Monday 6 February 2012

Now that I'm awake, I Can Fill You In

Over the last month, I have certainly reduced any sleep defecit I had!  Honestly, I have had days where I napped for hours in the afternoon, slept on the couch all evening, had a normal night's sleep, and then fell asleep reading the newspaper at breakfast.  You have to agree, it's a bit much!

Finding a solution hasn't been easy.  Our working theory has been that my pain level has reduced enough that the level of hydromorphone I was getting in the pump was causing me to get drowsy.  It seems that you can tolerate high levels of this drug withough side-effects if you have high pain levels too.  But once they drop, weird things can happen.  In fact, when they first put me on the pump in the hospital, the levels were so high that I was sleepy and hallucinating.  Truly loopy.  Lately, just sleepy.

Realizing that my pump was set at a pretty low continuous dose, my pain nurse suggested we remove the pump and replace it with the right doses of both continuous and breakthrough levels of oral hydromorphone. We've spent the last couple of weeks adjusting the oral medications. The trouble is, I'm still drowsy.  And I've had more pain, especially in the morning.

My pain nurse, who is fabulous, has referred me to the Complex Cancer Pain Clinic in the hope that it will offer new alternatives that will help me.  Here's hoping. 

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