Being Stoic Isn’t Everything

Well, here’s the story for my hip procedure. If you missed any of the other stories, you may want to read them here, here and here.

It’s been a long, overdue procedure, and I FINALLY got it done. When I originally planned the appointment, I made the first available appointment but was within my own comfort level. Meaning, FIRST THING IN THE MORNING, on a FRIDAY!! Why? Well, a) its easier to keep an empty stomach when you don’t have to stare at food all day long, b) who wants to get all pretty for a procedure!! c) if your pain lasts longer than the first day, you have the rest of the weekend to recuperate and d) its usually easier to schedule a ride. So, it was official, the appointment was scheduled for 7am, Friday, November 18th. Now, you probably thinking, seriously dude, ITS A SHOT!! GET OVER IT. Umm, no!!! 😛

Upon my arrival, I signed in, waited maybe a MINUTE, and then thye immediately took me back into the patient waiting room. There was a TV, a bed, a comfy lazy boy chair, along with a private bathroom. Comfy, yet relaxing. And then thats when they hit you with it. THE GOWN!! Yup, that gown. The one where your open in the back or the front. It doesn’t matter how much you tie those ribbons, your still WIDE OPEN! Yup, that gown. The NURSE made me change into 2 gowns. 1 for the front and 1 for the back. Because obviously, that covers a lot. 😉

Afterward I changed into THE GOWN, the nurse came in and provided several warm blankets. I wrapped, covered, and snuggled profusely because I was so COLD!! And then, the ROUTINE started; the one where they verify who you are and ask a bunch of questions. Its also the part where you sign your life away on paperwork.  Then they finally got to the question of what my pain level was at prior to the procedure. I answered honestly. A 7!! A 7!! I think the nurse, Mr. P, and my mommy were shocked.

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Don’t lie; I know your envious of that #7 face. 😉

Then, a HUGE, and I mean MASSIVE, IV bag entered into the room, and then inserted into my arm. Of course, they used my famous vein and I sat. I sat what felt like FOREVER. I watched TV, and did a little talking to my mom and husband. The more time that passed, the more I got dopey. WAHOO!!

Then, the doctor came in. She introduced herself and went over the procedure 1 more time, confirmed more things, etc. Afterwards, my family and I separated. Mr. P and mommy went back to the waiting room, and I went into a back room. At this time, I met two of her medical assistants, climbed onto the exam table, saw the doctor, and the rest, I DONT REMEMBER!! IT WAS AWESOME!!

Once it was done, which felt like 3 minutes later from when I climbed onto the table, I was asked to climb onto the stretcher. The rest of it is pretty much a blur. Another reason why to have someone with you, so they can receive all the after-patient instructions. However, I do remember my nurse asking me what I wanted to drink and I said apple juice (a favorite of mine during my Remicade infusion) and what my pain level was. Its now an 8!! AN 8!! That’s 1 higher than what I started at!! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?! Apparently its normal. So, if you go through this same thing, ask to be normal.

Then, after I woke up a bit more, maybe about a half hour later, they wheeled me out to the car where my family drove me home.

The rest of the morning I slept, watched movies, and iced my hip. Why ICE? It helps the medication stay exactly where it needs to be. It prevents it from MOVING. I iced my hip so often I was running out of icepacks because they weren’t cold enough. Onto the frozen peas!!

At about 4pm, I started craving cupcakes and donuts. I don’t know why. Of course, we didn’t have any of those things in the house. So, if your going to go through this type of procedure, plan accordingly. Not only for a ride, a day off (if you work) and on a Friday, but also plan for snacks!! And I mean all sorts of kinds. I wanted crackers, cheese, juice, chocolate, cupcakes, donuts. Load yourself up. This is not the time to worry about your diet. After all, you’ll be sedated, you’ll feel like crap, and you’ll be in pain.

I decided to just let the cupcake thing slide, took some Tylenol, and watched another movie. About halfway through the movie, my mommy called to see how I was doing. It then dawned on me. My pain was worse than when I was released, which was an 8!! So, what am I now? A 9.5!! A 9.5!! I started bawling and crying on the phone. She told me to stop being so damn STOIC (which I’m famous for in my family) and call the doctor to ask for a prescription. She thought it was silly that they didn’t send me home with any. She reassured me that it was okay to call, especially since the OTC pain killers weren’t helping, especially as the prescription should help me sleep, and the best way to heal is through rest, and I was utterly uncomfortable.

