Morphine on 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.