Saturday, February 13, 2010

Why I Haven't Been Writing...

  1. Angry
  2. Confused
  3. Got the saddies
  4. Tired
All of the above.

  These past few days have been hard for me. I've been angry. I've been sad. I've been hopelessly fighting a battle within myself.
The doctor broke it down to me in no uncertain terms: "You are sick and your liver is getting worse."
Again I heard the story about the liver being a big processing plant that filters out all the poisons and produces nutrients for the body. When the liver isn't working the poison looks for other places to go. You get nauseated. There are aches and pains. There is the unyielding desire to sleep. You get confused. All of these are signs of encephalopathy. Untreated you may slip into a coma. The last stage is death.
"We need to clear your head." He says.
We go over all of my medication and he tells me what he wants me to do. First we are increasing the dosage of the beta blocker, and the Neomycin and the Omeprazole and the Lactulose. We are getting rid of the muscle relaxer and the anti-nausea medicine and the Ambien.
Fortunately I wasn't counting on any of the drugs he took away. The nausea medicine rarely worked. The Ambien I didn't use very often and the muscle relaxer was for muscle cramps and those pills haven't been helping out that much lately.
The doctor explains to me again about the importance of staying on the Lactulose. "It is your friend and it will save your life. The alternative is that oneday, Lois, will have to call an ambulance and they will load me up and bring me to the hospital and they will shove a tube down my throat and deliver the lactulose this way on the hour every hour until I come back around."
So I guess there's that.
Anyhow, Lactulose is this thick syrup that you drink so that the ammonia that is stuck in your body can hitch a ride out while you are sitting on the toilet having diarrhea. I don't like to talk about it, but that is its purpose; to get the poison out of the body so it doesn't go to the brain and kill you.
Now my problem is that I don't take the medicine on my work days because who the hell wants to have diarrhea all day long during a 12 hour shift? Me...I don't like to. But that's all a thing of the past now and I'm taking the shit 3 times a day every day (Yeah, I did a swear there) and I want to cry. I don't mind it so much at home when I'm off of work, but this work thing really sucks. But hey, I'm alive and not in a coma. So I guess I got that going for me as well.
In conclusion: doctors suck. But they are saving my life so I guess I will listen to them.
I'm still mad.


  1. I'm sorry to hear you've been feeling down. Hopefully these med changes will help. And that is weird about Lactulose! Violet's pediatrician wrote her some a while back but I never gave it to her because I figured out from the name that it had milk ingredients, which she is allergic to.

    Also- I am waiting to find the right journal so i can get the project I mentioned on my blog started. I definitely want you and Lois to be part of it! It should be fun.

    Hope you start feeling better soon!

  2. This sounds gruesome. I used to give my aged sick cat lactulose which she hated intensely.

    Hang in there.

  3. Oh this might be worth looking into:

  4. I cant stand that stuff, but believe me it is far better than the toxins going to your brain. Believe me that is no fun and makes for some truly embarrassing stories later on once its cleared.

    I hope your call comes soon and you can start living life to the full once again.

    Have you considered leaving work for a while to concentrate on your health? I am not sure if that is viable for you.

  5. *mary*
    Thanx. I am starting to bounce back.
    I can't imagine taking this drug for anything else other than constipation. It definitely works wonders in that regard.

    A cat on lactulose, that sounds horribly wrong.

  6. Bitter_Angel,
    I can imagine the interesting stories. I have to admit I've already had a few of my own.
    Sadly, leaving work is not an option right now.
    Hope you are doing well.

  7. *big hug*

    This all sounds very tough. Hang in there. Sucks that you can't take time off work, definitely. Take it easy as much as you can. Anything you can do to take your mind off the illness?

  8. P.S. I don't know if it's something you considered, but mindfulness meditation can help in dealing with chronic illness. It won't take away the illness itself, but it has been reported to help with the emotional effect. I've been doing it for depression, but the book Full Catastrophe Living, by Jon Kabat-Zinn (sp.?) is a good intro into it, and he is a dude that runs a stress clinic in some high-falutin' Western medicine institute and a lot of the patients in his program there are folks with chronic and debilitating illness.

    Just tossing my $0.02 of unsolicited advice in, of which I'm sure you get a lot :)

  9. Spatula,

    I always appreciate advice. Thank you very much.
    I was reading your blog last night.
    This Richard Bach quote from Jonathan Livingston Seagull crossed my mind after I read your last post.
    "The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof."
    I remember this meaning a lot to me back in the day after I left home and traveled from place to place with no home or family of my own. I found it to be true at the time.
    You take very good care of yourself.

  10. Beaux I'm so so sorry this is happening for you. It's all so scary and exhausting physically and mentally and in the midst of all your misery (and working and caring for your family) you check in on me and so many others who are sick (mostly much sicker than me) are truly a shining light in the world...curse all you want cause this is so totally unfair...but that's life right? unfair. Being a good person doesn't stop diseases from happening...but it does make a difference in how you experience the life you have and the lives of all the people you touch...even from far away, electronically through the internet. YOUR KINDNESS touches me deeply. I just want you to know that. I want you to know that you are always in my prayers, even though we have never met. I pray for your liver to be delivered soon, for your body to accept it and heal, for you to have more time on this planet to share your kindness with lots and lots of other people. NOW DRINK THAT ICKY SYRUP and sit on the toilet and do what you have to do. We all want you around for a long, long time!


  11. Laura, your comments are always so nice. I thank you for your sentiments and your kind compassion.
    I took the girls to see Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, so I missed your e-mail. I will get back to you soon.

  12. Know that your light shines brightly-love and prayers -teri