Friday, July 9, 2010

Because you can never be in enough pain

So on the eve of surgery, I was in so much pain that I had to be taken to the ER for intramuscular injections - yes, plural, because 4 mg. in one site is apparently no good for the patient. The second shot, which was in my left arm, hit a little too close to the nerve. It feels like someone punched me in the nerve bundle that's in there.

The following day, I followup with my doctor. We note that there's some redness, and I'm told to keep an eye on it.

Some time after yesterday's post, I got cleaned up and changed the dressing on my knee. It seemed more red than before, so I was on the phone with my doctor's office again. What could have been done over the phone became unnecessary drama. I can understand that the doctor wanted to see what I might have been talking about, but standard antibiotics for this potential infection, which is staph, can be called in over the phone. Is my request reasonable? Apparently not. Does the doctor want me to come the office? No, but he wants to see my knee.

So he has me go to the ER again at a set time.

ER...EMERGENCY room. Broken bones, severe pain, gunshot wounds, heart attacks...These are emergencies. "My knee looks redder than yesterday" is NOT an emergency. But there I was, going through the entire registration at the ER, including triage, just so my doctor can look at my leg.

Look, I truly do appreciate his caution. I do. But the far more emotional part of my mind, the part that wanted to stay home and do nothing at all for my birthday, was being sunk by his caution. Couldn't he just call in the meds and have me followup again on Monday?

The doc and I have varying opinions. I think it's red. He thinks it's bruising. And he was SO firm with his diagnosis that he ordered the very antibiotics I knew I'd need anyway.

Oh, who am I kidding? My surgeon is a really nice guy. He's concerned for my well-being. Could I really stay mad at him for that? Nope.

The same way I couldn't possibly stay mad at Nike. I mean, she's a cat that just wants to be near her papa. I feed her, rub her tummy, scratch behind her ears. These things are of vital importance to a cat. So when I chose to lie down early in the evening, it should be no surprise that she would return to my room and attempt to join me in bed.

The problem is that I was asleep. I asleep in a pair of shorts. I was asleep in a pair of shorts with my wounded leg exposed and elevated. When Nike jumped onto the bed, her fur tickled my skin. The normal reaction, even in one's sleep, is to jerk away from the source of the tickling. That's what I did...

...and SCREAMED! In my sleep, my brain tried to make my knee bend in ways it can't. Once again, I found myself in tears from extreme pain. And for the first time since picking up the oxycodone, I found myself taking them as prescribed. My pain was bad, but popping four tablets every six hours would have me sleeping somewhere around 20 hours a day. I may not have much to do when I'm conscious, but there are things that are rather difficult to accomplish while asleep. Like talking to Becky. Or answering the phone to hear my Dad and step-mom sing "Happy Birthday" to me. But after Nike's simple attempt to get close to me and my literal knee-jerk reaction, I had reason to take the actual FULL dose.

It also occurs to me that I have shed more tears in the last few days than I have in the last decade.

Happy Birthday?

Every year. Every single year, some disaster strikes on or around my birthday. It never fails. And there it birthday...and I spent time in the ER, AGAIN, and then had an episode of unbelievable agony brought about by the soft fur of my beloved pet.

Yeah...a perfect birthday. (Feel free to repeat that with a great deal of sarcasm.)

NOTE: The date stamp on this post sayws it was put up on 9 July, even though I'd started it after midnight in my time zone. Not sure what's going on here. To be clear, my birthday was 9 July, and as far as I was concerned, everything I discussed had technically happened yesterday.

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