All day Monday, I was couch- and bed-bound from severe pain in my lower right abdomen — right where my appendix is (or should be). My body temperature teetered around 99-101 degrees. Luckily I had some Hydrocodone left over from my craniotomy and it helped me make it through the night. This is the same pain feeling that happened two weeks ago after the second infusion. Last time we just made assumptions about it being a urinary infection. I took antibiotics, but the blood culture did not confirm an infection, so we assumed it was a kidney stone and that I passed it. I HAVE had a stone a long time ago and the pain was really that bad. It was at least three days of agony.
So, today, in anticipation of another painful episode, Tina took me to the doctor’s office for routine blood work. It was decided that I should get a CT scan to determine what’s going on. The CT scan was not very useful. It showed fluid — that’s it. In fact, it was not possible to even make out the appendix.
So, I was admitted to the hospital this evening. I tried to send Tina home to get some rest, but of course she refuses. It’s the couch for her tonight.
Tomorrow, I will get a CT-guided aspiration/drainage. It’s been a long, rough day, but at least I’m still here to talk about it.
Some GOALS were written on the whiteboard of my hospital room. So, what is the nurse’s number one priority?
Pain level < 10
That is, to keep my pain level less than a 10* (see chart)
Take a look at their chart. I think it could use an overhaul. The expressions of the levels are horribly inaccurate in my opinion. Think about “severe pain” (#6) and take a look at that face. This guy looks despondent at best. Worst pain imaginable (#10) looks like a tween going through his first heart break. One’s first pubescent break-up could SEEM like the worst pain imaginable, but come on. This face does not represent excruciating physical pain.
So I asked the nurse about this goal. She asked what pain level I would like to be medicated for. Really? Does anyone answer something other than NO PAIN (#0)?
My pain is now under control. Hopefully tomorrow, we will be able to figure out what’s wrong with me.