Thursday, February 14, 2013

Finding My Voice

Image from SpiritCures Home Remedies
My throat hurts. It's not a sore throat. There is this pain mostly on the left side when I swallow. Richard made a wonderful dinner this evening and I had to cut my meat the size of a tictac and it still hurt going down! We thought I should take some pain medicine. But it's such a big pill I only wanted to take half and still had to break it into 3 pieces and take it with pudding.

I need to find my voice. I really don't know why this pain started but I do know there were several times in the past 6 days that people did not hear me. I will try to create a timeline.

Last Thursday- Steroids & Chemo, no throat pain
Friday - Fluid IV & Neulasta shot, no throat pain
Saturday - Ouch! Tried to eat toast, had to take tiny bites because it wouldn't fit down my throat. Began to run a fever and developed a bladder infection. Went to ER at 9:30 pm. I mentioned the sore throat and the young doctor looked inside but didn't feel the lymph nodes. The real doctor came in and Richard commented about my throat and she did the exact same thing. They decided that I had a bladder infection, gave me an antibiotic and pain meds. Neither doctor touched my neck.
Sunday - Richard made Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup and my throat still hurt but I was on pain meds so didn't notice much.
Monday - Went to see Doc and she sent in a visiting doctor to do an assessment. So the lady pulls up my charts on the screen and asks me a few questions about the ER visit. Doc walked in and asked what she found. The visiting doc summarized what she learned from the computer. Doc asked about my three blood pressure readings (laying, sitting, standing) and said "You need fluid".  NEITHER doctor touched my throat or looked inside. Maybe Doc thought the other one did a complete assessment. Who knows?
Tuesday - throat still hurt.
Wednesday - I called Docs office in the morning. I wondered if the culture was back for the bladder infection.  And I told her that my tongue was now white and sore. Several hours later my sister faxed the office with the same question and wondered if I might have oral thrush from the antibiotic. The assistant finally got back to me in the afternoon and was calling in "something else". She was about to hang up when I asked if this is thrush? She said, "yes, it is." She must have been really busy that day because she didn't have more time for me. My husband brought the medicine home but I had another question. So I called the pharmacist. "Yes", I should "continue taking the antibiotic for the infection along with the Nystatin".
Today - I couldn't eat the toast but drank water. I tried to eat a salad for lunch. I also tried to keep my mouth closed so no one would see my white tongue. Doc's office called  to remind me of the follow up appointment next Monday. I mentioned that my throat really hurt and the assistant said, "I know it does Hon. But the pain should ease soon."

So, I am baffled as to why it hurts like hell to swallow. How did it start? Did I get thrush from the steroids on Thursday or the antibiotic on Saturday?

A friend sent me a note today and per her sister, an oncology nurse, I should call the doctor immediately WHENEVER I feel bad. The patients who call will get the best care.
I need to do a better job of making sure people are listening to me. I will work on finding my voice.