I can’t begin to describe the hell I’ve endured this past week. I’m sure by now my professors think I’m making up stories, but nope, this really is my life!
Before Carl (our cat who was ill with Feline AIDS) died last week, he tripped me at the stove as I was carrying a skillet full of boiling water. Rather than step on Carl, I took the hit- straight to the stomach.
It’s doing better now, and I explained to my professors that I have a severe burn on my belly and need a few days to get myself together. But that’s the good part!
Then my dog, Chance, bit my right ring finger when my son and his girlfriend were over (he was momentarily confused) and when I went to pick him up and move him, he snapped on my finger:
I should have gone to the ER but I don’t like needles, so I chose to care for it at home. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I was a top med student at one time, so I’m right up there with a home nurse. (Sort of.) I understood going in, that there are two major infections to watch out for with a cat or dog bite: staph infection and then there’s the reeeeeally bad one- Pasteurella. People have died from that crap!
I took my chances. Already, my immune system is very tough: I take probiotics daily and a vast array of herbal supplements and have for years. I know that the first 24-48 hours is the most crucial time to watch out for signs or symptoms of a systemic infection. By the second day, I was already experiencing mild delirium, nausea, tremors, chills, night sweats, and a headache. For me, the headache bothered me the most, because I have a history of migraines. If I didn’t knock that headache out fast, it could grow into a migraine. Which is exactly what happened. And then came the vomiting. I couldn’t eat or drink anything for two days.
This went on for a few more days and I finally fell into deep sleep, after my Mom brought over some Phenergan and was able to knock me out, mercifully. I wrote my professors explaining the situation (the severe burn my cat gave me and the bite my dog gave me) and realized how ridiculous it all sounded, so I sent pics too.
Yesterday was the first day I was able to actually get out of bed; I’ve spent the past two days catching up on schoolwork- 7 assignments and a massive Abnormal Psychology exam, but, I’m caught up again. I can only type with two fingers still, but at least I’m back at work and in the land of the living!
Today has been one of the most wretched days of my life. I’ve had the worst migraine that I’ve ever had, and it has been a doosy. I started my day with a strong dose of cayenne and ginger (as usual) , followed by a small cup of medicinal tea. I was grossly nauseous, and so went back to bed. I tried to read some of my Bette Davis/Joan Crawford dual biography, but was too sick. The pain was mostly in the back of my head, exactly where my cyst is, and it was swelling- massive pressure was building up and as usual, it felt as if I’d been shot in the back of the head- but this is actually worse. When a person is shot in the head, more times than not, they die. If they don’t die, they’re rushed to the hospital and given large doses of morphine, stadol, demerol, or something of that nature so they’re not suffering. In my case, I have to sit it out. Minutes feel like hours. Words are too simple to describe this kind of ongoing pain.
I haven’t taken a phenergan in over a month, but I tried to take one half and be very still. Eventually though, my stomach revolted. My son asked, “Do you want me to bring you the trash can, mom?”
“No, I don’t want to throw up in front of everybody,” I said.
Two minutes later I ran to the bathroom and “worshipped the porcelain god” as the saying goes. Now if you’ve never thrown up a fairly large amount of cayenne pepper, you haven’t really lived yet. My whole head was on fire! My nasal passages felt as if somebody’d sprayed acid into them and I was crying tears that actually burned. (Not boo-hoo crying, but phsyiologically.) Also, the pain was exacerbated by the fact that I had a new surge of fiery adrenaline coursing through my body, particularly in my head.
I made it back to my bed and by God’s good mercy, was able to sleep. I woke up feeling like raw heck, drank a bit more of my medicinal tea (poppy seed tea, which actually works to kill the pain, if you can keep it down), and after five more hours of intense agony- ordered Chinese. (Might I recommend the moo shu beef? General Tso’s chicken is also a tasty dish, and crab rangoons make a great appeteizer. This is what I ordered, along with a coke and a few Pepsi’s.)
It is now 12:45 a.m. and the pain is still pretty intense (it’s moved around to my front right eye socket). Ibuprofin is a joke, but I took two anyway. It’s been three weeks since I’ve stopped taking my Lortab and Ambien. My liver was beginning to tell me that I couldn’t keep taking pills and remain “healthy”. Granted, I never exceeded 10 mg. at one time, which is the equivalent of 1 blue Lortab, (but seldom took even that much). This is part of the reason why I decided to become certified in Substance Abuse- I know far too many people who have been reduced to a mere statistic, having lost everything (including themselves) to drugs.
I’ve become passionate in my search for a homeopathic solution: pain management without having to take pharmaceutical chemicals. Poppy seed tea can be taken at small doses to combat severe pain, such as the pain from my arachnoid cyst, while still allowing me to function. Naturally, if you take a larger amount, you can get higher than a kite, but if I wanted to get high, I’d just smoke a joint. I like to be in control of my faculties though. This is part of the reason why I quit drinking liquor over five years ago. If I chose to not take anything at all, I’d be limited to “getting out of bed to pee” and that’s about it. I can’t live that way. So after much consideration and trial and error, I’m sticking with my cayenne, ginger, and med. tea, when necessary.
I do get more migraines this way (not taking pharmaceutical drugs) and some days it’s sheer agony, like today, but my liver feels 80% better.
Through it all, I’m able to say, “Thank you God for this pain. I still choose to praise you, and lift up Your Name.”
When I compare my pain, to the pain that Jesus had to endure, I shudder to think that I could even complain. I still have two eyes that see, and a heart that loves- two working hands, a family that I love and that loves me. I have much to be thankful for.
Much to be thankful for. 🙂