Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Etodolac: The rebound boyfriend?

Pain level: 5
Dislocations so far today: left elbow
Subluxations so far today: Right shoulder a couple of times, right thumb once, right ankle once
Meds: Ketoprofen-- 1 twice a day.  1/4 of an amitriptyline.
Major complaint:  stiffness/pain/swelling in my fingers, hand, and wrist (R>L)

I got off the Meloxicam because it just stopped doing it for me.  Dr. E then pointed me in the direction of Etodolac.  And like I was on the rebound from a stale relationship and anything was better than nothing, I started to take it.  And like most times when the mantra "anything is better than nothing" is used, this anything turned out to be worse than nothing.  The side effects of the Etodolac just kept coming and my hands just got worse.  Dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, constant stomach pain, nausea, vomiting.  

Nothing made it better.  I'd surround the pill with carbs and antacids, but as soon as I'd take it--it would feel like mild food-poisoning.  Like, "Well, I know that chicken salad has been in the fridge for over a week but it still smells mostly okay."  And you eat it and immediately get that instinctual that was a bad thing I just ate feeling.  (Don't judge me, I was a poor college kid.)  Etodolac felt just like that.  

And I kept hoping it would get better (sort of like an actual rebound-boyfriend).  It was supposed to take a week or two for the benefits to kick in, and I was hoping that the benefits would start--or at least make up for the queasiness.  But it didn't.  And then with the vomiting, I just wasn't keep the pills down long enough for them to do any good.

Here's an equation for you.  If  "side effects" > "medical benefit" and "medical benefit" ≈ 0, is the pill medicine?  So far the responses I've gotten have been 1. Yes, it is recreational medicine.  2. Unless the side effects include vomiting in which case the term for that is "poison."

Today I made the call to Dr. E.  I felt like sort of a wimp that I needed to break up with this one too, but hey--  I can only spend so much time at the porcelain alter.  I have a wife to think of.  And not puke on.  Dr. E agreed that even if the Etodolac was helping my hands that the side effects I was getting just aren't worth it.  

So, on to the next one.  I feel like such a fickle girl with it comes to meds.  My new tentative commitment is to Ketoprofen, yet another NSAID with the same general side effects predicted.  I took one earlier today and so far so good as far as stomach pain goes.  I am hopeful for this one.

As for the rest of the goings on of my life:  Here is a quick run down.  
  • Balloon hand finally went down by late Monday.  Today it is much more usable but I am losing range of motion in my right wrist.
  • I am having great difficulty in coping with the possibility/probability of a third degenerative condition. 
    • As well as with consequences of this most recent medical development. (i.e. prognosis)
  • It has me angry and sad and feeling completely out of control.  Emotionally, I am at the end of my rope in terms of coping skills.
  • I feel completely overwhelmed.  Like having two separate incurable, degenerative conditions I could accept somehow.  I coped with that, but for some reason this third one I just can't handle on my own.  And for some reason, I feel inadequate for that.  Even though I know intellectually that is dumb and untrue.
  • I voiced today to M that I want to start seeing a counselor to help me cope/find a more positive mind-space.  (my mind-space is all Suckville right now)
    • Turns out she has been hoping I would do something of the sort.
  • Sent out forms to Social Security today.  I find the whole process insanely stressful and as a result of the medicine, I normally feel so run down that the act of calling them feels like the worst challenge.
  • Tomorrow I will make calls about seeing someone to talk to.
  • I've decided tomorrow will be better than today. 
Hand stiffness using middle finger has measure
Time: 11:42 PM
Can touch forearm? Just barely
Angle of extension of the center joint of finger: 60º
Angle of extension of the last joint of finger: 125º
Can touch forearm? Not a chance.  Yowch!
Angle of extension of the center joint of finger: 50º
Angle of extension of the last joint of finger: 110º 

Much better numbers than before.

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