I didn’t see this coming
So let’s recap. I left you guys hinged on my “more painful than expected” recovery, post Cryoablation, that last week of September or so.
Though the pain never really ever dialed down, I still made the decision to proceed with work Tuesday, October the 1st. I had two appointments that day, that were thankfully slower paced, and had a little downtime in between the two as well. Thankfully, I only had two, because half way through the second, I was fighting to not convulse, due to the wasp stings and lightning. I fought the tears that masqued the level ten pain I had to hide the last 45 minutes of my work day. By the time I wearily walked to my car, completely zombie-fied, and now at 1,800 mg of Gabapentin at 2:00 p.m… I drove home on auto-pilot, walked in the door, purely mentally spaced, and physically utterly shutting down. My husband unloads my car, and carries my bags in for me. I walk to my closet, begin to change from work clothes into my lounge wear, and I pause, somewhere in between changing shirts.
that emotional bomb that was inevitably bound to implode
Dell comes into the office lounge, where I am, sits down in his office chair, and begins to recap a little of his day. My back is to him, as I’m scanning my closet for a comfortable shirt to wear. I hear him talking, but I’m so mentally drained and emotionally overwhelmed with the fight that my body is fighting right now, I become numb. I hear him talking, but no concise words – just his voice. The air even seems hollow. Every external sensory is numb. Then, I feel it. The vortex of emotion is rising up and, there’s nothing I can do to keep it in at this point. I bury my face into my hands and squeeze out a few tears, and controlled anxious inhales and exhales. I try and hide my crying, as anyone might. Masquing it as exhaustion maybe, or just general decompression from the day. As I stood there and released the built up frustration and pain, I hear Dell ask what I might want for dinner. I couldn’t even respond. His tone was sweet, and caring – but I still couldn’t respond. Instead, I sobbed even harder. This time, not holding anything back.
Dell left the office lounge, and left me to decompress in peace, to kind of gather myself. He knew. After nearly a decade together, we know when the other needs to a minute or two of solitude, to release in our most raw form. That alone time to regroup with the King. A moment to recallibrate.
So, I prayed, and I wept what was necessary, threw a t shirt on, wiped my face, and then met Dell on the front porch. We stood there for a few minutes, and I inched closer to the warm sun still shining on a portion of the deck. We were puzzled. We wondered why my pain was still so great, especially at this point in the healing journey.
We are now at seven days. The tumors should be fully dead in three more days, can I go that much longer?
It’s early evening and we begin making dinner. I’m battling level 8-9 pain, but still carrying on, making zucchini spaghetti. Dell preparing his dinner, (for those who may not know, I follow a vegan diet, and Dell is a little more Westernized diet.) At this point, I couldn’t tell you what he had the night of October the 1st. All I remember is, making my bowl, and us sitting down to a dinner that lasted all of two minutes.
The longest night yet
So, we are sitting at the kitchen table, attempting to have a normal meal. And it hits.
In an instant, I slammed my bowl to the table and slid my chair back and screamed out. I stood up at the same lightning speed in which the nerve pain hit. It felt like a level 10 internal “Indian burn” of the entire genital area.
Dell offered to take me to the emergency room in that moment, and, I refused. Knowing what condition that I have, I figured there was a slim chance that my local hospital would know how to treat a rare case like me. There’s no way they could achieve my medical history from Emory in time. There would be virtually nothing they could do.
The failed dinner moment continues, with me in the tub now. The pain is relentless, it’s not stopping, even with the hot water. This night mimics essentially every sleepless, painful night we’ve been through since the procedure. I realize I can’t make my work day tomorrow.
The morning of October 2nd comes, and it’s not any bettter. Dell proposes emailing Dr. Prologo’s office, I do. Dr. Prologo calls me himself, encourages us to come to the emergency room at Emory at the John’s Creek location, so that he can see me himself and address the care needed. The pain was absolutely through the roof, and I knew the hour and a half car ride would more than exacerbate the nerve pain. But it simply had to be done.
