Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

Tyler has started to feel the effects of the chemotherapy. His throat is sore and swallowing is painful again. He is disappointed because he had such a good day yesterday and was excited about eating again. Today, the pain was up considerably so we requested a PCA again. This will allow Tyler to administer his own medication, and hopefully, be much more comfortable through this stretch.

He switched from Morphine to something called Hydromorphone, which is supposed to be a little stronger and make him a little drowsy. After 3 rough nights, "a little drowsy" meant that Tyler slept all day. I'm thankful that he reports his pain level has dropped from a 7 this morning to a 3 this evening. Plus, the doctor thought this bout of mucositis might not last as long as the one from radiation did. I hope that is the case, because Tyler and I could use a few days at home, and we can't go home until he can eat and drink.

The doctors told us this morning that they found no evidence of leukemia blasts in Tyler's blood, so that was definitely cause for celebration. Sadly, Tyler wasn't in the mood to party because of the pain and his morning test.

Because of the foot drop problem Tyler has experienced, the neurologists suggested a nerve conduction study to more accurately identify the cause of the problem. Tyler described the test as torture, so I think it isn't much fun to endure. I wasn't with Tyler during the test, but he reports they spent an hour shocking him (electrical stimulation) and then another 30 minutes poking him with needles. He wasn't feeling good at the beginning and this just made him morning worse. After the test, the doctors believe Tyler's foot drop is the result of pinching or damaging a nerve while sleeping. They told him today that it will likely take 6 months (extended from the original 2-3 months) to heal -- if it heals at all. I know they have to say that, but I hate hearing that things might not go well. Tyler will definitely miss some of his activities if the foot does not eventually heal, so I am hoping that it is just a temporary injury.

The night nurse is hanging Tyler's medicines now, so I guess I had better get ready for bed myself. If we go to bed about 9, we sometimes can get 6-8 hours of sleep. It's a crazy schedule around here, but it is definitely improving my ability to sleep through things.

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