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ProfessorTomoe

Changing Medications (Level of Trust Required)

1,098 posts in this topic

27 minutes ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

My podiatrist appointment is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. Thursday. I guess I'll find out then if I need surgery to fix the bones in my foot. I'll also find out if I can have the back procedure on Tuesday of next week.

Good luck, Prof. And take good care of yourself.

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7 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

Those boots are NOT for walking.

You ain't just whistlin' Dixie, as the Looney Tunes cartoons would say. I can barely walk with this damned thing on, since it raises my left leg so high above my right one when I'm not wearing a right shoe.

I'm supposed to keep weight off the ball of my foot and put pressure on my heel, which isn't broken. However, the bit of wrapping above my ankle makes that difficult. Sitting down is difficult, too, thanks to the iron bars that run up both sides of the thing. Just when I think I've got the rubber tread braced against the laminate floor, I wind up slipping on the support bar. I'm probably scraping the hell out of the floor, which Mrs. Prof is going to just loooooove.

Even sitting on the toilet is difficult now. I'll leave that one to your imagination.

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4:03 a.m. CDT 20170511. I think my cat realizes something is wrong with me. He's spending a lot more time next to me on the sofa lately. I woke up to take my pain medicine, and he got up and curled up in the corner next to me. He was freaked out by the ski boot when I came home yesterday, but he just got a good sniff of it and decided it's harmless (I guess he doesn't know about what the steel bars can do if they step on his tail).

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23 minutes ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

4:03 a.m. CDT 20170511. I think my cat realizes something is wrong with me. He's spending a lot more time next to me on the sofa lately. I woke up to take my pain medicine, and he got up and curled up in the corner next to me. He was freaked out by the ski boot when I came home yesterday, but he just got a good sniff of it and decided it's harmless (I guess he doesn't know about what the steel bars can do if they step on his tail).

Cats are like that. I'm glad you have such a good friend. Give him some scritches from me and tell him he is doing a good job.

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11:49 a.m. CDT 20170511. Mrs. Prof is about to get ready first for our trip to the podiatrist. I'll be getting ready second. At some point before we go, my support boot is going to have to come off so I can shower/get dressed. Mrs. Prof was an old hand at putting me in my "moon boots" when my ankles had been broken. Let's see how good she is with my new "ski boot" for my foot. Frankly, now that I know how many fractures I've got in it, the whole idea of taking the boot off scares me a good deal. Then again, the thing is DAMNED UNCOMFORTABLE, so I really want out of it for all the wrong reasons.

I've managed to get sleep on my right side—the one with my back nerve issue. It could be because the other pains that I'm dealing with are outweighing it at the moment. Who knows. What I do know is that I overslept my 10:00 a.m. pain medicine dose, and everything is hurting again. I don't set alarms because I rarely get more than four hours of continuous sleep anyway. This was an exception. Anyway, all I can do is wait for my hydrocodone to kick back in.

Was told yesterday by the podiatrist's nurse that I'm going to have to fill out 8 pages of paperwork. That's why I've got to be there at 2:45 p.m. when my appointment is actually at 3:15 p.m. CDT. I usually cheat a good part of these paperwork traps by bringing three things of my own: printouts from a spreadsheet I maintain, where I keep track of my medications, my operations/procedures, and my medical allergies. When I get to those portions of the paperwork, I can just write, "SEE ATTACHED" and move along to the next section. I hope that it either makes the office clerk's job easier or, if they take satisfaction in putting people through paperwork hell, pissed off the little twerp to no end.

I'll report back on the appointment as soon as possible. That'll depend on what happens—whether they do nothing, schedule an MRI (the biggest medical cop-out there is, IMHO), or schedule me for surgery. I doubt he'll throw me in the hospital for an inpatient procedure, but you never know. If that happens, it might take a bit longer for me to get back to you.

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On 5/10/2017 at 3:15 AM, mlooney said:

Seems my dizzy spells happen as a result of going from laying down to standing upright.  As of the last 48 hours or so, I have a 100% hit rate.  Getting up out of chair, no problem. Getting up from bed? Be prepared for possible face plant.

Probably a blood pressure issue.  The body is supposed to redirect more blood to your brain when there's a sudden change in elevation relative to the rest of you, so that the blood flow is uninterrupted when it has to switch from level to flowing upward.  Sometimes it isn't quick enough and your blood pressure in your brain drops briefly when you get up too fast.  It can happen even without drugs to some people.

Try going from lying down to sitting, and pause a few seconds before carrying on to standing up.

