Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Floating in LaLa Land, Roaming Pain, and other Fun!

A few of you may have noticed an inconsistancy in my postings for the past month or so.  I took the easy way out publishing really short posts, sometimes just posting a cartoon, and I even took a week off there at one point.   Well I thought it was time that I 'fess up to what's been happening.

It all started, or so I thought, with a stiff neck.  We had gone for a drive along the southern Maine beaches around the end of April or the first of May with the sunroof open on my Malibu Maxx.  The air was still pretty chilly, so when I developed the neck problem a day or two later, I figured, I'm getting old and can't tolerate drafts like I used to.  It was very painful, and I couldn't turn my head from side to side.  I went to the doctor and she gave me some pain killers, but neglected to tell me I should take them with food.  I was okay during the day, because my first dose was taken after lunch, my second after dinner.   I woke up during the night and took a third dose with just water.  Mistake!  By morning I was vomiting way past the point where I had anything left to pass up!< p>
(Okay, I apologize.  Some of you are probably going to be thinking "TMI,"  but I wanted to paint the full picutre.)  A side effect of the second prescription was constipation.  The pharmacist recommended a laxative--I hadn't taken one since childhood!--so I did as instructed and was rewarded with debilitating  cramps and the equivalent of Montezumah's Revenge!
 I gave up on that prescription pretty quickly.  In the meantime, the stiff neck, dropped and became a really  bad back ache.  I couldn't sit at my computer for more than 5 minutes without pain, I couldn't get up out of the chair without pain, and sometimes without help, and walking was even a problem.   I was at my best when flat on my back in bed!  (I was in pain, guys, so forget those evil thoughts crossing your minds!)

I went back to the first pain killer, this time reading the accompanying paper work, and took it with food, and did get some relief.  I could move around, but sitting at my computer was still uncomfortable in stretches of longer than 15 minutes.  (Two weeks or more had passed during this period.)    On Memorial Day weekend, I attended a BBQ at my son's house, and suffered through, moving from one chair to another, trying to get comfortable.  It just wasn't to be, so immediately after eating (hey, even in pain I can eat BBQ chicken and potato salad!), I returned home.  About 1:30 a.m. on May 31, I decided I couldn't sleep due to extreme CHEST pain and jaw pain.  Certain, that those burgers, fries, and onion rings I so love had come back to bite me, I woke my hubby up and said, "I think we need to go to the Emergency Room!" 

So 2:00 a.m. on Monday of the holiday weekend found me walking into Emergency at Maine Medical Center, certain that I was experiencing a coronary event.  (I should mention that I have 4 older brothers, all of whom have had heart issues, but they had all been smokers in their lives.  I had not.)

 Three hours later, having been through a CT scan, EKG, X-rays, an array of blood tests, and heart monitoring, it was determined that my heart was fine, and the problem was muscular.  Apparently, due to the back problem, I had been using different muscles when rising and sitting and walking--much like when your sides ache from excessive coughing when you've had a bad cold.  Back to painkillers--taken with food!--and I had hopes that relief was in sight. 

And what a sight it was!  I was scheduled to have a follow up appointment with my personal physician and have more blood tests last Friday morning.  As I stood brushing my teeth, I suddenly stared at myself in the mirror.  (I had been in pain enough for the past 4 weeks without zeroing in on my image!)  The whole left side of my face was swollen beyond recognition.  I looked like hubby had punched me.  There was a slightly Asian slant to the eye, which might not have been unattractive by itself, but accompanied by the huge bag under it (Even at my age, I had NEVER had bags under my eys--thank the Lord for small favors!), and the melon-sized growth above my ear, I looked bizarre, to say the least!  ( Thinking back,I had noticed that it had been uncomfortable to lie on my left side...the pillow seemed to hurt my head...that had started with the stiff neck.) 

My doctor took a look at me and said, "Oh, dear--you look terrible!"  Insightful diagnosis on the spot, I thought.  She proceeded to examine me, looked in my ears and said, "Have you had an ear ache?"  I answered, "No." 

"You have a severe ear infection!  I can't believe that you've had no pain in your ear."  We talked more, and I reminded her that I am deaf in my left ear, due to the fact that the nerve was destroyed by a virus years ago.  Apparently, I have no feeling in that ear, either.  She had additional blood tests run, and concluded that I did, indeed, have a severe ear infection, and an inflamatory event going on as well and prescribed a heavy dose of antibiotics and Predisone, and bed rest.

I am pleased to say that I am now feeling much better, the baggage under my eye is gone, and the melon on the side of my head is nearly gone, and I no longer look like I've been on the losing end of a boxing match!  I can lie on my left side without pain, and --knock on wood, here-- all other pain seems to have left as well.  I still have several days left of antibiotics and Predisone, but I'm no longer taking painkillers, and the frequent trips to the john (a byproduct of the antibiotics) seem a small price to pay for my improved condition.  I have a follow up visit with my doctor today, and I expect good news!

Thanks for hanging in there while I was pretty sporadic with posting, and for taking the time to read this unending epistle!   (Oh! And an apology to my hairdresser, whom I accused of giving me a bad haircut.  It wasn't the cut that was bad, it was that melon on the side of my head that made it look weird!)

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Tgoette said...

Holy smokes, Eva! What a horrible ordeal you have been through! I feel awful that you had to endure all that, but I'm glad you are feeling better and are on the mend. Take care!

