Tag Archive: steroids

Surviving the move: An ER visit, a shot of dilaudid and some steroids

So, ya, the move was pretty stressful.

I mean, I didn’t really think I was getting stressed out or anything, but I guess my body was stressed because on Friday night, just 12 hours before I was supposed to pick up the U-Haul, my “intercostal neuralgia” pain was seriously the worst it has ever been ever.

I’m talking stabbing pain that felt like a machete inside my right ribs, mixed with the feeling of being dropped off the side of a moving train and landing on a field of jagged rocks.

Horrible, horrible pain.

I was laying in my bed at about 10 p.m., trying to figure out how many hydrocodone I could take without running out before I was due for a refill, when I realized that all I really wanted to do was kill myself.

And then I started thinking that the pain that I was in, right then, was literally Hell.

That all I wanted it to do was end it. And that if dying was the only option, I was ok with that. In fact, I was sort of in favor of that.

So, I told my mom and my brother that I should probably go to the emergency room. And then I said  many, many swear words.

Pain does that to you.

They took me to some ER in Joliet.

I refused to go to the ER right by my house, because the doctor there was the one who originally misdiagnosed me with an ulcer and wasted a month of my life telling me I couldn’t eat tomatoes and giving me the wrong treatments, and what with all the pain I was currently experiencing, I thought I might punch him in the face if I saw him.

So we drove about 20 minutes south to go to the Joliet hospital.

As soon as I got there, they hooked me up with a wheelchair, which was awesome because standing up was killing me.

When they called me in though, they took me to some weird entrance exam area, where there was a whole bunch of patients sitting by computers getting their blood pressure checked and being asked how much they weighed.

I was in too much pain to fight them on that question, but I overheard some other lady tell the nurse, “Enough.” As in, “How much do you weight?” “Enough.”

And then the nurse was all, “I’m really sorry, but we need to know exactly how much you weight because we’re going to give you an antibiotic treatment, and the dosage is going to be based on your weight.”

And she was all, “Well I’m going not to tell you while he’s in the room.” I can only assume it was her boyfriend or her husband. But I suppose it could have been her son. Or maybe even her dad. Who knows.

And then the other nurse was all, “Why don’t you just write it down on a piece of paper and hand it to us?”

And then she grumbled and something else happened and then my pain continued to try and kill me and then somehow they ended up talking about her weight into kilograms and so I never did find out how much the lady weighed because MATH.

Anyway, after the initial check in, they didn’t even bother to put me in a room, they just had a doctor come over and examine me right there.

And she only sort of pulled the curtain back half way before she asked me to lift up my shirt so she could see my ribs.

I was in too much pain to care who I was flashing though.

I screamed in agony when she touched me. I’m pretty sure it was that and my large blue and purple medical binder full of my health information from the last six months that convinced her to give me a shot of dilaudid — a pain reliever the internet says is 6-8 times stronger than morphine.

Yes, it burned going in, but let me just tell you that shot was the best thing to happen to me since I first ate Taco Bell.

Seriously. I have not been that pain free since ever. Really, I cannot remember ever being that pain free.

I want that life back.

I know I had it at one point.

I have faint memories of living and doing things where I could function without horrible pain dominating everything I did all the time, but it’s been so, so long.

I was told the shot would last about 8 hours, but I got a solid 10 out of it.

When it wore off though, I thought I was going to die again.

It’s crazy how quickly the suicidal thoughts come back.

Seriously. It takes about three minutes of pure agony before I’m ready to quit life.

The pain is just insane, and nobody should ever have to endure such a thing. I took two hydrocodone and cried for the 45 minutes it took for them to kick in.

And then I prayed that Walgreens would fill the hydrocodone prescription I had in my wallet a day early.

And they did. That is how I know there is a God.

I used that and the effects of a 20-day low-dose steroid pack my neurologist had prescribed me over the phone Friday afternoon to make it through moving day.

But actually, I just ended up carrying things like pillows and blankets to the car every once in a while, and then feeling the pain of death cover my body whenever my medications would wear off. And then I would suddenly lay down wherever I happened to be, and wait for another dose of medications to kick in.

I spent a bunch of time on the kitchen floor and on the grass next to the U-Haul truck.

The ER doctor told me I need to have a conversation with my pain specialist about going on stronger medications, except of course, my former pain specialist was a horrible, horrible person, and I don’t have a new one yet.

So I’m just taking hydrocodone so that I can live through each day. And I’m relying on a few more than the 4 a day I’m supposed to take.

You can judge me all you want, but when you feel like your ribs are trying to stab you in your heart, you do what you gotta do.

Because it’s either that, or kill myself.

On the upside, we did end up making it to Byron. Sometime around 10 p.m. Saturday night.

At least it didn’t rain. Moving in the rain always sucks.

Uhaul

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I’m finally getting some sleep, so I don’t want to kill myself anymore

So, sleep is freaking important.

And, I’m finally taking some medicine that is strong enough to overcome the stabbing pain in my right ribs and help me get some of it every night. YAY!

I mean, sure, whatever, I sleep for like 12 hours straight no matter how many alarms I set. But hey, at least I’m not suicidal anymore.

Seriously, it was those long nights awake in pain that were driving me down to Hell. When each long minute seemed like an hour and each night seemed like an eternity and the pain was at its worst and I was all alone.

That’s when I couldn’t think clearly.

That’s when I would lose all hope.

And it didn’t really get much better when the sun came up, because functioning on no sleep makes you insane. It just does.

So I would spend all day, still in horrible pain, dreading the night time, thinking about suicide. Laying on the floor in various places, because I was so tired and in so much pain that I couldn’t sit upright.

I remember laying on the floor in a dining room and being able to see into a bathroom where a jug of Drano sat on the floor. And I remember thinking, maybe I could just drink that and this whole thing would be over.

It was awful.

I kept clawing for help, reaching out in anyway I knew how. But I didn’t know  what exactly it was that was making me crazy. And I assumed it was the horrible, daily pain. And I couldn’t seem to get help for that.

I did know I needed to get the sleep thing figured out though. I knew, for example, that it was at least a third of the reason I would cry for the first hour after I got to work everyday. (The other two-thirds being equal parts horrible stabbing pain, and a cocktail of medications screwing with my brian).

Unfortunately, Advil PM is just not strong enough for me right now, but thankfully, my doctor finally put me on 50 mg. of amitriptyline.

And I’m finally getting some sleep every single day.

And I’m finally thinking just a little bit more clearly.

The other good news about that medication, is that it’s also supposed to help with my pain. I mean, I don’t think it really has yet, but I’ve been told that’s going to happen, so YAY!

I also went to see another doctor yesterday who put me on an anti-viral medication, just in case this is shingles without a rash. And he paired it with a steroid pack so that it’s more effective and so that I can get better at hitting baseballs and eventually play for the Cubs.

If the anti-viral/steroid thing works, I could be cured before the huge candy show I have to cover for my job at the end of May. And let me just tell you that I really, really, really, really want to work that show with all of my sugar-coated heart.

If that doesn’t work, well, then I’m pretty much screwed. And I do not use the word screwed on here lightly.

Let’s just say visions of The Mayo Clinic are dancing in all my doctor’s brains right now. And I thought they would think that place was like some sort of drastic measure. But no. They were like, you should probably make an appointment now just to be safe. And I was like, Crap.

Anyway, I hope the anit-viral medication works.

It probably will.

And now that I’m getting enough sleep, even if it doesn’t, I won’t get so defeated that I’ll end up killing myself. So yay.

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