I got off the phone and just continued to bawl. Mr. P came rushing to me and thought my feelings were hurt. No, just this STUPID HIP!! I asked him to call the doctor and ask for some pain killers. I reached my limit. This was not the time to be STOIC, and I was moving on. Of course, it was 5:30 by the time I realized the pain level, so Mr. P called the on-call doctor. After paging him twice, and him finally returned my phone call. I spoke with him. I cried on the phone. I explained my pain. I explained that I didn’t realize I was in this much pain until someone asked me! I even admitted on the phone that I’m STOIC. Maybe its being an arthritis patient; after all we do have a high tolerance to pain. He was shocked when he heard that the facility didn’t send me home with any pain killers because its STANDARD with this type of hip procedure. STANDARD!! SERIOUSLY?

Mr. P went to the store, picked up my pain killers, and of course, EVERYTHING I WAS CRAVING!! He got me cupcakes, juice, and even an entire bag of Reese’s Mini Peanut Buttercups. THAT WAS HUGE considering he hates peanut butter. HATES IT!! 🙂 but he loves me because he knows its my favorite. Chocolate and peanut butter, you can’t go wrong.

And what prescription did the on-call doc send me? VICODIN. Yes, that’s right. THE HARD CRAP! However, I’m petrified of the stuff. A drug that can make all pain go away. To be honest, I like feeling a little bit of pain. Its a reminder to take things easy and that I’m not invincible. Weird, I know, but that’s how I am. So, even though I’m at a 9.5 when I received the medication, I took only half a pill. Then another half, a half-hour later. AND then another half, a half-hour later  Finally, the pain was gone and I went to bed.

The next morning my pain went back to a 8. Who knew having a pain of an 8 would be exciting. However, this is exactly why I planned the procedure on a Friday. I couldn’t drive, I could barely stand and walk. I wanted to rest and recover as much as possible, and I did.

There have been days the last few weeks where I’ve reached a 3, an amazing feat considering I was at a 7 to begin with. However, the last week or so, I’ve been more at a 5 to a 6. It hasn’t stopped me from doing Zumba, but its still frustrating. I think the increase in pain partially has to do with postponing my latest Remicade treatment because I was on antibiotics for a stupid sinus infection. The worst part, I still have another week to go. So, needless to say, I’m anxious to see if my Remicade medication will aid in my hip pain and allow it to go back down to a 3. Who knows, but one can hope.

Do you guys have issues with taking pain-killers?

Do you like to feel a little pain too, or am I just crazy?

Do you have a problem being stoic?

I’d love to know. 🙂

Much Love,

If you’re a newbie here, welcome!

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5 thoughts on “Being Stoic Isn’t Everything

  1. I so agree that we arthritis heroes 🙂 tend to be stoic. I have never ever been pain free so it is normal to me now. I do worry that I have been dealing with pain and severe at times that at some point something major will (and has) go wrong and I won’t even pay attention to it. I am allergic to the real pain meds and left to tramadol which is barely getting me to a constant 6 from a steady 8/9. I hope your hip starts to feel better soon and that Ramicade does wonders for you.

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  2. Wow…getting your shot was such a different office visit than mine was. Mine started off with an ultrasound, then my Rheumatologist was like, “Okay, I think we should do the shot.” This was just in a the normal exam room I see him at. I changed into paper shorts (they cut open one of the legs) and ~5 minutes later I was getting my shot. Then I was left alone in the room to change and sent off.

    I was a little woozy and they told me it was probably just from my adrenaline rush (mine was very painful and difficult to get through) and was normal. My pain improved by like 50% for the next couple hours, until the lidocane wore off and then I felt worse than before the shot. I actually ran errands after my shot, but was in pretty bad condition when I returned home. I was at ~8-8.5 on the pain scale for 2 days and by the 3rd day I was only feeling slightly better than before the shot. (I’ll say a 6-7 pain level).

    I have no issues taking pain killers, as needed, but usually don’t take anything unless my pain is 7/8…basically at the point where I’m about to cry and can’t think of anything but the pain.

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  3. When I was first diagnosed (only about 8 month ago) and my first steroid injection (only intramuscular though) it felt weird not to have pain. It took me a while to realise what the strange feeling was, yep it was lack of pain. I had been suffering hip pain for 2 years by then so the pain had become my ‘normal’

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  4. Thank you for the blog post $author. I’ve been struggling with severe arthritis for upwards of 20 years now since I was 21 years old, caused by a salmonella infection 😦

    I’m at that point in my life where it’s going downhill quite rapid so any information and facts I read about it these days is useful to me 🙂

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    • You bet!! I think its important to always be honest with yourself, with others, and have a positive attitude. This disease sucks enough out of you; it shouldn’t take away your entire life. 🙂

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