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Way To Go Hockey Puck!

Posted Oct 02 2009 3:00pm
That's what the great Don Rickles would say to me if he knew what I have been going through nigh these last two years.

About a month after the nephrectomy, I suddenly developed the flank pain I have mentioned several times. That stinking pain would hit me in the back everytime I attempted to rise from any position that was not upright. Felt as if things were tearing apart inside. Even if I was upright, there were times the pain would suddenly jab me in the side and I would have to stop what I was doing until it passed.

Anyone who has ever gone to college remembers the uncomfortable seats the classes have. It never fails, that while the instructor is lecturing, you inevitably slide down and have to pull yourself up so your back doesn't end up curved like Pamela Anderson's profile. Not that that would be a bad thing. Just would not be very comfortable.

While in the the ICU taking the HDIL-2, I had to lay on my back the entire time as my BP was so low the nurses worried I would have a stroke. Didn't help the back any, and I even developed a rotator cuff problem in my left shoulder. I have no idea how that happened, and even though I have been able to work it loose to a point, it still hurts when I try to over-reach or scratch my back.

So there it all is.

Now, over the last two years, I mentioned these pains to Dr. Margolin and asked if there was anything that could be done to alleviate them as they were affecting my quality of life. "Nope," she would say. "They just have to work themselves out, and it can take years."

I should email her and let her know how wrong she was. Doctors love to be told they are wrong, you know.

Anyway, this new oncologist, Dr. Twardowski, was checking me out last month at our first meeting and I just happened to mention the flank pain. Having had to live with this pain had made me a mean and grouchy man, and My Glenda did not like it one little bit. So, since she keeps my toes warm at night, I figured I should ask again.

We discussed the pain at which point I told him, "I want the pain gone." I was even amenable to having surgery so they could go in and look around in there to see what they found so they could fix it. He said that wouldn't be a good idea as it would just leave another scar and could even make things worse. Then he did something Margolin had never even broached.

He said, "I am going to recommend you to the pain doctor we have here on staff. Maybe he can help you get rid of the pain." I said, "Cool!"

Christmas Eve, I got a phone call asking me to report to the pain doctor right away as my appointment had been moved up. I scurried into the shower and headed right over expecting him to say, "I am going to teach you how to live with your pain," at which tine I would tell him where he could go and I would go home all pissed off again.

He did tell me there was nothing that could be done because we agreed the pain is being caused by nerve damage done during the nephrectomy. So he told me I would have to take a pill for the pain. I thought, "Oh, hell no. I don't want to take a pill for the rest of my life. I am only 57 years old!"

So I went to the pharmacy to get the pills.

I was angry and depressed from the pain and always tired from the Sutent so he prescribed something for depression and fatigue. I have acid reflux from the Sutent so he prescribed something for the excess acid. The pharmacy only had something for the pain.

I went home and took one after dinner with the Atenolol for the BP. By morning, the pain was almost completely gone and I had a good Christmas spirit. I felt like I could do anything! It felt so freaking good not to hurt anymore.

I got to meet Don Rickles a couple of years ago when a co-worker and I went to his home to clean his carpet. He was in the kitchen making a sandwich. There he stood in slacks, shirt and slippers. I thought, "Oh my God. It's Don Rickles." All I could say was, "Hello Mr. Rickles."

He looked every bit like the 80 year old man he is but he was very gracious and friendly. Carried his own lunch into his office where he was working on his act and even let my buddy take a picture with his phone.

If Don knew how I went all those months in pain without insisting, nay demanding, that my oncologist do something to relieve the pain I was suffering, he would probably have showered me with some of his best insults, and I would have deserved every one. And, even though being insulted by Rickles is considered an honor, he can be rough on a guy.

I still don't want to take pills for the rest of my life, Glenda says it is better than hurting. Sometimes women can make sense.

So, all of you out there who are living in pain or discomfort, even a little bit, tell your doctor you want something done. Make him or her do something, anything, to help you get rid of your pain. Insist and demand something get done. You won't be sorry.

Don't want Don calling you a Hocky Puck, do you? Well, do you?
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