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» Saturday, January 30, 2021Be Careful What You Complain About
The infusion routine, especially now that James is on the ertepenem and he only gets that once a day, has gotten commonplace. My main concern is still, as always, keeping sanitary enough not to piggyback another infection through the PICC line. So multiple handwashings are mandatory, and the skin on my hands are bearing the brunt of the routine. Sometimes I'm awakened in the middle of the night with them aching because the skin is so cracked, and I have to rub hand lotion into them before I can get back to sleep. Sometimes I just give in and use the gloves Coram (the infusion folks) sent, and continuously wipe them off with alcohol wipes. (Bless you, Clark Howard, for posting about ordering alcohol wipes from Staples so I had them in the house!)
During the week I have been still discarding junk and I finally dealt with the Christmas gift bags that would leap out at me when I went into the spare room closet to get the vacuum cleaner. Like stampeding cattle they have now been corralled.
James had three doctors' appointments scheduled this week and we also had a nurse visit scheduled on Friday and by the time we had two down on Thursday evening we were both feeling a bit Fed Up with this obscene routine of four days of work, two days of doctors' appointments, and a half a day Saturday where James has to prep breakfasts to eat before work. It seems all we have done for the past two months is work or sit on our fannies in doctors' waiting rooms.
Friday morning we had to get up at seven to get James' six month checkup at dermatology. I didn't sleep well and had to quick-foot it to the hall bath as James was still doing his morning ablutions in our bathroom. I headed out of the hall bath thinking "the first thing I do is take my pill" (the pantoprazole, so I can eat for the day without getting sick). I opened the pill container, looked at the four pills, and popped them in my mouth and swallowed.
And then realized what in the hell I did: the extra Claritin, fenofibrate, levothroid—not a problem, but within nine hours of each other, I had taken two atenolol, my heart medication, which, when taken too close together, can cause bradycardia, which slows your heartbeat to under 50 beats per minute and is bad news.
Yes, of course I panicked. I was already half-asleep, which is how I'd done such a damnfool thing in the first place. Since I've been walking most mornings, my resting heart rate is usually in the high 50s. It wouldn't take much to put me under. I got on the phone to the advice nurse. James cancelled his appointment. The advice nurse told me that basically I was on a new day, that all I really needed to do was keep moving and not take another dose tonight, but if I couldn't stay awake or my heart rate went under 50 to call someone immediately. I therefore spent a miserable four hours (on the toilet, of course, because I'd given myself a panic attack) of dizziness, sleepiness, and general ickiness constantly monitoring myself with the pulse oximeter (I did get down to 50) until I pushed past the grogginess caused by the combination of the atenolol and the allergy meds. We were able to have lunch with the Spiveys, get through the nurse visit, and even go to Publix.
Saturday, thankfully, was much calmer. All we did was clean out James' to-be-read pile, and I vacuumed and wrote a delayed Christmas letter to a friend who's not on Facebook (or actually much on the internet).