Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Neuropathy attack, multiple mishaps, not a good way to start the year

We didn't have the best ending to our mini vacation on Cape Cod. It worked out for us to stop at Dana-Farber for ECP, the light treatment on my blood. The timing itself wasn't the problem. My veins and the weather were.

I had to get stuck five times before the nurse could get the needles in. It was three on the left arm and two on the right. (They use two needles, one for the "draw" and one for the "return.") She said I was very "valve-y." I think it's a made-up word. The needle kept hitting a valve. When it happens, I can tell from the feeling. It is not a good feeling. I asked if it was due to dehydration and she said no. I wondered if switching to every three weeks had something to do with it, but they really don't seem to know. I said I could use something strong for the pain and she said I didn't need it. She was probably right because it wore off, but if I remember, next time I'm going to bring my own, as Melissa had suggested. 

It poured on the way back in the dark. At least it was great during vacation, but it wasn't good driving weather.

On my "recovery day," the next day, I went to tennis at the Canoe Club, and the day after, down to New York. For a Jewish-themed weekend leading up to Rosh Hashanah, Katie and I saw (and loved) the Yiddish Fiddler on the Roof. They show the translation on the side panels, but half-way through or thereabouts I didn't even need it that much. The Yiddish really enriches the story. We went for our traditional Rosh Hashanah services at the 92nd Street Y, then lunch with cousin Joanne and dinner at my cousin Betsy's in Queens.

Something has set my neuropathy off in a bad way. I wrote Melissa: Neuropathy attack! I thought maybe it was from walking around in New York in the wrong shoes. But that was a week ago so I don't think so. The buzzing and tingling was so bad the other night that it brought tears to my eyes. I realized that I wasn't breathing. OK, I was breathing, but they weren't good breaths. It's hard to catch a good breath when you feel like your feet are in electric sockets. I took a sliver of Ativan and one of oxycodone and went to bed.

The medical marijuana doesn't seem to do it. I went back to the dispensary for another consult and came away deciding to try a combination of about 10 drops CBD and two or three of THC (Sativa). The Indica gave me something I didn't know had a name: couch lock. It didn't help. Today I saw the advanced practice nurse who is advising me on my meds. We think it might be from a medication that I dropped, that might have been boosting the gabapentin. I had reasons for not wanting to take it but I went back on a lower dose.

It bothers me less when I am moving, so I kept up with my tennis.

The perfect spot
Last weekend, I drove into New York (and found the perfect parking place, good all the way from Saturday through Tuesday, well, actually Thursday but I wasn't staying that long, but almost did, just to keep the spot), and rode the subways, and walked all around, and nothing bad happened, and then when I came back, I was a magnet for flying objects.

The next Monday at tennis, the player on the other side didn't realize that I was about to turn around when she sent the ball back. It hit me straight on in the eye and knocked my glasses off. My father did this to me way back in Nantucket and I got a black eye. I thought it would happen this time but it didn't. Maybe because I got ice right away.

Two days later, after tennis, the pickleballers were short a player, so we alternated filling in for them. I got whacked in the thumb with a loose ball. It hurt. There is something strange about this thumb. A tiny pinprick of a hole left over from a squamous cell never totally closed up. It likes to spurt blood on occasion. That is what happened after the pickle ball mishap. The balls are hard, like a whiffle ball, and it really stung.

Then after that, someone who won't be named tossed the tennis ball to me while I was holding my racquet in a position that would have made it impossible for me to catch the ball. Because, duh, I was holding the racquet, not standing ready to catch the ball. I ducked and it hit me. At least my glasses didn't fall off. 

George says that if you get hit it is your own fault, but I don't know about that

Tonight I went to Megan's Yin Yoga class at the Hampshire Y. It is like an extended savasana, or corpse pose, that you do at the end of a class. I usually like to be more active but I thought it might help my body calm down after the neuropathic pain sent electric shocks through my body for most of the week. I think it helped. Humor also comes in handy. I said when we were walking off the court that while a lot of people are talking about new hips and knees, I would really like to have some new feet.

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