Sunday, October 19, 2008

Two months after radiation-I’m so tired of being me

When you’re sick in bed, what might you be doing? What might I be doing? Watching TV. What’s on? Not much. What’s worth watching? Not much. It’s too depressing to watch Jerry Springer, Steve Wilkos, or Maury Povich. There’s Oprah, Ellen, Tyra, and for a short while…Wendy, this is occasionally good...but mostly there are movies (some good, some not so good, many bad), and the NEWS. The NEWS now is especially tormenting. You want to watch, you need to watch, you shouldn’t watch, you have to watch. What difference does it make if you watch? So is it NEWS or a bad movie? Oh, all the decisions for a sick person.

The world seems to be imploding…and so am I. A week after I consulted with Dr. ENT and received his clean bill of health, I felt really awful. So off I went to Dr. Ear. Dr. Ear sits at the bottom of the Ear, Nose and Throat pyramid. While my Dr. ENT deals with life saving surgeries, Dr. Ear deals with abscesses and wax…gross. So he does his Dr. Ear thing and proclaims that I have an ear infection, and…a sinus infection…something Dr. ENT emphatically denied I had…in fact he said that any irritation I had was most likely due to radiation, and that I would have it forever. When I tell Dr. Ear what Dr. ENT said, he says this “well, I don’t know what to tell you, this is what we do here, and you have a huge infection”. I like how he says that that is what he does…proudly he pronounces that this dripping, waxy, oozing territory is his…Dr. ENT would not get close to this stuff…too beneath him. So beneath him I guess, that he was even unable to see it.

This was a happy day for me; finally I had someone who concurred with what I was feeling about myself…that I was infected and needed modern day medicine…something more than hope and saline spray. I went to the pharmacy, filled my prescription, took it, and started down a sad and sick path that I had not visited since last October right after I had surgery. Not even during radiation did I feel this bad. I began to hear a whooshing noise in my hearless ear, I ached all over, I was dizzy, my ear pounded with pain, I was nauseous, sick, and did I mention extremely sad?

I called Dr. Ear and he told me to stop taking the medicine, that I was probably having an allergic reaction. He prescribed medicine #2…I started to take that…I felt worse…as though that was even possible. As elated as I was initially with Dr. Ear, my enthusiasm had waned completely; it made me start to question his bold statement “this is what I do”. For me, he wasn’t doing such a good job. Besides the fact that I was now feeling sicker, I was confused about what was wrong with me. Was this an allergic reaction, was it radiation, was it tumor? And the whooshing was just driving me nuts. I have such a stew of doctors at the moment…neurologist, radiation oncologist, PCP, neurosurgeon, ENT, head and neck surgeon…I just wasn’t sure to whom to tell my story. I called my PCP…always a calm guy in the storm. He listened and decided to prescribe a regular broad base antibiotic…nothing to 21st century, and said to give it a few days and see how I feel. He also added that if the whooshing continued that I should call my neurologist.

I took the broad base antibiotic, the whooshing started to recede, I do feel better, still have an earache…but I’m relieved to have dropped some of the other symptoms. No more whooshing.

What can I say; it was a setback I could have done without. As I approach the one-year mark from my surgery last year, I feel so tired of this, so tired of being this me.

1 comment:

PJ said...

Well, I am sure the people around you are not at all tired of you being you. I would venture if anything they are very glad to have you!

There’s something going around, it’s nasty. I’ve had an ear infection going on for two months now, it’s torture. At least you got to the doctor and things should get better.

The whole daytime TV thing is sparse to be sure. When your life is based around the TV it can be very boring at times. This is the one area I have some expertise in and I can say I am thankful for the back to back Malcolm in the Middle episodes in the afternoon. I’ve been keeping CNBC on quite a bit of late, it’s news but at least a different kind of news.

Hang in there it will get better.