Drugs for a better way of life
Tonight was pill sorting night. I hate pill sorting night. I’m glad I’m not a pharmacist because the one day a week I have to count and sort and refill meds make me groan with boredom and annoyance. It’s a necessary part of my routine as a sick person. I take pills three times a day for currently a total of 22 pills daily. If I make a mistake I can end up sick and in the hospital.
Hence, my trip to the ER this week on Monday.
I had a poor and unexpected reaction to one of my first chemo meds (Vincristine) from when I first started treatment. It caused an autonomic neuropathy that cause my heart rate to be tachycardic and my blood pressure to drop so low that I would black out. Since then I have been taking two heart medications. My heart is actually fine but the nerve disorder prevents it from doing what it’s capable of doing.
Back to this week, Monday. My nurturing and hilarious friend Jon took me to the OSU medical center to see the orthopedic surgeon to check on my fractured ankle. I’ve been feeling well with no ankle pain so I decided to walk from the parking garage to the office on first floor James hall. I remember walking. I’m pretty sure Jon cracked a joke about how I need to walk faster and how I’m such an old lady. And then the hallway got longer and narrow. I saw people walking in front of me but they were far away. I had no peripheral vision and I could not focus my eyes. I was told that next Jon got me to stop and I leaned on the wall. Then I leaned on the wall and on him. I got heavier while he tried to get my attention. I could not see him and he laughs now that I asked him “when did they put a river in here?”. At this point I remember nothing but I was obviously fainting or passing out. Jon, who’s heart is sometimes bigger than his head, knew that I did not want to go to the ER because I always get sucked up into the hospital vortex and it takes days if not weeks to disentangle and get back to the world. Re-admittance has been frequent and unavoidable so he gave me a chance to snap out of whatever was happening to my body.
At this point a nice blonde nurse stopped to help. It was the nurse from my orthopedic surgeon’s office who came down the hall to get his coffee. I don’t remember much at all except a lot of blonde hair and a handsome doctor behind her but apparently she did an assessment and I failed. She said we needed to go to the ER and I argued and said I was fine. I was just needed to get my ankle checked. Thankfully, Jon and the nurse and probably everyone in that hallway at the time knew better and I was wheelchaired to the ER. Again, I got a direct pass and didn’t even have to go through triage. They must see my name pop up and start making my bed. Although, this time there were no pillows to be found so Jon did his best with a rolled up sheet to lay my head on.
The cause of this episode at the hospital was a mistake I made with my meds. Those two heart meds that I’ve been taking? Yeah, I was supposed to have weaned off of one of them months ago. It is this medication that along with my empty stomach and possible dehydration caused me to become the crazy hallway lady refusing to admit that she was passing out.
I got out of there relatively easily and the end result is actually positive. I don’t need as much medication and my heart nerve disorder may be repairing itself. Getting home I slept for about 24 hours straight and since then I’ve been feeling great.
I’m happy that October is over and I can go back to white caps on my Walgreens instead of pink.