7 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

Cats are like that. I'm glad you have such a good friend. Give him some scritches from me and tell him he is doing a good job.

Likewise.

 

Darn it, Prof, I miss checking the boards for a couple of days, and you go and do something like this!  I'm so sorry you're going through so much.  Please continue to keep us all updated.  My dad battled edema and weight for many years, and falling was always one of his biggest worries.  If he'd fallen, there's no way any one, or maybe even two, person(s) could have lifted him up.  He had his paths through the house for his walker, and I had to make sure my laptop cord didn't get in his way when I sat on the living room couch.  I'd suggest focusing on keeping a clear path between where you spend the most time, and the bathroom.  ;-)

If it weren't more painful for you on your back, I'd ask my mom about giving you his recliner, which has a lift built in that helped him stand up from it safely.  Shipping alone from IL would have to be cheaper than buying a brand new one, right?  Probsbly not the case with his walker, though, so I'm glad you got a new one.  I recommend getting a cupholder for it if you do wind up using it inside.  Saves spills.

Sorry, I hope I'm not driving you nuts.  It's just hard to satisfy the urge to do something to help, when you're too far away to actually do anything for you.  If there's anything you think of that any of us can do, please don't hesitate to let us know.  I hope things turn out much better than you fear.

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6 minutes ago, CritterKeeper said:

Darn it, Prof, I miss checking the boards for a couple of days, and you go and do something like this!  I'm so sorry you're going through so much.  Please continue to keep us all updated.  My dad battled edema and weight for many years, and falling was always one of his biggest worries.  If he'd fallen, there's no way any one, or maybe even two, person(s) could have lifted him up.  He had his paths through the house for his walker, and I had to make sure my laptop cord didn't get in his way when I sat on the living room couch.  I'd suggest focusing on keeping a clear path between where you spend the most time, and the bathroom.  ;-)

If it weren't more painful for you on your back, I'd ask my mom about giving you his recliner, which has a lift built in that helped him stand up from it safely.  Shipping alone from IL would have to be cheaper than buying a brand new one, right?  Probably not the case with his walker, though, so I'm glad you got a new one.  I recommend getting a cupholder for it if you do wind up using it inside.  Saves spills.

Sorry, I hope I'm not driving you nuts.  It's just hard to satisfy the urge to do something to help, when you're too far away to actually do anything for you.  If there's anything you think of that any of us can do, please don't hesitate to let us know.  I hope things turn out much better than you fear.

I thank you for the offer, but our house is small. About 1289 sq. feet small, with three computers, a music composition/mixer system, and a cat (with accessories). Getting up is a little difficult right now, thanks to the ski boot, but I don't have any choices in the help market other than using my hands to push myself off of the sofa. I thank you, though. The gesture is very much appreciated.

Right now, I can only use my cane through the house. The walker is more like a bulldozer, given all of the cat paraphernalia lying around. :)  It gets used outside. Mrs. Prof mounted wheels on the front of it. It's still unwieldy as hell, since my boot and my shoe put my legs at different heights.

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6:26 p.m. CDT 20170511. Lesson one: never leave the house without your prescription bottle of hydrocortisone, especially when it's within a couple of hours of your next dose and your itinerary involves a stop at a doctor's office for an appointment. I learned that the painful way today.

Anyway, I did see the podiatrist, and he did verify numerous severe breaks in the bones of my left big toe. Those breaks will require surgery to repair. He wants to schedule it next Thursday or Friday, but I've got that lumbar caudal injection thing scheduled for Tuesday next week. The podiatrist said I should go ahead and get that done. So, I'm going to be on the phone tomorrow with Spine Team Texas to find out if I can have both done during the same week. If not, I'm going to be walking around in a moon boot (the podiatrist swapped out my ski boot, since it was irritating my leg) for at least a week longer, and believe me—if you could see this thing, you'd want it operated on as fast as possible. I'd post a picture of it, but tOH would probably call it a violation of forum rules and have to kick me out. It's that scary. Even the doctor and his nurse were taken aback when they saw it.

Lesson two: hydrocodone on an empty stomach hits you like a head full of stupid. I feel like a whack job, but at least my foot doesn't hurt so badly anymore.

So, I'm going to have screws and wires put into my big toe's bones. He's also going to explore a couple of things which were inconclusive on the X-ray, but which hurt like hell when he manipulated them. They may not need anything but immobilizing, but he won't know until he's in there. My previously broken ankle complicates things, he said.

Next update will most likely come tomorrow. For now, I've got to figure out how Franklin Covey screwed up an order of FranklinPlanner notepads I placed last week.

