Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Qualified Success

Woke up this morning with the same hip pain as the morning before. Took my meds and went through the whole bend/stretch/cringe routine until it went away an hour or so later. One pain that lingered most of the day, however, was a pain on the bone under my left buttock which felt like a bruise. It was a little odd as it persisted until late afternoon, then just disappeared. Otherwise, today was a good day much like yesterday afternoon. I felt better overall today than I have in I can't remember when. To add to this, I only had to take 2 Vicodin all day, with a third taken at 9:30PM, vs my usual every 3-5 hours. It's a small improvement.

At my radiation treatment, today was "Doctor Day" which means that Wednesdays are the day that the doctor meets with the radiation patients to discuss progress and concerns. I told him about all of the variables that had been in play since our previous discussion, that I had seen the pain specialist, changed my medication, changed the dosage of that medication, and that the nature of my pain had changed from pain in the back, in the region that he was treating with radiation, to pain in my hips and legs seemingly only occurring after a period of rest in bed. He said that it was possible that the back pain is better due to the radiation, as now would be the soonest that I would have potentially felt any improvement from the treatment, but he also said that it is not unusual for one pain to mask another and that now that he has treated the back pain, it is now revealing this other pain in its place. He asked me to keep tabs on the amount of pain I'm having in my legs and to let him know if it gets any worse. In the meantime, he is going to look at my previous scans to see if there is any cause for concern of weakness in my femur as there was a fair amount of lesions that showed up there, especially on the left one. We'll see what happens from here, I guess. Given that this new pain seems to be primarily a first thing in the morning thing, hopefully it will start improving over time as well. He asked that I schedule a follow up visit with him in a month to see how things are going after the carry over from the radiation has had time to take effect.

I decided to stay with my plan to drive in to Baltimore for the company dinner. Amazingly, I made it all the way there without incident and without pain. We went to dinner on one of those harbor cruise boats and I felt fine the whole time, however by the time we made it back to the hotel at 9:30, I was starting to feel some of the standard pains coming on and decided to take my 3rd Vicodin since I would be having to drive back home soon. I lingered in the bar for about an hour before heading out. By this time, most of the pain was gone. It was good to be out of the house tonight and to see many of the people in our organization from around the world that I generally only see during this one week each year. I was happy that I made the decision to go through with it.

On the way home, the hip pain started, the same hip pain that I usually only get after spending time in bed. It became pretty bad, so about halfway home I took my evening dose of Neurontin and Methadone. By the time I reached home, that pain had mostly dissipated. This is good in that it tells me those drugs are doing something since I took them about an hour and a half past their scheduled time and they actually helped with the pain. This was my first semi-controlled experiment to verify their usefulness, so overall I will call the trip a success. I was able to drive down without the time in the car generating any new pain and even though I encountered pain on the return trip, I was late in taking my medication so it's possible that I could have made the return trip pain free had I left a couple of hours earlier. The only way to tell will be to give it another go during normal work hours. If I continue to feel the way that I did today for the next several days, then I may try going to the office next week.

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