Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Sorry guys... hurting bad here...

You might have noticed, I haven't written much in the last week.

Frankly... It's because I'm in a lot of pain.

I ran out of my prescription diuretics last Monday; and my doctor was wanting to see some test results before he renewed the scrip.

I have to get a full metabolic panel every month, because the drugs I'm on can cause severe electrolyte and vitamin deficiencies; and have very negative effects on my liver and kidney function. The doc is very strict about not renewing the scrips without the blood tests (as he should be... but it's still a pain).

Unfortunately, he went on vacation, and wasn't back until today (the scrip renewal went out at close of business today); so I've been without diuretics since last Tuesday. And swelling. Fast.

I have mentioned before how bad my edema is. I take 180mg of Furosemide (lasix) and 20mg of Bumetanide (Bumex) every day. These are both the maximum "normal" doses for extended use. Any higher dosage is meant for emergency use only, to treat congestive heart failure for example.  The "Normal" dosage of Furosemide is 20mg once or twice daily. Bumetanide is approximately 40 times as potent as Furosemide, and the "normal" dosage for it is 2mg once or twice daily.  I take about 10 times the "normal" dosage, and that barely keeps the edema under control, never mind actually eliminating it.

Well, between last Tuesday and today, I gained 38 pounds.

Yes, 38 pounds.

That's all water retention, and as you can imagine it's causing problems.

Did you know that you can be almost drowning in your own fluids, but because you are retaining all of it rather than filtering and expelling it, you can actually be dehydrated? So, you have to drink more (and make sure your electrolytes are kept way up too) to prevent severe dehydration shutting down your kidneys (which is made worse by the high blood pressure the edema causes).

You can't even try to restrict fluids to keep the water down... but you also have to carefully restrict your sodium and potassium intake, or you can cause your kidneys to shut down as well... or your heart for that matter... but not too much restriction because that can also cause your kidneys or heart to shut down...

The fluid collects in my hands, finger, feet, toes, and my large joints (in particular my hips and knees). It puts pressure on everything, squeezing the nerves, and the blood vessels. It causes neuropathy and parasthesia (shooting pain, numbness, feeling "frozen", and "pins and needles"). It collects in my face, my neck, and my chest causing gagging and choking. It squeezes my lungs and heart. It makes me short of breath. It screws up my body temperature regulation. It makes my blood pressure shoot up..

Combined with the testosterone supplementation (which worsens inflammation), and pre-existing seborrhea (also made worse by testosterone), and nasal/sinus allergies... My entire body is basically just one big piece of inflamed and waterlogged meat.

Everything just fucking hurts. Everything.

I can't sleep, and when I do it's constantly interrupted by pain, and by the edema screwing up my breathing.

I also can't use my CPAP, because the edema and the allergies combined literally make me choke. My nose is blocked up, and my gag reflex is hyperactive, so I suddenly wake up feeling like I'm drowning. Which means my brain is literally being starved of oxygen every night.

So when I wake up, I'm groggy... and guess what, all that makes edema WORSE... and makes inflammation WORSE. And then I literally need to pass out in the middle of the day (six to eight hours after I wake up, unless I am very vigorously active, I will actually pass out for 15 or 20 minutes)... but then I still can't sleep.

It's a vicious circle.

Finally, I don't know what else I did to myself... it might just be the arthritis, or I may have twisted strained something; but my left knee is... just bad. It's swollen up to the size of a large grapefruit, and it literally can't hold my weight. I'm using my cane just to be able to stand up at the moment.

I keep an emergency reserve of hydrocodone for days like these (I get an "as needed" scrip for them, but almost never take them). They're not working.

I'm sorry for bitching... it's just a bad day... bad week except for yesterday and Friday which were actually really great. I was still hurting, but not as bad (on either day), and I got to spend some great time with my wife, and with our neighbors blowing off a large quantity of fireworks, and eating a large quantity of smoke pork.

So, not all is wrong with the world.