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Holy crap, woman! Most people go, "oh I was a little under the weather" and they mean they had a small cold, but you? You have to go get stuff infected and swollen and pains in all your innards and things. Tsk! Stop that immediately and get better, please!

Me, I've had bags under my eyes since I was about four. Even in my school pics from when I was six or seven I look like I'd been up all night doing drugs. :) Lucky you missy! (normally, I mean. Not right NOW)

Mardel said...

So the neck pain, and the back pain was most likely because of your EAR? talk about referred pain!.

Glad you're feeling better. Pain sucks. Nothing good about it, other than it being a warning system for your body.

Take care.

My name is PJ. said...

Zoiks, EJ! You poor thing! I'm so sorry so much has happened to you...and in overlapping fashion!

I'm glad you're feeling better.

R. J. said...

Eva, so sorry to hear about your medical situation. I can relate--I'm taking doxycycline for Lyme right now. After watching House for years, I'm hoping that is the correct disease to treat. I had the bull's eye rash and pain under my right arm. My hubby already had Lyme and a friend of his also who wasn't diagnosed until he was on crutches. I hope your condition clears soon.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

I am so glad they found the root of the issue. Glad to hear you are on the up swing.

I hope you are 100% very soon. We missed you.

DJan said...

I agree with several of these comments: most people have BORING things happen to them, but not you! And you must have quite a pain tolerance to have gotten so swollen and sick without noticing! Glad to hear it's all getting much better, Eva. I've missed your pithy humor.

From the Kitchen said...

Oh, Eva! Talk about being thrown for a loop--you sound like you've been through many loops. Glad to hear that you are feeling better. Not only should your doctor have told you how to take the medication, your pharmacist should have as well.

Take good care!


Jenny Brown said...

Oh my, Eva......what a story! How scary for you to have to go thru all that.....I'm so glad they finally found out what the problem was....and I'm so glad you're on your way to feeling much better and being back to your ole' self again. :):)

Steven Anthony said... sounds horrible, I am so glad you are better.....I have missed you....I am sending good thoughts your way ;)


Kristina P. said...

Holy crap! I can't believe all of that was caused by an ear infection. At least it was an easy fix. Glad to see you are feeling better!

Writing Without Periods! said...

OMG, I can't believe all this. So sorry. Hang in there. Take care.
Loyal reader,

Meeko Fabulous said...

Wow! Sounds like you've been through the ringer. Glad you're back and feeling loads better! :)

Bossy Betty said...

What a saga! So glad you are on our way to recovery! Yikes! What a journey though!

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

You poor ole thing, you! Going on new meds is like playing Russion roulette, isn't it. I'm so glad you're on the mend again.

rose said...

boy! that sounds like you had a tough time, but glad feeling better. take it slow. have a good day. rose

Elenka said...

OMG, EVA!!!!!!! What an ordeal!!!!
I am so glad to hear you are better...
Did they ever find out what was wrong with your neck and back in the first place? Not something from that hamburger joint by the mall, I hope.
Keep getting better....

Eva Gallant said...

Steven: Thanks. It's good to feel better! Hubby said he thought I had one foot in the grave clear up to my hip!

Rose: thanks!

Jenny: Not nearly as glad as I am, I assure you!

FromtheKitchen: I just should have read the accompanying paper work. There was nothing on the bottle about food, and I was so miserable, I just didn't take the time!

SimplyLuxurious: Neither did I! Thanks for dropping by!

In case any of you wonder why I don't respond to everyone here, those who have activated their email on their blog get a response directly via email.

The Lucy and Dick Show said...

Glad you're feeling better my friend! I have inner ear damage too from serious ear infections now and again my whole life and you're lucky you couldn't feel the pain! As to riding around with your top open, your mother told you you'd get into trouble doing that!
I'm sure you'll do the yogurt and stuff to replace the bacteria the antibiotics has killed? As far as prednazone... Wow! those are serious drugs!

Candice said...

Damn woman! You have had it rough.

Hey, now that I think about it, maybe that was Quasimoto's problem!!! An Ear infection! Not only that, maybe my ass looks swollen because I actually have an undiagnosed ASS infection. I'll have to look into that.

Anyway, I'm so glad you're feeling better.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Omigosh, Eva! What a terrible siege you've been through. Feel better soon, please.

The Retired One said...

Oh, Eva..what a journey you have been on...I am so sorry you had to go through all of THAT and that you are now feeling better.
I am glad you went in for medical attention, could have been a million things!
I have fibromyalagia and some of your symptoms sounded like me...the pain travels to bizarre places and once it clears up from one area, it shows up in another...and many times the medical community doesn't believe you have anything wrong when it occurs that way.
I can't believe you blogged your way through all of that...for heaven's sake...if anything like that happens again, rest and take care and just tell us you are sick and take a break..we will be here when you get back!
Take care now and I am so glad you are better!

K A B L O O E Y said...

Oh man, this sounds horrible. I do hope you've turned the corner and have a healthy Summer. You've been missed!

Unknown Mami said...

Oh my goodness, I was about to start crying when you wrote about the ER. I was so worried it was your heart. I'm glad you are feeling better and I am so sorry you've been going through all this discomfort. I am THRILLED it had nothing to do with your heart.

Blackberry Cottage said...

I knew you were having days when you weren't feeling well, but you never mentioned how involved all this was. My Lord, woman - you've had it all! I'm so glad to know you're on the mend. But someone else said it just right - nothing simple for you!
Best wishes,