Pain Management

7 Feb

When I last posted, I was under the influence of some lovely hospital drugs. Fentanyl on a self controlled drip – directly into my bloodstream. Good times!

When I left on Tuesday, I was feeling fine and when the nurse talked me through the masses of painkillers I was slightly bemused… I wouldn’t need all that! I was wrong, oh very, very wrong. I didn’t realise the reason I felt ok was because the hospital were nicely controlling what I was taking. Anyway, got home, and let things lapse. Then around came about 8pm, and suddenly I was in a lot of pain… sweating and had to walk about to try and distract myself. Took a lot of the painkillers, and took myself to bed for some very poor sleep.

So, since then, I have been rigidly following all the advice I was given. Eric went and got me a pill container and we have the weeks drugs all ready to go. Including some additional antibiotics I got from the GP for a horrible ulcer on my lip and a throat infection from the tubes, as well as drops for an ear infection. I am a bit of a mess at the moment! The GP has advised I can take my sleeping pills, so long as I don’t take too much codeine in the evening, so I am swapping them out to help me sleep – but that is getting much better each night.

Here is my current lovely multicoloured setup.

I even have my own sharps container!

I even have my own sharps container!

You will notice that Susan found out that chocolate contained potassium. So that is now part of the required medicine setup. 🙂

I’d also note that this is my second sharps box. The first one is full from the IVF. I never thought I would have such a high need for sharps containers!

I’ve also had some other ‘potassium’ delivered, and the house is lovely and flowerly. Some pics.

Potassium delivery

Potassium Delivery!

These flowers have been here a few days, still looking beautiful.


There are also some lovely hyaciths in the background of the medicine. They are amazingly scented, and I can smell them through the living room!

Thanks to everyone! And thanks for good wishes, including a whole kindy class who prayed for me on Monday. It really makes a difference knowing there are people out there thinking of me.  Even if I don’t get around to responding to everyone’s messages I am reading them and appreciate every one.


8 Responses to “Pain Management”

  1. Anonymous February 7, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    Crikey – thats a lot of drugs, m’kay. (Am doing the south park voice in case thats not obvious….) Hope they are helping :o)

    I love love LOVE the potassium disguised as flowers :o)) I need to find where to buy some of those!

    Abi (s21, only I am actually 31 now) xx

  2. Bigzippy February 8, 2013 at 1:17 am #

    I now feel the need to explore potassium intake some more…

    BZ 😉

  3. Julie February 8, 2013 at 6:39 am #

    Obviously you are a little spacey on your impressive medicine connoctions. Glaring omission to suggested daily doses, if you are attempting to ensure maximum health, see attached.,11681

    • Olivia February 8, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

      Red wine, white white, rose wine .. any wine … 🙂

      • Kath February 8, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

        Do you know,, the saddest part of all this is I really don’t feel like drinking! That’s how you KNOW I must be sick!

  4. Simon Clear February 11, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    Hi Kath,
    Uncle Simon here from Dublin. I finished Radio (7X5) and Chemo (5) treatments for HPV16 around the same time as your diagnosis. HPV 16 tumours arise within the base of the tongue in males. I had no symptoms other than a sensitivity to cold winds on the right side of my face, which i noticed watching Leinster rugby matches at the RDS. We checked for and treated for infections, as there was also a long time (3-4 year) swollen gland (mass as the Docs called it) on the right side of my neck. When antibiotics did not work I was sent for head and neck MRI, which showed a SCC within the tongue, around the hidden bend!

    Same as you, it is best not to go into the gory details of radiotherapy into the mouth/throat area. Lost 15kg so I’m looking slim and fit now. I did my hot weather recuperation in Thailand over the Christmas break – very beneficial. I am recovering strongly now.

    I have a Valentines Day PET scan coming up and hope to get clearance. Nobody ever gave me bad odds and hopefully the same will apply to you.

    HPV16 tongue cancer in males and also in young females ( and it is only 16 and so good for vaccine) is now moving towards epidemic proportions in the US, having only recently (c.10 years) been identified as a source of oral/pharynx cancer (as opposed to lifestyle smoking and alcohol/substance induced). The vaccine for males has not been developed because of medical debate and the time to assess if the existing female vaccine can transfer or another needs to be developed with trials etc.

    I can see your treatment is far more complex than mine. I wish you the strength to deal with the bad days and the strong will to see the treatment through to the end. As was said on TV before Christmas (relating to breast cancer screening) that treatment for cancer is ‘no walk in the park’.

    Best of luck and wishes for the future.


    • Kath February 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

      Hi Simon – good to hear from you. Dad mentioned you were recovering from this when I saw his at Christmas.

      I’m glad it’s going well for you, it’s a tough time. Dad mentioned there was talk of your voice being at risk – which would scare me!

      My treatment could be straightforward if I wanted. The normal treatment is much the same as yours – Chemo and Radiation, but it is being made more complicated as I am hoping to have a surgical solution. The chemo/rad would result in infertility, and while that is a still a risk with the surgery, at least there may be some options remaining if I get approved for the smaller operation – the trachalectomy.

      I was at least hoping I could lose weight through this process! But as it’s surgery now, I’m pretty much the same – which is good really. May as well stay healthy where I can.

      Give my love to all the family, and good luck with your PET scan. Please let me know how it goes.

  5. Anonymous February 14, 2013 at 2:39 am #

    Wonderful to hear you are coping Kath. I have just had an endoscopy and a colonoscopy and all was clear. However I am still getting over that awful 3 litres of stuff I had to take to clear out my system beforehand. I would make an awful patient. Its interesting how these procedures make you familiar with your insides!

    I’m glad to hear you have Neil with you. I now appreciate Graham even more. He was good for parking cars and carrying bags and reminding me to take something.

    Lots of love from Mary Collins (aunt)

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