Sunday, March 3, 2013

Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes

I had a follow up visit with the radiation oncologist on Friday. There's nothing that really came of it as it was more for him just to see how I was doing, to make sure that there had been improvement since the treatment and to make sure that I wasn't having any negative side effects. I told him about my current situation with the sciatic-bowel roller coaster and he didn't seem concerned. He wants to do a follow up MRI in a couple of months, so I scheduled that for the beginning of May. I guess we'll have to wait until then to find out how things look.

The last two days have definitely been at the bottom of the roller coaster. I don't know if it's due to the medication, the tuning of my laxative dosage, or something else, but starting mid-afternoon on Friday, I started feeling really unwell. I finally had a bowel movement a little prior to this and felt like it was somehow related, but I just needed to lay down, so I decided to take a nap. The nap only lasted about 45 minutes or so before I woke up with some of the usual pain and the need to head to the bathroom at which point I had diarrhea that lasted well into the night. I was on and off the toilet until about 2:30AM when I was finally able to get to bed. I was up again at 6:45 and it continued up until around noon or so.

All this time, I was having a pretty good amount of pain in my right leg above the knee, mid-shin, and occasionally in my hip and lower back. At times it was impossible to find a comfortable position to be in, even my usual stretching routine didn't help. The most comfortable thing that I could do was to lay flat on my back on the hardwood floor. I somehow managed to fall asleep in this position for an hour or so after which I awoke feeling much better. After a dose of Vicodin, I finally felt good enough to go out on a pre-planned lunch date with my wife. A friend had come over to watch all 3 girls for us for this specific reason and I had been worried that I was going to have to cancel, but in the end, whatever it was passed and we managed to both make our date and enjoy it. It was the first time in a long time that we were able to have a completely kid free conversation without being tired to the point of wanting to turn in.

After this, I had some random pains and light constipation the rest of the day, but not much that was noteworthy. The one thing that is noteworthy is that I noticed having pain a couple of times in the arch of my right foot absent of the usual pain in my leg. I've been joking for some time that my pain is working it's way down from my back, to my hips, to my leg and that it's eventually going to go out through my foot. At this point, I'm kind of hoping that the joke comes true, but I don't enjoy having the pain in my foot.

Last night, I decided to use a different pillow than the one that I've been using. Back before I was diagnosed, when I was going to the chiropractor for all of my pains, I had purchased a tempurpedic pillow in an attempt to alleviate the stiff neck that I was having at the time. It seemed to help, so I've been using it since. Now I am still having some minor stiffness in my neck and am starting to wonder if the pillow is to blame so last night, I reverted back to the crappy standard pillow as an experiment. Interestingly, I woke up this morning with my neck feeling a little stiffer, especially when I turn my head to the left, however I did not have my usual back/hip/leg pain. I had a little mild pain in my leg, nothing worth writing about, but I did have some pain in my lower back on the left side, which is the opposite of where I normally have it. I can't even remember the last time I felt it on the left. It wasn't severe and I was able to somewhat work it out by stretching, but it was just odd that suddenly I wake up without my normal pain, but with some new minor pains. I've given up trying to figure out a pattern or cause and effect relationship. At this point, I'm just going to take my meds and wait it out. It's too early to determine if this is some new shift in everything, but I may try the crappy pillow again tonight to see if I get the same results tomorrow.

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