Friday, August 15, 2008

Tales from the Hospital

Today was my first full day back in the hospital. So far everything is proceeding as it does every other time I'm in here. The first day is always a lot of different people asking me to describe why it is I'm here and what medications I'm taking. Since I was just here a couple weeks ago, all my information was still in the computer. All they had to do was pull up my giant list of medications and check them all off.

We're trying a different combination of antibiotics this time in hopes that it will be more effective in wiping out this infection. I'm on tobramycin, which is something I was on a lot in the past. The biggest drawback to that medication is that it's ototoxic (damages the ears.) I have substantial hearing loss and wear hearing aids because of the damage I've sustained from this potent drug. Nonetheless, I'd much rather sacrifice my ears than my lungs at this point.

One of the doctors who saw me today was a rheumatologist. He was able to diagnose my severe joint pain as CF-associated arthritis. This type of arthritis isn't that common. It happens to a small percentage of CF patients. Generally a flare up will accompany or precede a pulmonary exacerbation, which is how it's been for me this time. There's nothing we can do to prevent flare-ups. The best we can do is manage the pain when it happens. Right now I'm on a reasonable dose of vicodin. I say reasonable because it takes care of the pain without turning me into a zombie or putting me to sleep.

I had a fun visitor tonight; Kelly! She was kind enough to bring her smiling face and a bag of Cinnabons with extra icing. She said they'd help fatten me up. I sure hope so. I can hardly believe she brought those. I had been craving them the last time I was in here, but there aren't any Cinnabon shops nearby. Kelly happens to live near a mall that has them. Mmmmmmmm.

Brad came by at the same time and we shared a meal together. I've decided that take-out from the Peking Palace is nowhere nearly as good as it is at the restaurant. It's all dry and cold. Yuck. Of course, that didn't stop me from eating it. I ordered a cheeseburger from the cafeteria too. Might as well keep working on my weight. I was 114 when I came in here. I hope to be really close to 120 when I get out. We'll see.

I know you had some o2 studies recently, but I'm wondering, since your arthritis is subsiding now, are you on o2 in the hospital? I've noticed my arthritis flares up when I don't wear my o2 at night, even for 2 or 3 nights, I can be in pain for up to 3 weeks later.
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