Jan 18

Toe Jam

Friday, 1-18-02, and the word of the day is


The pain in my toes is back – with a vengeance! Man, these little piggies are hurting big time, just like they were when I first experienced the pain in them back in December. It feels just like a toothache; like an abscess; like a bad infection. Yes – the kind of pain that makes you want to cry or kill something or both.

Things were going pretty well for a while there. I’d been prescribed Neurontin for the pain, and within a few days it was controlling it very well. Within a few days after that, the pain was gone completely. I had to increase the dosage of the Neurontin as I went along, going from 1 per day for the first few days, then 2 for a few days, till I was up to 3 a day. That worked great for a few weeks, but then – BAM!

I first noticed it on Monday, January 14th, but it wasn’t too bad, and I didn’t pay much attention to it. On Tuesday, it was a little more intense, and I took a Vicodin a few times that day to relieve them little piggies. On Wednesday, I had to take 2 Vicodins each time to control the pain. On Thursday, it took 3 Vicodins, and I called the doctor about it.

The doc said not to take all those Vicodins because they’ll fry my liver. (Well, that doesn’t sound like any fun, even though I DO like fried liver – Just not mine!) Instead, he instructed me to start upping my dosage of Neurontin. He said I should start doing 4 and see how that works out for a few days, then 5 if needed, and I can go up to 6 per day. I agreed, and immediately swallowed another Neurontin.

An hour later I swallowed 2 more Vicodins. Hey, I’m all for keeping my liver intact, but trust me, THIS pain you cannot just ignore or deal with! Until I get enough Neurontin in my system so that it can do its job, I don’t have a choice, liver be damned!

Here’s a link that explains what this type of pain is all about: Neuropathic Pain

I got my blood drawn on Wednesday, January 16th, and the doc’s office called to tell me that my white count is 4.0, Hemoglobin is 11.6, platelets are at 507 and I.N.R. is 1.86. Don’t ask me what all that means. Damn it Jim! I’m an engineer, not a doctor! tongue smiley

Anyway, the bottom line is that my Coumadin levels are pretty good now, according to him, and I just need to maintain the present dosage, which is:

  • Monday – 2.5mg
  • Tuesday – 5mg
  • Wednesday – 5mg
  • Thursday – 5mg
  • Friday – 2.5mg
  • Saturday – 5mg
  • Sunday – 5mg

I’ve got so many prescriptions these days, and have to take certain drugs at certain times of the day, that I had to set it all up on my computer to keep track of it. I use Outlook as a medication alarm system, and it works really well for me. Half a dozen times a day, Arnold Schwarzenegger tells me in his Terminator 2 voice, “My mission is to protect you!” At the same time, a notice pops up on the screen that tells me exactly which drug(s) to take.

I sync it up with my Palm Pilot IIIc, and no matter where I am, I get an alert when it’s time to take some drugs. It’s times like this that I’m really glad I’m a geek! Before I came up with this system, I was fumbling around with, “Did I take this yet? Should I take another just in case?” The thing about doing drugs is that they leave you not altogether coherent. As my friend Larry says, “That’s why they call it ‘dope’!” He’s so wise… Big Grin Smiley Gif

Speaking of geeky stuff, Candy (who is also VERY computer savvy) and I set up my computer while she was here with a database to work my billing for me. We entered the names, addresses, total bills, payment amounts and so forth. Now, all I have to do is click the mouse a couple of times each month and my computer spits out all the pre-addressed envelopes and such, keeps track of how much I’ve paid and how much I still owe each doctor and hospital, and so forth. Pretty nifty!

Actually, Candy did almost all the work on it. I was pretty busy at the time laying on the bed with my feet up, resting.  sleeping smiley  Hey, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it! Did I mention, my sis’s AWESOME?!

Anyway, fast forward a few days and I’m now up to 5 Neurontins a day, and that seems to work pretty well. I can’t feel any pain in my toes (or anywhere else) and I haven’t needed to take any more pain killers like Vicodin lately. So, everything on that count is back to “good” status.

My “blood clot” leg is still pretty weak, but getting stronger by the day. At least I’m back out of the wheelchair again now, which is good. I like it best when it’s parked.

Yesterday, Wednesday, 1-23-02, I got my blood drawn again. They’ll likely call me today with the results, adjust my Coumadin levels if necessary and let me know when they want the next blood draw. When they call, I’ve got to remember to let them know that I’m only a few days from running out of 2 of the prescriptions I take daily: Furosemide (Lasix) and Allopurinol (Zyloprim). They’ll need to call in another prescription for them if they want me to keep taking them.

Also yesterday, I paid my insurance premium online for February. With a little luck, it will all go OK and I’ll continue to be covered. I keep my fingers crossed on that one anyway, just in case.  rolling eyes smiley gif

I get my 2nd chemo treatment in a few days, on Tuesday, January 29th. So far, I’m still not sick to my stomach and I’ve still got all my hair. The only side effect from it (so far) seems to be an increase in how tired I am these days, which really hasn’t been a problem.

All in all, things are looking up, and I feel pretty good!