Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Bit About Me

So this is a blog by me and about me so periodically I guess I should fill you in on how I am doing. Basically I am doing okay. My back continues to be the focal point of my life. Or should I call it the body part which provides pain and causes limitations?

On a day to day basis, I do okay. I can't lift anything over 20 lbs - which causes all sorts of fun. If I do, I can, I mean I am not instantly in pain but then my back reminds of my lack of adherence to this limitation for the next few days and requires ice and extra pain pills. The main source of continual pain (anywhere between 0 and 8 on the pain scale of 1-10) is my right sacroiliac joint (which is down between your tailbone and hip). I think it is inflamed and needs some cortisone - but then I am not the doctor, merely the patient so what do I know?

I also can't stand for any significant length of time. I mean I can stand. But if I am in a vertical position for more than an hour or so, my back reminds who is in charge and forces me to (painfully) sit down for a while and sometimes even apply ice for extended periods of time. If I am very bad, after a day which includes being vertical and doing something like shopping, hiking, volunteering at conferences, etc., I spend a couple days on ice with extended periods of crabbiness.

My back also keeps me on my toes by sometimes being cooperative and allowing me to roll over in bed or reach for something, but then other times the exact same motion results in shooting pains. I have been on the double dose of Lyrica for a few weeks and it seems to be doing the trick except for these extra 'special' pains or extended vertical periods. My back also has pointed out it doesn't like boat rides, bumpy car rides, walking on the beach and many other day to day activities. I am busy documenting all this and will bring in my list to my next back doctor appointment - which isn't for another month but I call weekly in hopes of a cancellation.

My ankle is getting better. But with all the anti inflammatories and pain meds for my back we wonder why it still can hurt. I was originally signed up for three weeks of PT but now they have extended it and I will go until Thanksgiving... Always at 730 in the morning. I will have to get more motivated first thing and do things like skip my morning wander on the (world's giant time suck a/k/a) the internet... I have exercises to do twice a day and if I remembered to do the new ones that I was given on the last visit, that would be a good thing. I go back to the ankle doctor just before Thanksgiving and hopefully get the green light. All this as a result of one nanosecond of klutziness.

I go to my new oncologist in a couple of weeks to find out all sorts of good things (I hope) on getting off Tamoxifen (because its almost been two years), blood counts, prognosis, etc. I am actually going to get my blood tests next week so when I see her the following week, she will have new blood work to look at and be able to provide all sorts of updated information. I have not met her yet but have heard good things that she listens and takes time with her patients - this is the through the patients informational chat channel. We all compare our doctors. I do have a list of questions for her... And a script for her to read that is full of good health...

In December I also go back to my radiation oncologist. I am not sure why she wants me back so soon but that's the price I pay for forgetting to ask about follow up when I saw her.

On my mental state, well I have switched to a monthly support group which is very different than the weekly one I went to. I also see my therapist still. And I am nearly two weeks into my anti-depressants... Do I feel better? Maybe. I think so. I think its hard to tell. My husband claims I am perkier. But I did go on the antidepressants at the same time my back pain meds were increased. So does less pain make me perkier or is it the anti depressant? I don't know. I'll just call it better living through chemistry.

Seriously - don't laugh. It seems like all I do is take pills and do stupid PT exercises. First thing: thyroid meds and tamoxifen. One hour later with food: two kinds of back meds and anti-depressant. After breakfast, six ankle exercises and four back exercises. Three or four hours later (or when I remember) vitamins. When I return home, repeat the six ankle exercises and two more kinds of back meds with food. Before bed, more back meds if my back is cranky. I now have two pill boxes which are day by day ones. But if chemistry (and PT exercises) are improving my life, I'm okay with that.

Now today I need to go take some pills and do exercises before I forget.


BaldyLocks said...

Thanks for you comment on my speech I had to do. It all went very well. I really hope that your upcoming appointments tell you that you can come off the Tamoxifen. It always feel like a small win when a drug is dropped.

Debby said...

It is discouraging sometimes. I wish that I could think of something that would actually make it better.

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