Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Blast That Pancreas!
Don't Poke The Pancreas Please
Went to work Monday for a short time. Had an appointment with my PCP that afternoon, really just wanting to get a referral back to my local GI. My PCP told me that he thought I was out of the realm of the local specialists to treat, and perhaps I should stick with my St. Louis docs. Sigh. However, my PCP did write a new persciption for Creon (the enzymes I have to take with meals) which was the primary reason I wanted to see the local GI anyway.
He did a physical exam, which included pressing on the abdomen. Afterwards, the pain just started to build and build and build. I am thinking the pancreas is sorta bruised so any pressure makes it worse, internal or external. I wasn't able to go to work Tuesday (its now early AM Wednesday) because I had to take too much pain and nausea meds. My PCP wanted me to go back to the ER if the pain continued to build, but I would like to avoid it if at all possible - they tend to keep me lately!
The study coordinator called from the Cleveland Clinic. I need to return for another evaluaton (I think I have two more after this one) but I asked if this one could either be postponed until I am feeling better, or if it could be done over the phone. She is such a nice lady, she said she would talk with the study sponsors. She also said she had to report the pancreatitis as an adverse event. I told her The Headache and the occipital stimulator were NOT the cause of the pancreatitis, that the stimulator is working excellently.
It is now over four months post implant, and the pain control gets better each day. The improvement now is more subtle because the pain is much better controlled, so the differences are smaller. The stabbing headache pain seems to have disappeared, and I haven't had a right sided episode for quite a few weeks. I am so grateful for the stimulator. I would not be doing as well as I am now if the stimulator wasn't there. I would still have pancreatitis AND I would have an uncontrollable headache.
I was woken up at 2 am with pancreas pain, took some tramadol and phenergan, but two and a half hours later the pain is still present - a little dampened but still making itself known. I'm starting to get spasms which is not a good sign. I am going to take some more tramadol and phenergan in about 20 minutes and see if I can stomp the pain back.
I am very very tired and sick feeling. Besides the location and intensity of the pain, this is a big difference from The Headache. My PCP says that malnutrition from not eating is contributing to this and to watch out that I'm not dehydrated. It's so hard to stay hydrated because The Belly hurts no matter what hits it, food or liquid. I am doing the Ensure at least three bottles per day, but that probably isn't adequate either. He also said I should not return to work until the pain is under control, but that would probably mean not returning to work at all! I'm trying to be tough and work anyway but yesterday just wimped out. Hoping today will be better, but its not starting out very well. They make tramadol in an extended release tablet, maybe that is what I should be taking.. Sigh again...