Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Big Blue Pills

On Saturday, I noticed a sprinkling of delicate red bumps at my newly shaved temples. I knew immediately what it would turn into: a painful infected mess of a rash covering my face and scalp. I've had this rash a couple of times now, and it is from the chemo.

In the past, I waited to talk to my doctor till the rash was just unbearable. This time I wanted to see if I could stop it before it got too bad. Why be miserable if I can avoid it. Also in the past, Dr R was hesitant to prescribe antibiotics -- he got me to dab my head with cortizone cream instead (which helps, but slowly and messily). However, my primary care physician Dr S did not hesitate to give me antibiotics when he saw this rash last summer. I decided if Dr R gave me any flack, I would go see Dr S instead.

I called my nurse at Duke on Monday morning and asked for antibiotics. No problem, they called in a funky antibiotic prescription for me immediately. I have to take a big blue pill every six hours for the next seven days, and I cannot lie down for at least ten minutes after taking each pill. Oh, and the insert has a frightening description of some kind of rare diarrhea that can actually kill you.

I took the first pill at 7:00PM, went to bed at 9:00PM, and set my alarm for 1:00AM. I was really disorientated at 1:00AM when the alarm went off. I managed to take the second pill and then just stood in the kitchen for ten minutes wondering what happens to you if you lie down too soon. Meanwhile, my alarm starting going off again in the bedroom because I had hit snooze instead of turning it off. (Lou was thrilled at being woken up twice.) I reset the alarm to go off at 7:00AM for the third pill, but by then I was so anxious, I kept waking myself up the rest of the night!

I am exhausted. There is no way I am taking this pill every six hours tonight. I'll do the best I can, maybe aim for eight hours overnight.

As a result of the completely disrupted sleep and the chemo, I had a very very bad morning. I started driving to work, realized I could not make it, and headed home. Then we lost power! I ended up back in bed, which helped, because now I am okay again.

Power is back on, which is good, because I don't want to know how hot it can get with no air conditioning.

My new favorite beverage! Thanks to Bonnie at work for lending me a bottle opener yesterday.

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