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So now it's my brother's turn to go to the hospital to check a soreness in his side. Youngest brother. Last I heard he was being moved by ambulance to the nearest children's hospital. That was yesterday evening.

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11 minutes ago, Zorua said:

So now it's my brother's turn to go to the hospital to check a soreness in his side. Youngest brother. Last I heard he was being moved by ambulance to the nearest children's hospital. That was yesterday evening.

Children's hospital? Ohmydearlord. Those are two words I do not like to hear used together. Best of luck to him and everyone involved.

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Posted (edited)

Just got a call. Still waiting to find out what the soreness is, if it's appendicitis or something else.

38 minutes ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

Children's hospital? Ohmydearlord. Those are two words I do not like to hear used together. Best of luck to him and everyone involved.

Thanks. (he's 13, and apparently that still qualifies him for children's hospitals instead of regular ones)

 

[EDIT] Just got another call. He does not have appendicitis. Thank God. He gets to keep his internal organs. For now.

Edited by Zorua
Update
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7:00 a.m. CDT 20170512. Busy medical day planned today. In about a half-hour, I've got to call the spine doctor and explain my broken foot surgery predicament. I'll need to know if my back shot will interfere.

At 10:00 a.m., I've got an appointment with the electrophysiologist to discuss my cardiac event monitor. I think he's going to suggest that I have an echocardiogram run, whatever that is—I haven't done a search on it yet (shame on me). I'll look it up if he decides to do it.

Once I get things squared away with the spine doctor, I'll be expecting a call from the podiatrist with details about my surgery. I really hope he can do it next Friday without interfering with the lumbar caudal injection. Note about the podiatrist: both Mrs. Prof and I had the name "Jimmy Buffet" running through our heads as we saw him. All he lacked was a pair of flip-flops and he would have been a perfect candidate for residency in Margaritaville. Nice guy, though. Good chairside manner.

I've got to do something about the back injection, since the doctor doing that is also handling my pain management for Chronic Pain Syndrome, my lumbar root nerve disorder, and now my fractured toe bones. I can bet that he'll probably get a laugh out of the situation. However, the back situation has dragged on since February, and he's not going to keep prescribing hydrocodone unless he performs a procedure on me. I'm rather stuck here.

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8 hours ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

Note about the podiatrist: both Mrs. Prof and I had the name "Jimmy Buffet" running through our heads as we saw him. All he lacked was a pair of flip-flops and he would have been a perfect candidate for residency in Margaritaville. Nice guy, though. Good chairside manner.

Sounds like the cardiologist at the vet school when I was a student.  Surfer dude all the way.  Very good cardiologist, though!

Hmm, doing a Residency in Margaritaville might be fun, although it would probably mean being the only one sober, apart from whoever was training said Resident.

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1 hour ago, CritterKeeper said:

Sounds like the cardiologist at the vet school when I was a student.  Surfer dude all the way.  Very good cardiologist, though!

Hmm, doing a Residency in Margaritaville might be fun, although it would probably mean being the only one sober, apart from whoever was training said Resident.

You can be the woman to blame, even though we know it's his own damn fault...   :)

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4:36 p.m. CDT 20170512. I'm going absolutely [redacted] crazy dealing with doctors, nurses, insurance, and everything else regarding my health. Even Mrs. Prof is losing her cool, and we're even arguing with each other over the interpretation of our insurance plan. I'm tired of it all and I want it to go away.

Ahem.

Saw the electrophysiologist today. He wanted to put me on a beta blocker. I told him I have allergies (bad hay fever type mainly, with one or two others), which might complicate things. I asked him about an echocardiogram, which his nurse mentioned. He said that's a possibility if he's going to treat it more aggressively, but the medicine he'd use there is something my primary care physician doesn't want me on. End result: stalemate. He's sent me back to my primary doctor with a suggestion to use a beta blocker. If that's too dangerous, I live with my PVCs. If I take the beta blocker and it doesn't work, I go back to the electrophysiologist for the echocardiogram, after which I don't know what the hell will happen. In short, I don't need to see the electrophysiologist again unless something screws up. One less doctor to deal with. Good.

Had chicken fried steak for the first time in ages after the appointment at a "diner" in north Dallas. Not bad. Very loud noontime atmosphere. Sounded like it was one argument short of a free-for-all.

