Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yesterday at the doc

We trudged through the rain yesterday afternoon to see the ortho for our accelerated appointment; he'd moved it up because of concerns about what I was feeling -- pain, aching, numbness. When we saw him he said I'd scared him with my symptoms, and he and Kim examined both me and the MRI. What they found was a lot of swelling, both visible at the incision site and more so inside via the MRI. That swelling is apparently pressing on the nerves, which would explain my weird nerve-related symptoms.

He said these will subside on their own, but could take a month. A month! And he swapped out the meds. Goodbye Percoset. Goodbye Flexoril. Hello Ultram. Hello Lyrica. Scary drugs, according to the package labels. Scary drugs, according to the pharmacist who insisted that she speak to me before filling the prescriptions, as she made sure that I was no longer taking the old drugs before I started the new ones. One is an anti-epileptic, which got our attention. One of them -- I don't remember which -- says that thoughts of suicide are a possibility. I remember Lyrica from my last job when I was working on Eli Lilly's Cymbalta; Lyrica was identified as a chief competitor when Cymbalta received its new indication. It's a very different thing to work with these drugs in the abstract than it is to have them prescribed for you. A clash of the abstract and the concrete, the theoretical and the actual.

He also thought my plans to return to work early next week were a pipe dream. He was visibly surprised when I asked about returning -- "not yet!" and asked if I needed a note. What we did agree on is that I'd like to start coming in for a few hours mid to late next week, but that I need to check in with him early next week first.

Apparently I now have the dread complications, though they're not serious. It also means that I need to do even less than I've been doing -- less sitting, more resting, no bending, no twisting. No kidding. More bed time, more lying down and the occasional short walk. And that's all that's available to me.

So the weekend will be very very quiet. We have 3 groups coming to see the house which will require at least some cleaning and straightening, but I know Nick won't let me do any real heavy lifting. So I'm working at my level -- just picking up what I can without breaching any of the forbidden activities. It means I can empty the top shelf of the dishwasher but not the bottom, and I can clean off the coffee table in the living room as long as I'm sitting but not standing. As an old boss of mine used to say, champions adjust.

Otherwise I'll read. I'm halfway through the Balz/Haynes book -- completed the section on the Democrats, moving on today to the Republicans. We'll wallow today in the weird news that characterizes 9/12: Glen Beck's insane astroturf movement, the tea parties, the continuing hand-wringing over Joe Wilson and the erosion of civility.

We'll try a lying-down version of Scrabble, and see how that goes. I'm glad it's raining today; it'll make it easier to live within my current limitations, which feel boundless.

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