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ProfessorTomoe

Changing Medications (Level of Trust Required)

638 posts in this topic

I knew there was going to be another trip to the hospital. I just didn't think that the original pain would return and force the doctor's hand so soon.

The scheduler didn't call today. Probably because of the hospital requirement, plus the late-ish hour that this got rolling. Hope they call tomorrow. I want this pain gone.

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14 hours ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

Just when you think it can't get any worse ... it gets worse.

That truly is full of the suck.  That might even pull multiple Lovelaces1

1The Great Wiki is slightly wrong, a Lovelace (Ll) applies to all things that suck, not just computer OS.

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51 minutes ago, mlooney said:

That truly is full of the suck.  That might even pull multiple Lovelaces1

1The Great Wiki is slightly wrong, a Lovelace (Ll) applies to all things that suck, not just computer OS.

Well, 2009/2010 were my multiple Lovelace years. Don't know how this compares yet. At least I'm not being fed intravenously and receiving blood transfusions to stay alive. Doubt that'll happen anytime soon.

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Another day passes with no scheduler call. I have never consciously wanted to go into a hospital more than I do now (outside of emergencies). I can't walk through the house without searing pain on my right side, from my back through the side of my hip all the way down to my foot. I need my cane to get around inside now, not just outside.

Good lord, this hurts.

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52 minutes ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

Another day passes with no scheduler call. I have never consciously wanted to go into a hospital more than I do now (outside of emergencies). I can't walk through the house without searing pain on my right side, from my back through the side of my hip all the way down to my foot. I need my cane to get around inside now, not just outside.

Good lord, this hurts.

I hope they get room for you soon. :( This sounds terrible. Please keep us posted.

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Keep calling them.  They'll either be convinced you need more immediate attention, or they'll want to get you out of their hair and get you to leave them alone.  And if you only call once, there's always some chance that a message got lost or shuffled to the bottom of the pile and they need you to call them back.

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27 minutes ago, CritterKeeper said:

Keep calling them.  They'll either be convinced you need more immediate attention, or they'll want to get you out of their hair and get you to leave them alone.  And if you only call once, there's always some chance that a message got lost or shuffled to the bottom of the pile and they need you to call them back.

Good plan. One phone call scheduled for Monday.

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Well, I called and bugged the hell out of the spine doctor's scheduler. I now have a hospital date for the cortisone injection(s) into my right lumbar spine.

It's May 16th. That's one day shy of a month away from now.

The reason? My spine doctor is only allowed to use the next-door hospital on certain dates. (His medical group has their own outpatient surgical center, but the anesthesiologist group they've contracted with does not accept Blue Cross (!!!), so I have to have my procedures done in the hospital.) May 16th is the soonest available date for him to use the hospital's facilities.

Until then, I'm going to have to figure out some way to deal with acute, searing pain from my right lumbar spine, through my hip down to my toes. I have a call in to his nurse to try and get some sort of pain reliever that will actually work (my current ones aren't cutting it). Once we work that out, I'll have to hope that he'll give me enough to last for the next month.

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Yeah, that is pulling at least 0.5 Ll, maybe even a full Ll.

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27 minutes ago, mlooney said:

Yeah, that is pulling at least 0.5 Ll, maybe even a full Ll.

The pain itself is pulling almost a full LI at the moment. I'm going through Tramadol at the label dosage (1-2 every 4-6 hrs) instead of one twice a day (chronic pain management dosage). That's taking the razor edge off, but not for long. I'm going to need something stronger than Tramadol, which means Mrs. Prof is probably going to have to drive me out to Rockwall so that I can get a paper prescription from the doctor, if he'll prescribe hydrocodone or stronger.

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3 hours ago, Vorlonagent said:

liked as a gesture of sympathy...

Very much appreciated. However, since that last post, things have become weirder with my back.

I got lucky and got an appointment just after noon today with my spine doctor. He wrote me out a prescription for enough hydrocodone (3x daily) to tide me over until the scheduled May 16th procedure date. However, that date might not matter anymore.

