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Vague Wisdom
Adventures in Gimp-dom
Second try on the third dose, done!

After last Wednesday’s fail, I talked to Connie about options that had been mentioned. She really didn’t like the idea of the CT assist because of the additional radiation. Since the plan is to continue getting Spinraza regularly; needing a CT assist each time would quickly get me glowing in the dark. :-)

After a couple LP’s, I’d come to realize that some pain medication would help me. When I discussed this with Connie prior to my third dose, she thought, I was trying to treat the pain after the procedure. I am sore for a couple of days afterward. Actually, I’m much more concerned about the pain of being on the fluoroscope table. I thought that pain meds might allow me to stay on the table longer and with more comfort. Thus, giving the doctor as much time as possible to get the furshlinginer needle in my spinal canal.

I don’t do pain medication much at all and with my weak lungs, Connie worried about how pain meds would impact my breathing. She suggested Tylenol. I really didn’t think that was going to touch the pain. So, she offered a small dose of Vicodin. She wrote me the prescription and I picked it up Monday evening. She had suggested I try a dose Monday evening and if it felt okay, to use a dose before the lumbar puncture Tuesday. I ended up taking Vicodin in the waiting room before the LP.

Perhaps it’s a bad sign to go to the hospital often enough to start knowing everyone’s name. One of the nurses who had introduced herself at my last LP attempt asked if I remembered her name. I had forgotten the name, but I tried to play it off by saying that she didn’t look like a Hailey. She asked what name she looked like and I said Sarah. So she asked me whether I remembered her name to see if I would call her Sarah or not. Previously Carol had suggested thinking of Haley’s Comet would help me remember which of course it did. So now Haley is permanently in my memory.

As we walked back to the “staging” area. Basically where I transfer from my wheelchair to a gurney before going into the fluoroscope room. She commented on the blanket I had over my arms. I use it to you stay warm because it’s easy to take on and off. For some reason I hadn’t used it for my first attempt at the third dose. Haley suggested it was my “lucky” blanket and that this time we would be successful since I had remembered to bring it. Perhaps she has a point, because it did work this time.

At first, it seemed I was doomed. I heard too many familiar comments of failed attempts: “We’re almost there…No, that’s bone…Let’s go back to 70, maybe that’s a better approach…That hurt? Sorry sir, did it feel like your back or did it go down your leg?...Bone again”
After almost 2 hours they decided to try a completely new angle and I had just about decided I couldn’t take it anymore when I heard my doctor say, my new favorite words: “I’m in.”

I quickly responded with a “You have to be shitting me!”
“No believe me.”
“Hey, I’m sorry for the language.”
“Oh no need, you just said what we were all thinking.”

After thanking everyone profusely I headed back to get transferred to my wheelchair. Haley brought me some cookies she had made. They were a chocolate chip cookie/s’more mash up that tasted quite good. She told me there were three there. One for me. One for Stacy and one for Carol. She told me I wasn’t allowed to eat all three :-(. Anyway there were lovely cookies and it was very sweet of her.

As I’ve said before and I will continue say, everyone there at Stanford has been so very supportive. I feel like a real champion leaving the building with all the fuss they make.

So now it looks like one more in a month and I will have all of my loading doses. After that I’m not sure what happens with continuing treatment. They don’t know about reimbursements because Medicare is being less than cooperative about committing. Everyone at Stanford seems positive that things will work out. I tend not to be that kind of guy. So I will be cautious until I actually get a real OK.

Now as far as whether the Spinraza is doing me much good. There is very little objective evidence. I will be getting my lungs tested by the pulmonologist after the loading doses. If there is as much improvement as it feels like I have made. It will be documented with the test. [personal profile] loracs tells me she thinks my grip is a little stronger. I do feel like my arms are a bit stronger, but it’s hard to prove. I think I’m making more small gestures with my hands as I talk. Many more gestures than I remember doing in a while. This could all be wishful thinking on my part. I’m looking forward to some third party corroboration.

I’m sorry this took so long to post. I just couldn’t make it work and I’m still not sure I like it, but here is. Now onto September 5 for the fourth and final loading dose. Hoo boy!

