Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dear Santa

All the best,
Glenn B

Don't Know Which Was The Bigger Pain Today

Suffered trough two pains today - one a pain in the neck and the other a pain in my knee.
The pain in the neck was trying to get the sound to work again on my laptop ed a new windows 10 update last night. I had to crank just about anything up to 90% volume in order to hear it well after that update. I figured ok, I will just do a system restore. Finding that function on Windows 10 is like looking for buried treasure on Oka Island. One I did figure out how to do it, I tried running and got the message that there were no restore points. I imagine that the Windows10 update wiped out all of the saved restore points. Then I got to somewhere or another where it asked if I wanted to revert to an older version of Windows 10. So, I chose to do that. had to fiddle around with the speaker & sound settings several times, with a  restart after each, to get the sound working properly again. If I had to do it all over again, I'd use dynamite. That was not as much as pain in the neck as it was in mine arse. Screw Windows 10 and Microsoft.
Then there was, and remains, that other pain. The one, by my guess (and my doctor's guess) is being caused by the gout. I have not had a bad gout attack in over a year - maybe longer (well maybe one kind of bad a couple of weeks ago that I attributed to a heel spur but now that I think of it was probably gout). Come to think of it, as best I can recall, I have not had any other gout attacks, than those wo possibilities just mentioned, for over a year - maybe a year and a half. This one started on Monday afternoon or early evening. Just thought my knee was hurting maybe from walking too much and not being used to that much exercise. had walked 5 miles or so on Friday then about 5.5 on Monday after not having exercised much in a couple of weeks. Tuesday, it seemed somewhat better then got much worse. Took a colchicine pill and hit did little if anything and I slept like hell on Tuesday night as in almost no sleep. Wednesday, on my mile walk to the train station, it felt a lot better - figured the colchicine had kicked in. Nothing going as it progressively got worse all day once I was stuck in the chair at work (sit most of the work day). Last night it was unbearable and while not the worst gout attack for me ever it was in the top five. I took another colchicine (only allowed one per day - it is a seriously dangerous drug that can screw up your liver & kidneys or even kill you from a relatively small overdose). I also took 450 mg of Aleve. The gout just dug its teeth, so to speak, in and got worse. I slept even less than on Tuesday night.

Called my doctor today, explained what was going on to the receptionist and miracle of miracles they made an appointment for me at noon, which would be only two and a hours or so after my call. Then I got another call about 15 minutes later and figured hey were about to tell me no go for that appointment but surprised me by asking me to come in as soon as I could get there. I was there 20 minutes later. Doc took a look at it and grimaced. My gout attacks never look anywhere nearly as bad as photos I have seen of bad ones but they often hurt like hell. I usually have little or no swelling and only faint pinkness. This time though, my knee was obviously very swollen and red and hot. Of course, it hurt like hell too. Doc said she would prescribe me prednisone (a steroid). I asked for pain pills too and she said the prednisone would reduce the pain as it caused the inflammation to go down. I told her I needed something to make the pain go away right away and that thus that would allow me to sleep after three lousy nights trying to sleep but failing pretty much to do so for more than maybe a few hours the first night and maybe two the next two nights. She said she would give me oxycodone with Tylenol. I asked her to just give me straight oxycodone since Tylenol and me do not play well together and Tylenol has zero effect on any pain I suffer. She agreed and at my request gave e three days worth, I figured I would not need more based on past experience.

Went to the pharmacy, picked up the meds and headed home. Went to take an oxycodone and saw the instructions said to take three pills once a day for three days! called the pharmacy and the guy who answered the phone told me that was correct. When I explained that a normal dose would be one ill three times a day, he put me on hold, came back and said that I was right. I called the doctor's office to confirm and they said I had it right. Just a couple of minutes later, I read the instructions on the prednisone. There were 42 tablets of it in all and the instructions said to take three pills 2X per day for two days. Then take one less pill for the next two days and so on until it got down to one pill twice in a day - that day being the last day. Doing that would have left 18 extra pills. Called the pharmacy and this time they put on the pharmacist. He said my doctor said to do the regular progression with the prednisone. That is usually starting with however many pills you are to take the first day, and you take em all at once, based on my experience with it. The next day you take one pill less, the following day you again reduce it by one pill. Somehow though the pharmacist decided to start me with three pills and do it twice per day. That was screwy.

Anyway, the normal way I have done it would use all the pills if I did it the way my doc seemed to want me to do it - taking the tablets for two days, instead of only one day, before reducing the number and progressing that way. So if I took six today and six tomorrow, I would take 5 on Saturday and five on Sunday, then 4 on Monday and 4 on Tuesday and so on until none were left. That would work out perfectly and all 42 tablets would have been taken in that progression down to the last two days of one pill per day. The pharmacist said - no way.

I called the doc, spoke to a nurse, said my way sounded more sensible as it would expend the entire prescription. She admitted though, the directions were very confusing as written on the pill bottle. She also said she would talk to the doc and get back to me. Still waiting for someone, anyone, to get back to me with the correct instructions. Just another pain in the arse and the pain in my knee persists although I must say it has lessened. Not sure if its been the prednisone working in combination with the oxycodone that has reduced the pain or just one or the other. I kind of think it is the prednisone because the pain has not reduced enough to make me think it was both. At least though there has been one nice effect, I have been zonked rather pleasantly all afternoon and evening.

Will call the doc tomorrow and try to get it straightened out. Hoping not to OD on prednisone in the meantime. I may work tomorrow, if feeling better enough - so no oxycodone during the day, just the prednisone. Hopefully that will work well enough to get me to work, through the work day, and back home with less pain than the last few days.

Mind you, if the above made any sense to you at all, it is only because I have taken oxycodone before in massive quantities (when I had throat cancer and was getting radiation treatments and eating throughout it all) and I guess I got used to thinking while under its influence during the 4 or 5 weeks or so I took it in high doses. If the above is pretty much gibberish, I must be higher than I think.

By the way - gout sucks bigtime. So, it is again time to cut out all beer (which I have drank more of than usual lately and may have caused this attack). While no beer might seem to some to suck worse than gout - believe me no beer at all will be better than another gout attack like this one. My doc suggested if I drink, I drink vodka. I told her I do like drink and gave her my recipe for vodka cherries after telling her about moonshine cherries and my liking for moonshine and white lightning. She maybe knows me better than even she suspected but  think I kind of know her too. My bet is she makes up a batch of those vodka cherries before too long. Amazingly cherries, which were once considered a cause of gout, are now considered to be a gout preventative!

All the best,