The doctor was confused by what I said the nurse had told me would happen on the 16th. He says my MRI and diagnostic shot data doesn't jibe with a simple single-cause issue on my right side. So, he's ordered an electromyogram to be performed this Friday at the doctor's office and a CT myelogram to be performed at the hospital (the hospital with call and schedule, hopefully tomorrow).

After all of that, I'm supposed to follow up with a different doctor at the practice who specializes in spinal surgery. That doctor will determine if I get a major epidural cortisone/anesthetic injection through my tailbone into my spinal cord, or if some kind of back surgery will be required.

In one day, I've gone from a simple cortisone injection to a possible major epidural or even spinal surgery. This is going the wrong farking direction.

There is one upside, however—the doctor was more than happy to let me continue taking the Topamax, since it's helped me lose almost 20 pounds since I started taking it.

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48 minutes ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

In one day, I've gone from a simple cortisone injection to a possible major epidural or even spinal surgery. This is going the wrong farking direction.

There is one upside, however—the doctor was more than happy to let me continue taking the Topamax, since it's helped me lose almost 20 pounds since I started taking it.

*wince* Still not exactly a trip to the beach. But I am glad you are hanging in there. Tell Mrs. Prof that we have both of you in our thoughts and that we hope things will turn around soon.

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51 minutes ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

In one day, I've gone from a simple cortisone injection to a possible major epidural or even spinal surgery. This is going the wrong farking direction.

There is one upside, however—the doctor was more than happy to let me continue taking the Topamax, since it's helped me lose almost 20 pounds since I started taking it.

I'm hoping this means that they're getting to the root of things rather than just going by rote.

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Thanks again, and I'll definitely pass along thanks to Mrs. Prof once she gets back from trapping feral cats tonight. Mrs. Prof has to drive me everywhere, since 1) the pain going down my leg is too severe, and 2) the hydrocodone screws up my reaction time too badly. She's having to take time off from work to get me to places, especially to the CT myelogram, since it's a hospital outpatient procedure that requires a 3 hour recovery time (they do an epidural to inject contrast medium, so there's the possibility of an epidural-induced headache).

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1 hour ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

Thanks again, and I'll definitely pass along thanks to Mrs. Prof once she gets back from trapping feral cats tonight. Mrs. Prof has to drive me everywhere, since 1) the pain going down my leg is too severe, and 2) the hydrocodone screws up my reaction time too badly. She's having to take time off from work to get me to places, especially to the CT myelogram, since it's a hospital outpatient procedure that requires a 3 hour recovery time (they do an epidural to inject contrast medium, so there's the possibility of an epidural-induced headache).

Does it make financial sense to use a ride service like Lyft or Uber in place of Mrs. Prof?  At least when your rides conflict with her work?

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40 minutes ago, Vorlonagent said:

Does it make financial sense to use a ride service like Lyft or Uber in place of Mrs. Prof?  At least when your rides conflict with her work?

I don't know, and I doubt I'll be able to find out. I have a Nokia Lumia 1020, otherwise known as a Windows Phone (Win 8.1). Great camera on it, but I doubt there's an Uber or Lyft app for it. Besides, I have to have someone who I know drive me home from the CT myelogram, just like any other outpatient hospital procedure where you're sedated.

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16 hours ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

I don't know, and I doubt I'll be able to find out. I have a Nokia Lumia 1020, otherwise known as a Windows Phone (Win 8.1). Great camera on it, but I doubt there's an Uber or Lyft app for it. Besides, I have to have someone who I know drive me home from the CT myelogram, just like any other outpatient hospital procedure where you're sedated.

Not to push too hard on an option that isn't the most workable...but both rideshare companies can book from web pages.  You could catch a to-procedure ride with one of them and have Mrs. Prof take the return leg.

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14 minutes ago, Vorlonagent said:

Not to push too hard on an option that isn't the most workable...but both rideshare companies can book from web pages.  You could catch a to-procedure ride with one of them and have Mrs. Prof take the return leg.

