Yeesh. So, I can finally think/see straight enough to write some stuff down. It’s been a rough few days. Also, I’m writing this about an hour after getting a dose of dilaudid, which is a serious pain killer, so if there are typos, or I lose my train of thought or something, forgive me. I’ll try to come back and fix it when I’m not in such a haze. But first, some good news!
My buddy Ben and I found an awesome deal on Gilt City last week where you get to drive your choice of either a Lamborghini Gallardo or a Ferrari F430. I took the lambo, and he took the Ferrari. Short laps around a parking lot autocross, but I have to say, it was still a blast.
That night, I had my sister and brother in law over to have some fried chicken sandwiches with Ben and I. It was a night to test this recipe, designed to taste and look just like a Chick-Fil-A sandwich, but without having to support a bigotted and anti-gay establishment. Win/win?
Unfortunately, I didn’t snap any pictures of those – they disappeared entirely too quickly. But the recipe was a success, and I have to say, it was one of the best pieces of fried chicken I’ve ever made, and up there in terms of fried chicken I’ve ever had.
That, unfortunately, is the last meal I’ve been able to eat since.
I woke Sunday with a crazy amount of throat pain. I couldn’t swallow my own saliva. I was only slightly feverish (99.1), and didn’t really know what to do. I chose to basically sleep and read in bed and suffer. We tried to get a hold of the team, to get some pain meds, but there were a few screw ups on their end, and by the time they actually got everything correctly filled and such, I had spiked up to 100.8. That’s above the minimum where they wanted me to come straight to the ER in the hospital.
That was at about 9PM. So…long day of a metric shit ton of pain in my throat.
Once we got to the ER, we showed my little yellow card that says “Oh Hai, I have Leukemia, Please take care of me quickly”, and they did exactly that. I was immediately triaged (get your vitals taken, get hooked up to an EKG, explain to your first 3 people what brought you to the ER), then I was brought out to the ER waiting room. Barely 2 seconds of waiting and we were brought to an ER bed.
They drew some blood there, gave me some tyelenol (liquid, because I still can’t swallow things), some viscous lidocaine (grossest thing I’ve ever had in my mouth…but it helped a little), and finally, some morphine.
The morphine was such a relief to get it’s not even funny. I finally felt normal, for the first time in ~17 hours. Which may not seem that long, but when every passing minute feels like an eternity, hours pass like centuries.
Unfortunately, like every other substance on the planet, morphine apparently does not affect me as long as it usually affects other people. 30 minutes later, and I was back in pain.
After a while, they moved me to a room in the urgent care / ER section of the first floor. It was technically an ENT exam room that they just threw my stretcher in. I was told I would be getting transfered up to the 10th floor (leukemia ward) soon, and that they’d discharged people, so it shouldn’t be too long.
Monday Morning (Technically still Sunday night)
They continued to give me morphine throughout the night, but it continued to only work for short periods of time. They tried adding some oxycodon, but it didn’t really help. I had been put on anti-biotics almost immediately, but honestly, I don’t really remember much of that night, other than a string of various different types of doctors coming in to take a look at my throat/mouth.
That day, I was stuck in the ER room. I went for a CAT scan, my first with contrast dye involved. I didn’t notice it. I think I was in entirely too much pain to notice a “slight warming sensation” from the iodine dye.
The tests came back negative from the CAT scan, so it seems like I just have a “generic” infection of the right peri-tonsilar (no clue how to spell that…friends in med school / fellowships / smarter than me, how do you spell that bit? Thanks!) area. Which is good, I guess, but it is wildly unpleasant.
Somewhere around Monday afternoon, my mom came by and basically said “Can you guys please stop putzing around with morphine and try something better?” So they did, and they gave me dilaudid. Which I got during the end of my first visit to the hospital, to help deal with the bone pain I was getting from my neupogen shot. However, that time, I got it orally, which basically did nothing. This time, I’ve been getting it IV, and holy crap. I can totally see why its nick named “hospital heroin”. That stuff does not mess around.
UPDATE: Totally forgot to mention this, one of the most unpleasant experiences to date!
So when the ENT (ear nose throat) doctor Melanie stopped by to take a look at me, she had to get a view of my throat. So, she used a tongue depresser, shoved my mouth open as wide as it would go (not very), and shined a light down the back of my throat. Cool. Done. Whatever.
She starts explaining about how she has to stick a camera up my nose, down my throat, and take a little gander around. I barely have time to process that before she just straight hoses my down with this VILE tasting and smelling liquid spray nonsense. Basically got it all over my face. Ugh.
Then, she goes right in the nostril with the camera. And you can feel every little ridge in the camera’s neck. You can feel it inch along your throat. You can feel her twisting and turning it. At one point, she had me open my mouth and stick out my tongue, and I really wanted to give the camera the finger from outside my mouth.
My mom and my sister were both present, and neither could watch. Both said they didn’t know how I didn’t gag, and my sister was half gagging, even though she wasn’t actually watching at all.
All I could think of was something wildly inappropriate that I can’t put in a place that my family reads. Sorry people, it’s a fantastic line, but if you wanna hear it, you have to contact me privately.
WILDLY UNPLEASANT. DO NOT RECOMMEND.
Unfortunately, it still doesn’t really eliminate the throat pain, so I still haven’t really been able to eat anything.
Monday night, just before midnight, they finally got me a room on the 10th floor. 26 hours of being in the ER room…no big deal.
They got me up here, where I got a little nauseous, so they gave me some ativan, and I was finally able to sleep for a little bit, at least.
So far, still in a large amount of pain, still receiving anti-biotics and pain killers, and hopefully I can convince them to up the dosage on the dilaudid. Or give me yet another pain killer that might target my throat a little more directly.
Wish me luck!