Morphine on day +13

Day +13

K+ 4.3 Good!
Mag 1.5 Not Good! got IV supplement today
WBC .4 showing significant progress but still Not Good!
HGB 8.5 going down and will need a blood transfusion tomorrow
PTS 29 pretty shitty number but for a leukemia person this is Not Bad! Will need another transfusion tomorrow.

This is a summary of the last 4-5 days. Before today I was not capable of writing because the morphine drip makes me crazy. Like, there is a cat in my hospital room crazy. Also, had I tried to write a couple days ago it would have been just lines of random swear words. My friends who now hate me were lucky enough to be on my drunk texting list.

For the 4th day in a row I woke up in agony, both trembling and sweating. I had hoped that after I started the morphine drip I would be better. I avoid morphine because it makes me hallucinate. Not just the cat thing. I see and hear things that are not there. I startle when waking sometimes kicking or hitting whatever (or whomever) is close to me. I have a bruise on my foot and hand from this. I’m also loopy and woozy getting up to go to the bathroom so yesterday and today I’ve been an assist for mobilization with an alarm on my bed that goes off if I get up. I HATE this! You gave to call for help every time you have to go to the bathroom. If I want to walk across the room to hang up my bathrobe I have to get someone to help. It’s annoying and dehumanizing. Staying independent on most things that I have to do helps me feel more like a person. It’s hard to stay independent on morphine or if you are in excruciating pain.

The reason I’m having this pain is the chemo and radiation side effect called mucositis. This includes mouth sore but it’s really more described by saying its inflammation of mucos membranes. This causes the mouth, throat and all the way through the digestive track to become inflamed and extremely painful. My extremely painful areas are my throat and “all the way down the digestive track”. You get I’m saying? Of course you don’t because what I have is absolutely more terrifying than you can imagine. You probably shouldn’t read any more of this paragraph. What I have to say is TMI and ugly but if you are still reading it means you care more about me OR you are just super curious after my lead in. Here goes: I have an anal abscess. It started with mucositis in my digestive system including my rectum (gross, rectum!). I was in the bathroom going potty and I had a screaming, white light, shaking and sweating pain starting at the pooper and radiating down the legs. I had to call the nurse on my beep phone about the pain and he checked but since he didn’t see anything he brought me some perineal ice packs (genius for a dude!) and upped my pain medication before calling my doctor. The doctors on their first talk of it thought mucositis but the second time they saw me just out of the bathroom and the condition was given more attention. The doctors ( all three of them simultaneously) used an otoscope as flashlight to look in my butt. My nurse ran to my other side and grabbed my hand “in case I needed something to squeeze.” as the tiny Asian doctor slid her finger into my ass. Oh no, that just sounded really porny. By the time I got my pants back on the doctors had decided that it is an abscess. I was still shaking from the pain.

The treatment for an abscess is to lance and drain it. The hematologists say they can consult in a surgeon but there is no one who will touch me with these blood counts. I remember cardio wanted my platelets up to 100. That’s not going to happen anytime soon. So, I will have to deal with it for awhile. I was given high dose IV antibiotics and I feel slightly better today. I’m sure the constant morphine administration has helped with me feeling better.

After the doctors saw me and i was just in my room I spiked a fever. They had to draw blood cultures from my arm and from my central line. Result of those takes days. Then I had to start another antibiotic that they give to people with a fever of unknown origins. The docs had said that as a patient becomes and stays neutropenic they can spike a fever for no reason. It’s because we have no white blood cells.

This is my current IV cart. It is crazy heavy with 3 med pumpers and currently 8 bags of fluids and medication.


Posted on January 28, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I read every word you write. I hope it helps to know that there are so many of us out there hanging on your every word because we care (and not out of mornid curiosity). I am pretty sure the rest of your life is going to be unicorns and rainbows when you clear this rough patch. Because this is a really long, nasty, shitty rough patch. I would take a kitty in my hospital room over the pain of an abscess any day…but I hope they are both gone soon and you get a break.

  2. Amen Jen – fucking unicorns and rainbows is right… I would like to add, dancing fuzzy 6 foot teddy bears that just want to hug you to the mix…. damn Lauren – we love you

    • I read everything, I care and I just am looking forward to the day we all get to read this shit is behind you. You are so strong it is amazing. Hang in there and try not to scratch til you bleed from the morphine! I agree with jen and charisse, unicorn party at your house when this is over!

  3. I second, third, whatever the comments above Lauren…you are packing away some serious you-deserve-sunshine-and-rainbow tickets. Yeah. And still manage to make us smile with your nothing-held-back comments. You had me at the tiny Asian doctor……hang in Lauren. Think of you often!

  4. I read every post Lauren! Nothing is too awful to share – we care about YOU!!! And yes, you get unicorns and glitter and puppies and butterflies. Well, maybe not glitter – – I still consider glitter the herpes of craft supplies………….

  5. i was anxious to hear from you— I am a retired nurse and breast cnacer survivor++My heart hurts for you— you are in my prayers—- and your blogs are as colorful as the true adventure is right now– not a grain of independence or privacy left in your life—but keep word is your life—-you do have life and you are rebuilding–

  6. Elizabeth Connelly

    Lauren, I am Joe’s older but better sister 🙂 We have never met but Joe has told me a lot about you. You’re an amazing and brave woman to post your experience. You are touching the lives of people you don’t even know! Bring on all the descriptive words! Mucous,anus, rectum, porny, we don’t care! We are reading every word! Keep it coming. And if you want to post anymore handsome nurse photos, feel free. I wont complain.
    Oh and the bed alarm sucks but it’s only so you don’t go chasing after the cat in your room 🙂

  7. … many glittery unicorns as you want. Say the word, and I can start on a rainbow-colored barn for them to live in. We all love and care for you very much. No scratching, and keep us posted as we want to know what to pray for.

  8. Im checking in here as much as possible to see how you are. Thinking of you each day! Stay tough girl – you are gonna beat this thing 🙂

  9. Tiny Asian Doctor sounds like an awesome name for a porn. When anal fisting is not your fettish, you look for “Tiny Asian Doctor, Who Provides Anal Fingering For All Your Fettish Needs” I can see that winning big at the AVN’s this year!!

  10. I hope you are O.K. with a comment from a stranger…but I care too…and read every word! As a matter of fact, I was getting worried because you hadn’t updated in a few days. Now I know why…and I am so sorry! Sorry about the crazy cat, too…but I suppose it’s better than…I don’t know…a rabid monkey?? There is no other way to describe what you’re going through other than to say…IT SUCKS! Hang in there!

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