the next couple weeks, so I have some exercises in bed that I can do as well. The big thing, the nutritionist says, is to make sure there's enough exercise that I'm not losing all my muscle and only maintaining weight by increasing fat. The other thing is to make sure there's some harder breathing to prevent pneumonia.

Achieving harder breathing is easy. That just takes getting out of bed and walking to the sink at this point :-D.

I'm not walking quickly, that's for sure, but I'm not quite at "trudge" yet. I think "trudge" is coming soon, and the laps will keep decreasing for a while. Getting around takes a lot more effort than it did just two days ago, but putting one foot in front of the other is not really that bad once I'm up.

The changes from one day to the next seem pretty rapid right now, so I went ahead and described them for those who are interested and for those who are going to go through the same thing themselves. I won't do that every day, as that hardly seems beneficial.

In fact, now that everything takes a lot more effort, we'll see what's best. Maybe I'll just give you a very short update each day, or I'll just blog every few days. Anyway, if you don't hear from me, it doesn't mean I'm deathly sick. It may just be normal fatigue for my situation. Just a blog like this tends to sap all my energy so that I have to nap.

In the future, I'll also try to find something interesting that isn't just discussing my problems.

It's still all good. People are still serving me and saving my life. This is still God's path for me. I keep thinking of what martyrs for Christ have endured through the ages and what others in this hospital are enduring, and I remember that I have hundreds of reasons to be grateful and not a single legitimate reason to complain. I am not a suffering man, but a well-loved and extremely blessed man.


  1. Amen. Hear's to the journey. Praying everyday. BTW, they found my match. :)