Day 36 - 11/14/18
Today I have the appointment with the PA. I am taking this opportunity to ask questions that didn’t seem serious enough to call into the office, but things that I felt like I needed to know. Samples of these questions are: How long do I need to monitor a low-grade fever (under 100 degrees) before I take something for it? Is it okay to take something for it? What can I take for heartburn? I know I could have called into the office to ask these questions, but I didn’t want to “bother” anyone with these questions, since everything appeared to be going fine. These were just a few things that I felt could wait until my appointment because they weren't anything that I had to know immediately. Had my fever gone above the 100.5 threshold, I knew that I needed to report it, but I didn't know what to do in other situations.
After answering all of my questions, my husband had additional questions about my diet. He admitted that he was taken aback by the fact that I lost my taste buds, and he wasn’t sure of what he should be giving me to eat. She, realizing that he was trying to stick to a low-sugar, low-carb diet, advised him that it was okay to let me eat whatever I was able to eat. She stated that sometimes when patients lose their taste, they also lose their appetite, so rather than not eating, she preferred that I ate whatever I wanted to eat. This is GREAT NEWS to me! I’ll still keep it within reason, but at least I am not limited to all healthy foods.
Next, the PA advised us that my white blood cell count is low. She assured us that this is not out of the norm, but they will have to give me a shot to boost them back up. And, in the meantime, I should not be around a lot of people because my immune system is too weak to fight off any infections. To combat the side-effects for the shot I am getting, I should take an antihistamine for 5 days, and I can take acetaminophen for pain. I was told that the pain would not be extensive, but, just in case I have any pain, it would be okay to take acetaminophen. Those are easy instructions to follow, so we head home after I get the shot.
My husband goes to the drug store to pick up the antihistamine, but I believe we have acetaminophen already, so I tell him not to worry about getting any more. And besides, the pain may or may not happen, so there’s no need in going out of the way to get any. AND if I have any pain, it would be a mild pain—more like a little discomfort. I take the antihistamine and settle in for the evening. No pain or discomfort, so I’m good.
The next morning I awake, after everyone is gone for the day, aching. This discomfort is in no way “mild”. So I go to take the acetaminophen, and I discover that we don’t have any. The only pain medication that we have is the one that cannot take. :( Nice going. Well now what do I do?
I call my girlfriend, who’s a nurse, to ask her if she has any advice for me. She recommends that I take the medicine that was recommended by the PA. Sweet (in my sarcastic voice). Since she’s in CA, and I’m in TX, I tell her that she has not helped me AT ALL. She’s one of my friends that I can count on to make me laugh at the weirdest and most inappropriate times, so today is no different. We laugh at this, through my pain, for about 30 minutes.
Not wanting to have to call my daughter or husband to make a special trip to bring me the medicine, I continue to endure the pain for a few more hours. Finally, I can’t take it anymore, so I call my daughter. I ask her to bring me it to me when she gets off work. When she made it, I immediately took it, and it took about 30 minutes to start working. As the relief began to move through my body, so did the fatigue. I was so tired from enduring the pain, before I realized it, I drifted off to sleep.
So, I always believe that there is a lesson to be learned in every situation. What was the lesson in this? #1 - Know your medication inventory at all times—don’t assume. #2 - Learn how to ask for help when you make a mistake with #1. And #3 - Don’t call LaTresa if you’re in too much pain to laugh--she has no mercy.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine,” Proverbs 17: 22a NIV