March 13, 2024

March 13, 2024

Health update:

Yesterday I finished packing up my truck and departing the airbnb house around noon and arrived at our home in Blairsville around 130pm. I was welcomed by this nice surprise of a welcome home banner, a few potted flowers from awesome neighbor friends and lots of cards as well.

My return home didn't go quite as planned unfortunately. The bad tremors/ body convulsions from Saturday returned yesterday morning as I was packing up. It continued to worsen the 90 minute drive home. I was literally beating the steering wheel and console with my hands and my feet were tap dancing on the gas pedal the whole way. I had to use cruise control to help maintain a non erratic speed. Got home, unloaded the truck, called the oncologist and they told me to go to the ER in Canton. At this point, I was shaking too bad to even drive. So Ken drove me all the way back to Canton. The dr said the ER would know my situation should take right back.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen. They took some blood, left an IV line in my arm and I continued to sit in a wheelchair flopping around like a tweaked out meth head for FIVE hours! It was a miserable experience. They finally got me to an ER room. I explained to the dr that I just finished cancer treatments and that we suspect I'm having a reaction (delayed) to the anesthesia, since it also happened Saturday, one day after anesthesia. But it seemed the dr wasn't listening. He listened to my breathing and ordered a respiratory nurse to come in to draw blood from an artery. Something about blood gases.

The nurse from Helga's House of Pain came in and said she needed to poke me in a wrist artery. She told me there's a lot of nerves in that area. Ok, I've got a pretty high pain tolerance, but this went above and beyond an acceptable level of pain. I cursed, cried, wailed and was drenched in sweat from the experience. She was blindly digging to China in my wrist. Right as I was about to say that's it, I'm done - ken says it's time to take a break. He watched her turn the needle multiple times and keep shoving it further into my wrist and still didn't get a drop off blood. Then pulls it out and says, awe you just got yourself all worked up. FALSE Helga! Ken has been there every time I've gotten poked and said you didn't get worked up. She didn't do a good job and was very cocky about her abilities. She didn't even turn on the overhead light and the room was fairly dark.
She leaves to tell the dr what happened and comes back and said he gave her permission to try further up in my arm so she goes for the inside elbow. I asked if that area had similar nerves there and she said yes. This time she turns on the overhead light and sticks it in. This time, it worked. Didn't feel great but nothing like the pain in the wrist artery. She explained that they try to do it lower because drawing blood from an artery has a higher chance of causing a limb to be amputated. WHAT??? I feel like I should have been told that before the first attempt. She said it would be better to lose a hand vs the whole arm. Sure wish I had recorded that whole experience.

The dr says my shaking was from hyperventilating. No sir doc - the hyperventilating was caused by 10 hours of shaking. But he didn't listen to the details I explained. Tells me to try breathing into a paper bag and wrote a script for Ativan in case it happens again. So we still don't know what from the anesthesia caused the reaction so it will likely happen again if I ever need to be put under.

So $3000 and 12 hours later, we got home at 1am. I'll be pickup up the script this afternoon. I'm going to try to put this experience behind me and focus on surviving cancer treatments and start healing all the damage to my body. I weigh 130 lbs. Time to focus on rebuilding muscle, consuming lots of protein and staying hydrated.

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