Thursday, October 17, 2013

Goodbye spot, hello penicillin

I have survived two very long days and a lot of needles, with good results.

I'll go backwards chronologically because the lip surgery is fresh on my mind. I was there for about four hours today because Dr. Neel had to make two passes to get all of the squamous cell cancer off my lip. I was most concerned about how it would feel to get the first needle of numbing medicine in my lip. I've been stuck a lot, but it's such a sensitive spot.

The doctor gave me a blue "stress ball" to squeeze. The needle stung, but it actually wasn't so bad. Then of course I couldn't feel a thing when he operated. When he finished, I started shaking. His assistant said it was from the anesthesia, and it wore off in a bit. I sat in the waiting room with other partially bandaged patients all waiting to see if he needed to take more. Last time I had the Mohs procedure done (on my neck) he said that for deeper skin cancers, he has had to take up to five passes.

The book I am reading, "Orange is the New Black," is just the right thing for a waiting room. Well-written, not too deep, and definitely an interesting story. So I read that and dozed until I was called in again and told he had to take a little more. Then he gave me seven stitches and a prescription for oxycodone. Diane had scheduled a meeting downtown, so she was there to take me home. I had meant to bring some of my own pills but forgot. (How do you get up at 6:30 a.m. and end up rushing at 11 when it's time to leave?) Big mistake. Diane had to listen to a symphony of pain sounds until we got the prescription from CVS. Now I feel OK, although my lip is swollen like a boxer's. I have to eat soft foods out of the corner of my mouth. Nice Nurse Diane is going to mush up some squash for me.

So, as for yesterday. I passed the penicillin "challenge," which also involved many hours and many needles. The doctor, a fellow, then looked at my chart and suggested I return for another long visit to check whether I am allergic to imipenem, an antibiotic that caused me to break out in hives when I got it intravenously to treat the pneumonia I had this spring.

I am not a doctor, but I ventured to ask why I needed to be tested to see whether I am allergic to a drug that caused an allergic reaction. He said that sometimes hives appear for no reason.

Hmmmmm. I said I would talk to Dr. Alyea and Melissa first. I think they will agree with me that another allergy test will fall into the category of unnecessary testing.

1 comment:

susiegb said...

Couldn't agree more about being tested for an allergic reaction! Surely you could just not have that antibiotic! There are certain antibiotics I cannot have as they 'may' have caused me to get haemalytic anaemia a year ago - no way of testing without risking getting it again, and I am happy to just say I cannot have them!!

Doctors are just too keen on tests and knowing something 100%!! :)