Monday, May 15, 2006


Its time for another health update. Things have been progressing along pretty well, for the most part. Last week the bowel drainage tube was removed, as well as the PICC line for IV’s. I’m tubeless at last!

I have been weaned off the antibiotics. For the past two months, home health care has been sending a nurse out to our home to draw blood, and change the dressing on the PICC line. Now that the PICC line is out, there will be no need for home health care to return.

With all this good news, I should be overjoyed! I can wear regular clothes, and sleep somewhere other than the recliner. I have lost about 50 pounds now, and needless to say, my clothes don’t fit too well anymore. I hope to be able to keep taking more weight off. This major disruption in my usual habits (some of them being bad habits) gives me the opportunity to create new and healthier habits to live by. However, with all the good news, there is a cloud in the silver lining. I am suffering from side-effects from some of the medications I was taking.

One of the antibiotics I was on, Flagyl, has caused damage to the nerves in my feet, and to a lesser extent to my hands. My feet burn and tingle, with some degree of numbness all the time. It feels like stepping into extremely hot water in your bare feet. So far, no medications have been able to reduce the severity of the pain and discomfort. Tylenol and Ibuprofen don’t seem to have any effect. My Dr. has prescribed Amitriptyline to reduce nerve pain. We are gradually increasing the dosage every couple of days to find a level that will be effective. However, so far, I haven’t noticed any lessening of the pain and burning sensation.

This problem gets worse in the late afternoon and evening hours. It makes sleep very difficult too. I go to bed at a reasonable hour (usually before 11:00 pm), but find that I cannot get to sleep until about 4:00 am. I don’t know if I am able to sleep then because the pain level has gone down, or if I just get so fatigued that my body can ignore the pain and discomfort for a while.
So while I should be excited for getting all the tubes out, I am still weighed down by this new problem. I will see the Dr. again on Thursday, and we will try a new medication, if necessary to try to get some relief from this condition, which I believe is officially called Paresthesia.

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