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10:3710:37 by Jacqueline Druga

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I'm guessing this book was self-produced. I'm getting a little tired of this, mainly because things like spelling and punctuation get missed. Some copyediting by a skilled editor would be nice. I didn't buy the explanation of why the world lost so many people. I didn't like the sorta kinda zombie stand-in in the story. I thought the loss of a character was not given enough background to make it important. So the death seems arbitrary. It was a quick read however and I like the subject matter well enough to finish the book. I just wished it was better.



View all my reviews

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I have been trying to write about my second attempt at the third dose of Spinraza and haven't been satisfied with the results yet. I realize there may be some of you that are worried (or maybe I elevate the concern people might have). So, I should let you know that the third dose was successfully done. I have one more to do and the loading doses are done. I will eventually post in more detail. When I can.

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Looks like tomorrow I go back to Stanford to try again for the lumbar puncture. After last week's attempt there was talk about using the CT to do my lumbar puncture, but that takes a lot of radiation. Using the CT on a regular basis doesn't sound like a good solution. Connie recommended that we try again with a doctor who successfully did my puncture before (actually my first lumbar puncture). So I will be in Stanford tomorrow at 11:30 AM for a second attempt on my third dose. Then I have a month before I have to take the final loading dose.

We did ask Connie about how the delay in getting my third dose will affect the effectiveness of the treatment and they just don't have data for that. She and Dr Day are optimistic that this won't be a problem. We also talk to her about getting pain meds to help with the pain of laying on the table for so long. She's concerned with how the pain meds will affect my breathing. On her suggestion, I'm trying Vicodin tonight to see how I feel. If it goes well I'll take another Vicodin before the procedure. If it doesn't, I'll do what I have been doing and gut it out.

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At this point it's difficult to tell whether I'm getting better or worse. I think on the whole things are improving, but never long enough to be sure. Tapering off of prednisone, I called the on-call doctor yesterday to talk some things through. I'll start using my nebulizer more frequently. Somehow I had the impression it was a bad idea to use the albuterol (for the nebulizer) with prednisone. She assures me I'm mistaken. So I'm using it about every four hours on a schedule. My breathing isn't as deep as I'd like, but it's a fairly easy breath. My breathing is a bit noisier than I would prefer. :-) People should feel free to ignore these emails. I think better out loud and since I use voice recognition some of this writing is me thinking out loud.

I should let folks know that I was off-line most of yesterday because of a technical glitch that has been resolved. Being sick with no Internet is not my idea of a good time! I hope everyone else is having a much better New Year. Thanks to all who are thinking about me. I know that I am not the best blogger/correspondent. I tend to "go silent" when I'm not feeling well. These posts are also an attempt at correcting that tendency.

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With a lot of three steps forward, two steps back, I seem to be improving. Doctor put me on prednisone for my wheezing and it seems to help. Talked to the doctor about my use of Xanax for panic attacks and she seemed to think I was using them well and as intended. I went without Xanax at all yesterday, but found myself using one about an hour ago. It's hard to tell if the breathing is getting better today or not. I am able to breathe pretty well, but still wheezing more than I'd like. Actually went out for dinner yesterday. So, I'm still kicking. I hope everyone else is doing well.

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I often write in this thing when I feel depressed or anxious. Please feel free to skip this post if you have had your fill of self-indulgent whining. I've been in relatively good health this year, but just got a cold a few days ago. So far it's been pretty mild and I hope I'm on the getting better side of it all. The cold isn't that bad, but it really brings back my panic attacks. I cough up anything and my head is telling me I'm going to choke. I'm going to die. Now I'm pretty sure that I'm overreacting, but it still feels real. I do have Xanax, which helps me get to sleep. I guess I just want to tell someone that I am worried. Don't anyone feel they need to do anything about this. Often just saying things out loud or writing them in public helps to get them in perspective. I hate being so afraid.

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I voted for Nader. I'm a Green and I will vote for Hillary Clinton​.

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I have the same diagnosis as the man who wrote this opinion piece. It gets close to how I feel on the subject.

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I'm back from the hospital!

What? You want details?Collapse )

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Current Music: SG-U on Hulu

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