Sunday, July 7, 2013

My Medicine

    So I finally got to bring my husband home from the hospital a couple of hours ago and he's now resting happily on the couch, eating chicken noodle soup and watching Clerks for the 18,752nd time. It's yet to be seen whether or not the soup will stay down, as virtually nothing else has for more than a week now, but we're hopeful. He's lost about twenty pounds since his gastrointestinal shenanigans began, but my husband assures me that he will find them in no time. We'll see how that goes, as he gradually makes his way back to the land of the (relatively) healthy. Meanwhile, this is happening...


                                   I don't even know what half of these do...

     Four of those bottles pictured are my husband's daily meds, his blood thinners and beta blockers. The other six are the new ones that he just came from the hospital with prescriptions for. I can't even tell you what they're all for, and I'm pretty well-versed in the language of prescriptions. The majority are anti-nausea stuff, as that was the main problem that landed him in the hospital in the first place. Well, that and the 7.1 INR, which was twice what the top end of acceptable is. That was a pretty easy fix, though, once I saw the bottle of meds that he'd been prescribed at the ER and realized that they contained an antibiotic, which never plays nicely with his warfarin.

     As many pills as my husband is currently taking every morning, it actually would've been more just a few weeks ago. Imagine the above picture further crowded by four more bottles, because that's what it would have looked like last month, when my husband was still on daily methadone and hydromorphone for pain, along with a couple of other prescriptions. Oh, and then there was the cyclobenzaprine that he had on an as-needed basis. Did you catch all that?

     It's never really been an issue before, the plethora of drugs that my husband consumes to keep himself going. We've been lucky in that the bad reactions have been few and far between (though when things do go wrong, they tend to go really, really wrong), so it's never really bothered either of us that they're a necessary part of our lives. I mean, the cost of them can sometimes suck, depending on where we are with our finances, but the insurance he's currently got is pretty good and pays almost the full amount of his prescriptions.

    As we were leaving the hospital today, though, my husband mentioned that he was still having a hard time focusing on things and it was making him dizzy. I wondered out loud if this could be contributing to the mystery nausea that no one can seem to find a cause for. Turns out, it's just the opposite - he's on so many drugs right now that he literally can't see straight. I'm sure it was just my twisted sense of humor making yet another inappropriately-timed appearance, but I started laughing so hard when he told me that, 'cause come on.

     People use hyperbole every day without even realizing what they're doing; it's a common speech mechanism and I get that. However, I assure you that this is not the case in this instance. My husband apparently mentioned the fact that he couldn't really get his eyes to focus to the doctor while he was still hospitalized and was told that the reason was probably all the various and sundry drugs that he'd been fed over the past week.

     It makes sense if you stop and think about it, actually. In addition to his regular keep-me-alive meds, he's been given so many anti-nauseas, painkillers and godknowswhatelses over the past seven days, both in pill form and intravenously, that his body's freaking the hell out and certain functions were bound to get back-burnered. I imagine that his body had to have some serious conversations with itself to decide which functions took priority over the others while it tried to sort out just what in the hell was going on and his vision must've drawn the short straw. I'm sure there's a much more scientifically-phrased explanation for it, but that's how it works in my head.

     Whether or not he can see, though,he's home now and we'll just have to concentrate on one thing at a time, like keeping solid-ish food in his stomach. The chicken soup's been okay so far; maybe he can graduate to crackers later. Sleep will come, because he never gets a lot of that when he's in the hospital, so I know he's exhausted. His body isn't very good at fighting off sickness anyway because of everything that's wrong, but it's going to have to get its shit together and work at making him feel human again, weird side-effects or not.

     

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