Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A brief scare

The Fentanyl patch has been nothing short of miraculous. Two months ago, I could not drive 1/2 hour away and last week I handled a 2-1/2 hour drive with ease. I had two fun-filled days, and returned grateful for having such an improved quality of life.

But I've wondered...how long with this last? It's always in the back of my mind because this new way of being seems miraculous! It's almost too good to be true and I want it to last forever.

But I hit a wall on Sunday and felt quite ill. My spouse was gone for the weekend and I was here alone, which probably didn't help. But I was having problems with pain and feeling that old sense of malaise that has been my constant companion for the last five years and I began to get scared. What if this was the end of my reprieve? What if the patch was no longer working and I'd have no choice but to return to the suffering I'd had before. For personal reasons I won't go into detail, but a couple of things had happened that upset me greatly (emotionally). Add being here alone I think that although I felt well while I took my trip, it was still pushing my body far beyond what it's been accustomed to. I sorely missed my spouse - when you have an "empty nest" you rely on each other so much and my husband is my very best friend and companion.

He returned Sunday night and had plans to work from home Monday, which was a good thing because I was physically and emotionally spent. I woke up at 8:30 (!!!) and was still exhausted; I took 2 Ibuprofen and went back to sleep until 12:30PM. And I slowly crawled out of feeling poorly to regaining my bearings by late Monday evening.

I am on Fentanyl that delivers 25 mcg/hr. I looked in my pharmacology book and noticed it also comes in 50,75 and 100 mcg/hr strengths. Whew! When I become tolerant of the 25mcg. dose, I have options. That info was very helpful.

Nurses are always taught to work with patients to reduce stress. In normal healthy adults, it's easy to suck up a couple of stressful days. But when you are very sick, a couple of stressful days can knock you right out. I'm going to work on ways to avoid stress (as some IS avoidable) and ways to deal with it better so it doesn't take such a toll on my body. What do you do when you feel stressed? I'd be interested in hearing what helps others. But, don't worry - I am 100% back to normal now and my brief scare was just that: a brief scare.