So we drive, and I fight the verbal outcries that are a result of the shooting electricity and stinging pain shooting through the entire pelvic area. I silently wept in the passengers seat, half way leaned back. Dell drove calmly and steadily, despite the intensity of the pain episodes.
Finally admitted and eliminating the pain
Upon being admitted, seeing my visual pain level, and pulling my history, they were quick to help deliver much needed relief. This was my first time receiving Dilaudid. Finally, after tolerating seven days of tumor inflammation and screaming nerve pain, it was quiet. They also performed a CT scan, including both with and without contrast.
I stayed the night for pain management and observation. Twelve hours of staggered Diladid delivery began here.
I sleep pretty solidly through the night, for the first time in a week
During my night in the hospital, I remember being carefully checked on, but remember sleeping relatively undisturbed pretty much each hour. I would wake up in at least 45 minute, to hour long intervals, usually being the cause of semi dulled nerve spasms, my body needing a positional change, and a bump of Dilaudid.
The “Button” of relief
So, every eight minutes I could hit this button, and a small, pre-measured amount of Dilaudid would pulse into my vein, delivering the calm that my nerves much needed. I did spend this evening alone, as Dell had office work that needed to be done, and Tippet was back home too. But it was all okay, and we all actually slept soundly that night, despite being apart. I was finally relatively pain free, and Dell slept soundly knowing full well that his wife was the most comfortable she had been in a long time.
It’s now the evening of Thursday, October the 3rd, and Dell is now back at the hospital to hopefully retrieve me. We didn’t get clarification of discharge until 6:00 that night. My system seemed to be responding well to oral pain medication, since earlier pulling me from the Dilaudid pain pump. Myself, and my nursing team believed I seemed to be alright, and good to go for discharge.
Man was I was ready to be home.
I’m still healing
So, the bottom line is, I’m still not 100%, and may never be. It’s October the 8th, I’m officially fourteen days out from cryoablation, and still having “abnormal” amounts of nerve pain, and intense surges at that. I’ll be starting a steroid pack tomorrow morning – as Dr. Prologo believes it will help cut down on tumor inflammation. Targeting the conglomeration of nerve tumors that we did, we believe we “poked the hornets nest,”and irritated the countless other nearby tumors. We aren’t quite sure why the targeted tumors in the cryo treatment are hanging on unusually longer than most tumors do. Their death is supposedly ten days after treatment, and, well, things are…. still pretty darn active. I won’t lie. The explanation could lie strictly in the mutation. Maybe Schwannoma tumors don’t respond well to cryoabaltion. On me, it’s seemed to be the opposite of others’ success stories with this treatment.
There is a bright side, however
It is quite possible that the resiliency of my nerve tumors are just giving the cryoablation a run for its money. It’s still probable my nerves can recover tumor free, despite the latest scan not revealing any visual evidentiary proof of tumors shrinking. Time will tell.
Although my recovery is shaping up to be somewhat of this “up in the air,” and “how much longer will this take? ” scenario, there is still reason to believe that there is a purpose, for all of it.
God decided i’m the soldier for this war
Blessed be the Lord my strength which teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. Psalm 144-1
Each war is waged differently. The warfare is determined by the soldier. From one soldier to another, all we can do is give God the glory, and trust that whatever pain or struggle that is needed to be endured, or the lessons that need to be learned – usually always have a greater impact on our soul than we imagined. The unforseen sticks in the spokes, mold us. The challenges, and hurdles are what tailors our character. The battles that are fought, sharpens the sword of our endurance.
Our will to keep fighting, honors the temple we are given. The determination to keep going, honors Jesus, who didn’t stop going when it came to us.
Keep waging that war my friends. If it’s the fight of your life, give it all you got.
#faithwithalimp #er #emergency #cryoablation #hospital #emory #ejch #dilaudid #tumor #schwannomatosis #nerve #nerepain #faith #drprologo #positivity #glasshalffull #psalm