Interesting…

So it was Family Doc day. One more appointment next week and then I am free for most of February until the end of the month when I go back again.

I even got to say hi to Dr.Fish! That was pretty awesome, seeing as I haven’t seen her in forever. She said I looked good and perky and she was happy to see that.

It was a fun hour or so. But late, as always. I don’t know that most people can say that they ‘enjoy’ spending an hour with their family doctor. We tend to spend a lot of jabbering, he said he looks forward to seeing me once a month so we can bounce ideas off each other’s brains and keep tabs on things. He’s said it before and I am hugely appreciative that he enjoys spending that much time discussing stuff with me.

We got started on a weird foot this afternoon and got me all lost in what we were supposed to talk about — he was surprised that I’m now taking absolutely nothing in terms of blood pressure meds, the water pill or the potion. The dizziness that I’m still experiencing is somewhat concerning to him, but he’s going to hold of judgement of that for another month or so. He was rather pleased to hear that I was allowed to take the potion instead of the waterpill though when we get to the point of taking something again for The Puff(tm). I’ve been emailing Nurse Sandra for the last couple of days and she wants me to continue holding off on stuff until the dizziness goes away completely. I guess that’s okay by me.

In discussing The Dizzy(tm), Family Doc asked how my salt intake was and whether or not I had a tendency to throw it on stuff willy-nilly. He was rather surprised when I told him I was supposed to be following a Low Sodium Diet. I hadn’t been terribly conscientious of the whole process where I was supposed to be actively seeking out no/lower sodium alternatives to some foods (that activity got old pretty quick), but I just went about the business of trying not to eat too much crap and since I don’t add salt to my food, my consumption is whatever’s already in it. With that, he said that I can forget about the LSD (HAH!) until we get The Dizzy under control. Hel-lo 100 calorie pack of nacho cheese doritos!

In terms of my blood pressure, he was looking over the last few years worth of readings and my “normal” pressure, without meds, seems to naturally fall in the low 90’s to 100’s, so he’s content with the way things are going on the whole with Kidney Doc. I mentioned that the blood pressure monitor I have was rather a pain in the ass to use because it has a hard cuff as opposed to a soft wrap-around cuff and was also rather painful because it would pump up to somewhere around 160-170 mmHg at a go. To solve that problem, he gave me one of the office’s sample cuffs that he lends out to people on occassion that companies send out. If it worked, it was mine to keep if I wanted. The only problem is that it’s an Omron and I’ve had notorious problems with that brand not being able to get a reading off me. He said if it doesn’t work, at least we tried, so we’ll see what happens.

The other rather long and in depth conversation we had this afternoon was how well I felt we were doing in dealing with my pain management. Basically it boils down to I am not thrilled with having to take all these drugs nor am I terribly impressed with the fact that for the last month, almost every second night, I’ve had to take the dilaudid on top of the hydromorph. I told him how last month trying to go back to using the Oxy IR was a futile exercise that got me nowhere and resulted in me having to play around with how I’ve been taking the Dilaudid & Hydromorph Contin (both of which I’ve increased the doseages for). His one question that started the whole conversation was, “If I had a magic wand and could grant any wish…” which of course got lots of obviousresponses from me while he was asking the question. Turns out there were stipulations to this wand & wish deal, it had to fall within the boundaries of ‘pain only, not cure disease. Though we could talk about the no rules wand & wish deal later if I wanted.’

Anyhow, he pointed out that with the doseage I’m taking for the hydromorph and the way in which I’m taking it, it could be juggled around so that we split the doseage up to be taken twice a day as opposed to all once at bedtime because the stuff is supposed to last only ~12 hours at a go. The only reason I didn’t want to do things that way was because I didn’t want to be loopy 24 hours a day if I took some of the hydromorph in the morning. Since I’m not having issues with the pain during the day and I’m only taking the dildaudid as needed and not every single night, he’s perfectly okay with how I’m dealing with my meds on my own. With the way Calgary’s weather is, the insane weather & pressure extremes, even people that have arthritis and stuff, he understands that winter is the absolute worst time of year. So I am to proceed as I am doing now and we won’t worry about me taking too much or whatever. Yay me. On that note, he warned me the temperature’s supposed to drop to -17C tonight overnight so be prepared to have pain if temperature fluctuations are one of the instigators… FABU!

As for everything else:

* The results for both the ultrasound and the mammogram and everything came back negative. So basically it means I just have to deal with the random pains I’m having, but now we know there isn’t anything dreadful lurking around, so we won’t have to be worried about that too much.

* The Zantac he prescribed for me last month, paired with the prevacid twice a day, worked like a charm with getting rid of the stinging pain I’d had going on for months since the summer. So he refilled the prescription for me to be taken up to twice a day, if needed, but I’m doing fine on only one dose at bedtime so we’ll stick to that for now.

* We were talking about my inability to really eat a lot or all that often. Sometimes it’s just too uncomfortable to eat so I sometimes end up having a bottle of boost instead, because it doesn’t make anything hurt or upset and it obviously deals with the hunger issue. The only problem with that is it’s SO freaking expensive. On average, it costs about $11 for a six-pack of Ensure HP. If you’re lucky, sometimes it can be found on sale, but it’s not often. Right now, I take one bottle first thing in the morning with my meds, but there’s the odd occassion where I take it twice a day or sometimes as my only meal source, especially if I’m not feeling well and can’t really hold food down. Doing the math, we’re looking at about 30 bottles/month @ $55 x 12 months = $660/year. So let’s say $700 just because there are those previously mentioned occassions where I’m taking it more than once a day. To my surprise, he said that sometimes depending on your insurance, they’ll cover the cost of it. So he wrote me a prescription for 200 bottles just to see if anyone will pony up the money so this isn’t such a crazy expenditure for us. If that doesn’t work, he said we’ll try filling out one of the special permission/circumstances applications and see where that takes us.

So.. yea. That’s been my afternoon in a nutshell.

Productive and relatively informative, which is a good thing.

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