Bring on the medical Marijuana OR Vicodin is NOT my friend

This is a boring post, filled with mundane facts about the last week.  Some of you like to know that stuff though.

In many senses, I’m rather happy that chemo has been pushed back this weekend.  It helps me keep my symptoms and reactions straight.  It’s been a busy week.

Thursday 1/29/2015 — All protein diet for PET Scan
Friday 1/30/2015 — PET Scan
Tuesday 2/2/2015 — Let’s start chemo conversation with oncologist.
Wednesday 2/3/2015 Pre-Op appointment for chemo port surgery.
Thursday 2/4/2015  Chemo port surgery
Friday 2/5/2015  Echo cardiogram and…cancelled chemo.  Insurance rejection.

Best thing about this week?  I now find it relaxing and enjoyable to hang out at Swedish in Issaquah.  I get treated to warm blankets, extremely caring people, upbeat music, and well, just down time.  I get time to sit and reflect and be grateful.  I really like PET scans and echo cardiograms.  Pre-op before surgery at Overlake is also very nice.  If there were the sound of running water, you’d swear you were in the Olympic Spa.

And then there is the experience of your team getting angry for you at your insurance company — and doing the work to support you and fight for you.

And my dear colleague Ron Holland caring so well for my students.

It’s like a semi-vacation.

So my biggest concern this entire weekend?   It sounds pretty minor.  Constipation and bloating! Stress and high protein diets and lack of exercise create a very uncomfortable Suzy.    And from the morning before surgery until the day after, I gained 10 pounds.

We all get achy with constipation.  Add bone mets in your lower back and hips to that achy feeling.  It’s a flashback to a bad PMS episode.  Black coffee, water and stool softeners weren’t doing ANYTHING.

The surgery was AWESOME.  I have almost no pain at the surgery site and I had full range of movement immediately.    I wouldn’t have even touched the Vicodin Dr. Harrington sent home with me if it hadn’t been for a flaring bone met pain in my hip — probably due to the position they had me on the table?

Unlike the pain of this summer, this pain didn’t limit my movement.  But on the other hand, there was no position I could find to make it go away.  It was the same, blood raw, open wound kind of traumatic pain I had last summer, but in a smaller area.

So I tried my old standby, ibuprofen.  No effect.

I have never had to use more than ibuprofen to control pain.  Wisdom teeth, double-mastectomy, 4th degree tear in childbirth —  None of it produced pain I couldn’t control with ibuprofen.  So when I decide to take a Vicodin for bone pain, it’s a FIRST — and gives you some perspective on what the bone pain can be like.  Thank SCIENTISTS for radiation!!

I tried a single Vicodin.  No effect.  The dosage is 1-2 pills every 6 hours.
About a 1/2 hour later, I tried a second Vicodin.  It didn’t seem to impact the pain in my hip much, but it knocked me out.  I slept the rest of the day, waking up when the med wore off and finding the pain the same.
Took a Vicodin before bed.  Woke up at 2am in pain.  Another Vicodin.

By morning I felt better.  So just took some ibuprofen.  Went in for the chemo treatment that didn’t happen because my insurance thinks I should just suck up the extra pain and side effects of the cheaper treatment.

Went home and was experiencing pain pretty much everywhere, but not the severe hip bone met pain.  So I thought, heck, why be in pain?  I took a single Vicodin.

By 6pm, when everyone was coming home, I was agitated and anxious — a caged tiger!  I was soooo looking for a reason to get really ANGRY at Francois.  I hard time finding a reason.  So he shot out of there as quick as possible and ran some errands.

Then a few hours later, I was calming down, but I started shivering and developing a fever.  I checked my surgery site and it looked clean.  Not tender nor swollen.    So before going to bed, I decide to Google withdrawal effects from Vicodin.

Yep.  I think that after a single 36 hour dance with this damn drug (5 pills, total) I was suffering withdrawal!  My aches and pains were probably withdrawal as well!  That drug is hell.

Time to get a hold of some medical marijuana.

I’m glad this experience happened without chemo.  It would have been hard to figure out what was causing which side effect.

Feeling really good this morning.


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