Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pain Management

Steve had another sleepless night.  They had him on 1mg of dilaudid once an hour.  The problem is the dilaudid was not lasting the entire hour.  It was lasting 20-30 minutes MAX and then he flopped around in the bed like a fish in excruciating pain waiting for the next 30 minutes to go by so he could push the pump again.  The nurse was able to give him a bolus dose (extra dose) a few times through the night when things got really bad.  I however slept through most of it.  Shame on me, I know.  But, I was sooooo tired.  I would wake up here and there but was actually able to get some sleep.

In the morning, when the doctors made their rounds, they switched Steve from 1 mg of dilaudid an hour to .3mg every 8 minutes as needed (self administered through the pump).  This almost doubled the hourly dose and he was able to have continuous medication.  This helped TREMENDOUSLY!  He has dozed off here and there but still not gotten much "real" sleep.  At least it isn't due to pain.  It is due to the typical hospital stuff.  Nurses coming in, techs coming in, cleaning people coming in, alarms, etc etc etc.  They gave Steve a stool softener and Miralax to try and prevent constipation from all of the pain medication.  Within 30-45 minutes it made him vomit.  He hates vomiting.  No one loves to vomit, but he realllllly hates to vomit.  It was just that once and he was fine after that. 

The pain management team also came in earlier and added in a regimen of meds for him to take tonight.  He has 3 Lidocaine Patches on (one on his back and 1 on the back side of each thigh).  He also started Zanoflex which will help with muscle spasms.  We don't think he is actually having any, but hey whatever they think will help with pain and let him sleep!  He also is starting Lyrica for nerve pain. When they told him he was starting Lyrica he was in a drugged induced state of mind.  He said "Lyrica?" and started rattling off all of the side effects they list on the tv commercials.  Then he said, "If you mention vaginal mesh I am out of here."  Ha!  He is so funny.

He is snoring LOUD now.  I didn't hear him snore at all last night or all day today, so I know he is finally SLEEPING!  Too bad they have to check his vitals every hour due to all the pain medication.  He also has a nasal cannula to measure his breathing.  He hates that thing!  But overall, I still think tonight will be much, much better for him.

Monday he will have a spinal tap.  They need to find the exact cause of the back pain.  The melanoma doctor doesn't seem to think that it is melanoma, but they have to rule it out.  The will do the tap to check for any cancer cells or infections.  If everything is clear, they will start an epidural with steroids.  He said that most bulging discs will eventually correct themselves.

So, I am not sure how long we will be here and really don't know where we stand on anything.  It's just about managing pain for right now.  We have to wait until Monday when all of the clinic workers come back to work and we get information back from the spinal tap.  

I would like to share an email I received from a friend tonight:


As you saw on facebook, my daughter's 5th birthday was today.  She's already spoiled rotten and has too much stuff, so on the invitations we requested that donations be made to MDAC instead of bringing gifts.  We received a notification that at least one donation was made in our honor, so I thought I'd forward it since it was really in Stevie's honor.  We're thinking about y'all and wishing you well.

There are special people in the world.  Thank you for all you have done for us!

1 comment:

  1. I think increasing the dosage of the medication is really the right move, especially when the latter dosage doesn’t last that long. It’s good that after the increase of dosage, he can sleep soundly now. Based from your story, he really needs it badly. Hope that the pain management would run smoothly, Jennifer!