A Chocolate Donut

November 5, 2007

A series of unfortunate events.

Filed under: fibromyalgia, health, ic, life, rant — Wizus @ 2:32 pm

Last Tuesday my doctor informed me that I have what is called “interstitial cystitis”,  IC for short.  She did a test in the office that included inserting a catheter “the size of uncooked spaghetti”, as if knowing that was going to make it any better.  Anything going into my bladder from that direction is not good.   I then had to rate how I felt after she put a solution into my bladder, she drained the solution and put in another one, drained the 2nd solution then put in something that was supposed to “soothe” my bladder and whatever I felt I had to try and hold it for at least 30 minutes. Well, after that ordeal I couldn’t “go” for nearly 6 hours.  Now they expect me to go into the office 2 times a week for the next 3 weeks to have the soothing ‘cocktail’ inserted via the spaghetti sized catheter.  I really don’t think I am up to torturing myself in this manner.

She also gave me instruction to eliminate some foods from my diet and proceeded to name 1) everything I had eaten that day…bananas, orange juice and yogurt…2) everything I was planning to eat for the rest of the day…tomatoes and spicy food (spaghetti sauce and meatballs)…and 3) every beverage known to mankind…coffee, tea, fruit juice, soda, wine, beer and liquor.    I am a creature of habit so this wasn’t going to be very easy for me. I like what I like and if I can’t eat it it is hard to find a substitute but that night I ate the spaghetti (the irony!) with no sauce, my salad with no dressing  and washed it all down with a nice cool glass of water.  So far so good.  I was going to be fine with the diet, it is only temporary, I will begin adding foods back in after a few weeks and see if anything was a trigger food that made the IC worse. 

Friday I had an appointment with my allergist.  It was my second round of the skin test to see what was causing the allergy symptoms I had been having for the last 15 months.  It had become a serious problem because I have never had any allergy problems, yet for the last year my sinuses have been stuffy and swollen and I have had 5 sinus infections..the only 5 I have ever had in my life!   I had already had a scan of the sinuses done to rule out any abnormalities there.  I think the stress of it all was wearing me down and I woke up that morning just aching all over. 

I cannot believe it…I am having the horrible fibromyalgia pains that I have not felt for nearly 3 months?!  I had even gone to Hawaii last month and spent 4 days swimming, hiking and even paddling an outrigger and not once did the fibro pain come back.  What is so different now?  I’ll get out the yoga mat and try to relax… I convinced myself that it was tension and eased the pain away…

It was hard for me to sit still while the allergist is discussing the results of my tests, my body was aching and it made me restless…for this second test nothing was positive and the first test showed only a few weak positive results.  He sends me for a blood test…5 tubes of blood! 

Between the 2 doctors I had 5 new prescriptions, 3 of which I needed to take at night because they cause drowsiness.  I decide to call the Xyrem pharmacist (it is a controlled med that is supplied by only one pharmacy in the country) and ask her if there will be any problems taking these together and she is worried about only one of them…it is a sixth one, a decongestant that I had been taking for the last 2 weeks.  I decide I am not going to take anything until I can get this pain under control.

Hubby comes home and he is worried.  The pain has taken away my appetite and my confusion about what I can and cannot eat worried me so much that I have only had water all day.  “Maybe your potassium levels are too low?” he suggested, “That causes muscle cramps, doesn’t it?”   A quick search on the Internet and I am not so sure that is it…it takes more than one day of no food to have low potassium levels.  I do more yoga but this time I don’t feel any better.  More stress.  Lucky for me I have my Xyrem, it knocks me out cold.  I hope to wake up pain free.

I get out of bed but my feet fail me and I fall to the floor, I crawl to the bathroom door. It won’t open. I am crying and I cannot understand what is happening or where I am.  Hubby sits up and turns on the light…that’s the closet he tells me.  I feel panicky because I don’t understand him…What? Hubby helps me to the bathroom and I want him to leave me alone. Everything is swirling and I cannot stand up straight.  I try to get a cup of water and just pour it all over myself.  My heart is racing and I am trying to catch my breath.  Please let this be a dream…

“Hypokalemia”…that’s the diagnosis.  Seems that the decongestant I had been taking interferes with the absorption of potassium.  Combined with the limited diet I had for the past three days and I am lucky it is not more severe. Did you know low potassium can cause cardiac arrest? That is very scary stuff!  Hubby has been so great to me, not only has he not said  “I told you so!”  but he spent the weekend taking me to my favorite restaurants!

It has been two days and I still feel a uneasy from the scare.  This morning I had my usual breakfast including a banana and orange juice and the best part…my bladder feels fine!  Maybe I won’t need to eliminate too much of my usual foods after all.  

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