Sunday, March 21, 2010

All Clear on the Chestern Front

So my chest CT is clear. No problems there. Which is very, very good. I don't want to have to give up my PICC line until it's time to stop the ceftriaxone.

And, yes, I realize that the horribe pun in the blog post title means that I Am Going To Hell.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New medications and the battle for a good night's sleep

I saw Dr. R (my Lyme doctor) today. And since I haven't posted here for a while, I've got a fair amount to report. I'll start with the good news.

The good news: I'm doing better. I know that every time I say this, I end up crashing. But for right now, today, I'm at about 35% energy-wise, 45% neuro-cognitive ability. This is the best I've been since getting sick in November 2007. So it appears that the Rocephin has been doing its job. And my labs are still beautiful, so my body is handling the medication load just fine.

So because I'm doing well, it's time to push a little harder. Of course. So I'm going to be doing 2 grams Rocephin twice daily, four days on and three days off. I'm stopping the Plaquenil today.

In two weeks, after I've adjusted to the Rocephin change, I'm stopping the Diflucan and grapefruit seed extract and going back on Flagyl (500 mg, twice daily, five days on and two days off). The doxy is staying the same (400 mg/day). I'm also going to stay on Cipro (for bartonella) for another 1.5 months. And I'm quitting the monolaurin (taken for EBV and HHV-6).

And the most exciting thing of all? I am trying out private yoga classes. Regular classes are too fast-paced, but the restorative classes are too slow/easy. So I'm working one-on-one to establish poses that I can do (particulary with my PICC line in place) and remind my body what the proper alignment is said poses. I went to my first lesson yesterday, and it was a really good experience.

And now the bad news. Holy morphine, Batman, I hurt like a son of a biscuit. The joint pain has receded and for the moment is only bothering me occasionally. The deep bone pain is annoying but that's about it. The back/neck pain, however, is like to drive me mad. I'm currently taking 20 mg Kadian (extended release morphine) at night, along with 1200 mg gabapentin, and it's barely touching the pain.

So I'm going to go up to 1800 mg gabapentin and see if that helps. If not, I'm going to have to talk to my pain management doctor to see to do next.

The pain is, naturally, interfering with sleep in a major way. At the same time, the trazodone hasn't been helping. I'm making an appointment to talk about what, if anything, I can/should do about it. I've also started acupuncture, and I'm hoping it will help.

Finally, a new symptom has popped up. I've felt very short of breath on and off for a while. Sometimes during activity, sometimes when I'm lying in bed. There appears to be no pattern. So just to be on the safe side, I'm going to have a chest CT tomorrow morning to rule out a possible pulmonary embolism. With the PICC line, there's the chance of small blood clots forming at the tip of the line and breaking off and entering the lungs. This, as you might guess, is not good. Thus, the CT.

There are many possible causes for shortness of breath, including thyroid and adrenal issues (and babesia and the bizarre mess that is Lyme itself). So there are many less severe possibilities than pulmonary embolism. Still, better safe than sorry and all that.