Wednesday, September 8, 2010


So I have had one crazy busy week full of doctors appointments, cycling, and running errands. I had five doctors appointments this week, I have already been on four rides, and we ran errands everyday, I did not have one "down" or not busy day. This was the first day that I took a nap in the afternoon, and now it is 11:20 and I can't sleep. I think if I keep up with this I can stop taking the sleeping pills!
The rides just got better and better each week, I got better and better, faster and faster each week. I finally fell like something is getting better-I was feeling like I could not get stonger- but after I could climb the hills and do the same rides way faster-I figured something must be going right.
The doctors appointments went pretty well. They started on Tuesday with a pain managenet appointment. It was an "intake appointment" to get introduced to the team and their system. I got switched to a new medication called Opana-which is a mixture of Oxycodon and Morphine. It is to get me on a more scheduled way of taking pain medication, I was just taking Percocet/Oxycodon when I felt like it, which was not working because I did not want to take it-or really know when it was appropriate to take it, so this gives me more of a schedule to take it.
The next appointment was with a social worker as a therapist. One of the things that I think more thansplant centers need to have is a Psychologist on staff that is for before and after transplant care, the Psychologist at my hospital is mostly for transplant evaluation. She was extremely nice, she was close(er) to my age and we connected really well. At first I was aprehensive about going to her because she is working on her hours to get her LCSW, but she is great, and gave me great refferals. I feel this is a good time to go to therapy, before transplant mostly the doctors made me feel like I did not have an adequate problem and that I was a whiner if i went to therapy. Now that I have meet others, I know that this is a major life changing event and that it is okay to go to therapy, and probably a good thing to do. Spending so long in the hospital, and then away from home and friends and family, now not being in school and work for so long, having major surgery, and now being on all of these medications, and having all of this responsibilities has just put a lot on me and I think that it is a good idea to talk this through with someone. The only thing about this is that almost no one knows that I am going, my parents, my sister, my bff Kara, and anyone reading my blog-which I have know told anyone about. I go to a hospital 45 minutes away, where I know I will not see anyone I know, but I am glad that I did because I do not have to worry about seeing anyone that I know and I found a great social worker.
That afternoon I went to a class on sleep hygiene. It was ok. Every doctor I go to tells me I need to go to this class, and keeps putting in a refferal for me to go, so I just finally went. It was ok, the only thing I learned was that I needed was that/thought about was that I just need to stay out of the house, tire myself out, not nap, and stick to asleep schedule-pretty generic.
The next day was to a psychiatrist to manage my medications. He was very nice. I was first given prozac and a beta blocker to help with my migranes. I did not have depression or hypertension, but the mixture of the two are supposed to help with migraines. The combination did not work and I was taken off the beta blocker because my blood pressure was too low and was given Topiramax for migraines and I am currently on an increasing schedule, but they have forgotten to take me off prozac. At a lot of doctors appointments I go to they have you fill out this form that has you select on a scale the range of tiredness, lack of energy, trouble sleeping, loss of intress in things you used to like, being sad, etc.- it is the depression test. So we talked a lot about my symptoms, most of them are just tirdness,lack of energy, trouble sleeping which every doctor has said that I am depressed, but I don't think I am depressed becuase I am not sad and I have not lost interet in what I used to like. I think the other symptoms I do have are side effects of medications, the other side effect I have is anxiety, which I know is cause by the prednison. I know it is caused by the prednisone because when I go on high doses it gets worse, but when it gets lower it doesn't get as bad. So he tried to just tell me to "work through my anxiety" and I just bluntly said I wanted a pill, and he gave me on, and I think it is working. So that is nice.
And sometime inbetween there I finally got an appointment with a clinical pharmacist. The clinical pharmacist was able to help my mothers friend a lot, but the one I talked to was totally freaked out by my medication list and was not even willing to see me, so that was sort of a downer for the week. But the rest of the appointments were great. One of the reasons I wanted to see the clinical pharmasist was to see if she had a better idea for a schedule of how to take my medicine because my nausea is getting worse and worse, I have an upper GI scheduled for the end of the month, but at this point I cant wait that long, so I think if the Dr. doesn't tell me by the end of Tuesday that he can do the Upper GI that week I am going to urgent care or the ER to get it done. The Transplant team is just like: "Oh, you are just going to have to live with this nausea for a year to 18 months" I had bad nausea before transplant, but not as bad as this. I am just waiting for my medication to come up.
So back to good things. I am hoping if it is cool tomorrow, to ride at least 20 miles. I really want to do the 64 mile Solvang ride in November and need to rack up some more miles. I have rode over 20 miles, but not in about 3 weeks. I would love to do that, it would be exactly 51 weeks after tx and in honor to Ruben.
I know I have said this many times before, but each day, and each stumble that I come across, I realize that I could do so well working in the transplant field. I am getting so much experience as the patient, things that a person that did not go through this would not know.
Jackie told us that she gets off December 22-26, I am so excited she will be home for Christmas, but not my new birthday, I am hoping maybe she will have those four days off and she could fly home? I would love if my whole family could spend the 19 and 20th with me.

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