Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Same Old Same Old

Hi all,

I've got a little window here where the pain is minimal so I'm gonna jump back on the blog and catch you up with what's going on with me. The short story is: not much. I haven't gone anywhere in the last four days; instead, my days and nights are a constant cycle of resting, sleeping, playing video games, reading on my Kindle, watching TV, and above all, trying to stave off the pain from the surgery.

It's been just over three weeks since the procedure and the pain from the incisions is still quite noticeable. It's hard for me to say there's been any substantial improvement -- there are periods where I almost don't hurt at all, but there are other times where I have to sit and breathe deeply just to mentally control a flare-up of pain. There doesn't seem to be a real obvious pattern regarding when the pain comes and when it goes, but then again, I'm hardly ever completely lucid, so it's difficult to say.

Yes, I'm continuing on the drug regimen prescribed by the docs at Alta Bates. This includes two Methadone pills a day, a smattering of dilaudid, and a pain patch that goes on my arm and gets replaced every three days. You'd think that with such a barrage of medication, I wouldn't feel a thing, but alas, the pain still finds ways to creep through. At the same time, the meds leave me in a fairly continual groggy state in which I'm constantly riding the line between being asleep and awake, and at night I am prone to talking out loud in my bedroom while I am in this half-asleep state of dozing, holding conversations with people that aren't actually there. Funny thing is, I'm usually aware of when I'm talking out loud in this 'dozing' state, but I still do it anyway. Just a really strange side effect of this medical mixture, I suppose.

Out of curiosity, anyone else out there have extensive experience with pain meds? Did you have any crazy side effects? I'd love to hear any stories from our devoted readers regarding their experiences during rest and recuperation.

Friday is the 4th and many people I know are heading out for a holiday. My dad's birthday is on the 5th and I'll spend some of the day with him, and we might go outdoors somewhere (as in, stepping outside the doors of my home for a few hours), but otherwise, I have no set plans for going out and about, and I'm certainly not going out of town for the weekend. Had this whole cancer nuisance never popped up, I'd be in Hawaii right now, celebrating the marriage of my good friends Priscilla and Dave. I'm really sad I can't be there for their big day, but I know they understand, and I'm sure everyone's having a blast out on the islands. I'll tip back a fruit smoothie in their honor -- congrats, you two, and my very best goes out to you from the mainland. I'm there with you in spirit, without question.

Well, if you dart off for a long weekend, have a great holiday. I'll try to check back in the next few days with some more creative stuff (rather than a post like this one, which is solely "here's what I did the last couple days"), and until then, I hope everyone enjoys their time off. Also try to remember what the holiday is all about, if only for a moment: one great way to do this is to check out the HBO miniseries John Adams. It really brings home the story of America's struggle for independence, and the actors playing our founding fathers really nailed the roles (and I can say this with authority because, of course, I witnessed the real events back in 1776). Rent it on DVD if you're looking for something to do.

Happy 4th of July, everyone...

With much love,


smrose said...

"Experience with pain meds"

I recommend Dark Side of the Moon. Meddle is good, but it can freak you out.

Brad said...

Good to hear from you again, Mr. Scoppettone. Pink Floyd may be an interesting diversion, but for a more audiovisual trip, try anything by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Then, of course, there is always Dead Ringers.

smrose said...

Dead Ringers? Really? Might as well suggest Naked Lunch and go straight for the worst possible pain killer experience...

Kim said...

On this independence day weekend, I'm going to celebrate your independence from Kuato with the rest of the cancer soon to follow.

I'll shoot you an email about side effects of pain meds and I know that there are other who can help you too. We're all in this together and please know I'm sending you all of my love and many hugs via cyberspace.

Team Dino said...

You're amazing. Hang in there. You WILL turn the corner - I promise. We all love you so much! Happy 4th and Happy Birthday Dick!

Lynne Wyche said...

HI Dino,

I haven't talked to you in about 3 years, but, Andi filled me in on your life over the last couple of months. I read your entire blogue, and, can see that your sense of humor is still in rare form. You are unbelievably stong and have such a positive outlook. I just wanted you to know that I'm thinking about you.
-Lynne Hopkins