I will look into it. Thank you!

Don't know how much it'll cost, since both the spine doctor(s) and the hospital are several miles away—that might be the real deal breaker. My primary care doctor is marginally closer, so it might be more workable for him, but given the average length of a doctor's appointment, Mrs. Prof might want to save the money and just come with me if I have to see him.

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7 minutes ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

I will look into it. Thank you!

Don't know how much it'll cost, since both the spine doctor(s) and the hospital are several miles away—that might be the real deal breaker. My primary care doctor is marginally closer, so it might be more workable for him, but given the average length of a doctor's appointment, Mrs. Prof might want to save the money and just come with me if I have to see him.

Pinning down rates can be somewhat difficult because they can increase with aggregate demand. 

Meaning the best time for you to get a ride is when nobody else wants one.

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That's the best time to buy lots of things.

For a service, you'll still have to pay at least the cost of providing it. But for any sort of goods, from solar-powered dancing hula girls (featured today at a local dollar store) up to and including real estate, you may find a seller who is desperate to (get some cash | get rid of stuff | make room for other stuff) and will thus sell it at a loss.

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Starting the analgesic ladder now.  Migraine seems lower than normal, but my legs are cramping due to last night's twich party.

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My Dad used to volunteer to give rides to people who had medical appointments, not just in town but in nearby towns, too.  I have no idea what group or charity organized it, but you should look into whether that's an option in your area.  If it's someone who volunteers regularly, they might be more flexible about having to know the person, and if not maybe you could take them out to lunch ahead of time and then just describe them as "a friend."  Ask your town/village senior services, ask your church, ask the hospital if they have (or know of) any sort of services for those in need.  Several towns around here have vans available for transport for seniors even for non-medical things.  Your local public transit system might also have something for the disabled, which your doc should be willing to declare you!

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Part of the reason that I want Mrs. Prof to drive me to my appointments is so she won't grill me over what the doctor said afterward. She has a nasty tendency not to trust my memory of what goes on during my doctor's visits. Bring her with me == no problems. ^_^

BTW, she got to witness me going through a painful procedure on Friday—the electromyogram to help diagnose my back pain. It wasn't as invasive as I thought it would be (picture the scene from "The Right Stuff" where they insert that huge needle in Alan Shepard's hand and send electric pulses through it—yeah, it was nothing like that), but it was still bad enough. I didn't have to disrobe beyond taking off my right shoe and sock. Afterward, the doctor zapped me in multiple with something that looked and felt like the business end of an oversized 9v battery.

The worst part came when he was trying to detect breaks in the signals coming from my back to my foot. He inserted needles in several spots along my lower right leg and then had me move my toes, foot, and leg around while some electricity went through me. All the while, he was listening to the shortwave-like signals generated by my movements. I had one spot where my signals sounded broken up, but he figured that was due to my formerly broken ankle and the nerve damage that went with it. Everything else sounded more-or-less normal, he said.

Basically, I'm going to have to hope that this coming Wednesday's CT Myelogram is able to pinpoint the problem. If not, I'm afraid I'm going to be left with a team of stumped spine doctors and a massive pain from my back down my leg.

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Dear God. With everything else that has been going on, I did not need this.

I logged in to CVS to check on my Trintellix anti-depressant prescription refill. It's a 30-day supply, and I have a discount card from the manufacturer. Even with that, the price is usually around $106.

This time it was listed as around $208.

My mind went into panic mode. What's the deal? Why the increase? I received an e-mail from them only a few days ago, reminding me of their wonderful discount program. Did they cancel it?

Then I realized—I've been on the stuff for about a year. The discount is good for 12 months. I'm screwed.

Still, I printed out the latest e-mail with my enrollment information and put it next to Mrs. Prof's purse so she could check it when she goes to CVS (I still can't drive due to pain and hydrocodone). Maybe it'll still be good.

An increase from around $1200 a year to $2400 a year, Mrs. Prof's about to retire, and I've still got musical and computer hardware supplies I need to buy. I did not need this.

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