The podiatrist's nurse called while we were out. Got in touch with her and got handed a laundry list of things that have to be done between now and next Friday (20170519), which is when my foot surgery is scheduled. To wit:

  • I have to have a CT scan done tomorrow (yes, on a Saturday).
  • On Tuesday the 16th, the same day I have my lumbar caudal injection, I have to check in to the same hospital approximately two hours earlier and have pre-op stuff done (not sure what) for my foot operation. I go straight from there to having my injection.
  • I had to initiate the creation and faxing of a bunch of reports from my doctor to be sent to the podiatrist and to the hospital no later than the 17th. Don't know why they couldn't have done that themselves.
  • Finally, I have to check in at 5:00 a.m. Friday the 19th for the operation on my foot.

We got a phone call just a few moments ago from the nurse/receptionist/doctor's wife (yep) about the insurance charges. Mrs. Prof went in armed for bear and got things billed on her terms. Did I mention Mrs. Prof negotiates contracts for a living? :)

Finally, I got a phone call from the spine doctor's office saying that all of the above was safe to do around the date of the lumbar caudal injection. There's no overlap danger. Hooray!

Now, the biggest worry I have out of all of this is going to be pain management on the 16th. I have to go in fasting at 11:00 a.m. for the pre-op, then move over at 12:45 p.m. for the injection.

I'M NOT GOING TO HAVE ANY PAIN MEDICINE IN MY BODY FROM MIDNIGHT THE 16TH UNTIL AFTER THE INJECTION PROCEDURE.

Let that set in for a moment. I have acute lumbar nerve root disorder with searing pain from my waist down my right side. I have a severely fractured toe that is going to require screws and wires to repair. Both of them hurt bad enough when I have pain medicine in my system. I have no idea what kind of agony I'm going to be in when I'm dehydrated and completely without any medication of any kind, pain medicine included, in my system. If I were still doing sound design, I would want to bring a portable field recorder into the hospital to record myself, because I know I'm going to be generating some new and interesting horror sounds.

The only sounds more scary are those created by Mrs. Prof when she argues insurance coverage with someone trying to bill us. [see above]

So, things are set. We kick off tonight, with night one of the Abilify tapering off. Tomorrow is CT scan day. Sunday and Monday are "stop list" medicine withdrawal days. Tuesday is big day #1. Wednesday and Thursday are recovery days, and Friday is big (toe) day #2, with a follow-up on May 26th.

God, I want this to be over before it even starts.

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Just now, The Old Hack said:

Our best wishes, and give our regards to Mrs. Prof.

We both appreciate them, as always. Personally, they're about the only thing holding me together at the moment. (A week from today I'll have to include screws and wires in that statement.)

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3 minutes ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

We both appreciate them, as always. Personally, they're about the only thing holding me together at the moment. (A week from today I'll have to include screws and wires in that statement.)

Again, as CritterKeeper has stated, please tell us if there is anything we can do. Even if it is just an Amazon wish list or something like it where we can purchase sympathy gifts or something. If we can lighten the burden a little for you, we will be glad to.

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1 hour ago, The Old Hack said:

Again, as CritterKeeper has stated, please tell us if there is anything we can do. Even if it is just an Amazon wish list or something like it where we can purchase sympathy gifts or something. If we can lighten the burden a little for you, we will be glad to.

That's a great idea!  One of our vet techs is out for 6-8 weeks for a surgery, and I sent her a care package of three used paperback mysteries, with the promise to send more in the series if she likes one.  Others gave her coloring books, videos, anything it seemed like you could do while out of it and/or in pain, mixed with stuff to do during the boring part of the recovery when her brain is back online but she still can't do much.  Used paperbacks on ABEbooks.com are cheap.  A Netflix subscription or whatever franchise you prefer would work, too; we could go in together if it's something yearly like Amazon Prime.  Or Audible.com.

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To be honest, the person who really needs something is Mrs. Prof,, for putting her life on hold to take care of mine. I'm not sure she'd accept it, though—I'm not even sure what she'd want or could use right now. She's as stubborn as I am, probably even moreso. If she did receive anything, though, she would be grateful beyond compare.

Let me talk to her when she gets back from her community T-N-R business and I'll see if I can wheedle some bit of information out of her. She might need a cat trap or something similar. I'll check.

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She doesn't have anything at ThinkGeek, and for that matter she doesn't have anything set up on her Amazon wishlist. I've told her to put something up there, but I'm going to have to goad her into doing it. Hang on, we're working on it.

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I don't believe it, but talking Mrs. Prof into putting a few things on her Amazon wishlist wasn't so difficult. I don't know exactly what she's got online, but she'd be very grateful for anything you'd care to send.

Her Amazon account is at bjfnord@yahoo.com . Let me know if you have any trouble accessing it. Thank you very much, from both of us.

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