Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A rock and a hard place

Well, now….this is about a bitch.

I have Bells Palsy. The standard treatment for Bells is acyclovir and prednisone. I can't tolerate prednisone orally, I have an ulcer and one dose of the oral stuff over the weekend set me off into belly pain hell. I have been given a choice: either take the oral stuff, increase the nexium I take from one dose a day to two and hope I don't develop a gastric bleed, or get admitted to the hospital for IV steroids.

Neither of those choices is an option for me.

Taking the oral prednisone puts me at risk of a gastric bleed, the consequences of which can be very, very bad indeed. Like life threatening bad. As in 'get an NG tube, endoscopic surgery and admitted to the hospital for a week' bad. Getting admitted at this point in the semester would mean I'd miss classes and would end up getting dropped and failing, and I'm not prepared to do that.

Getting admitted for IV steroids is not an option either – I'd miss lectures, would get dropped from classes and would fail. Not gonna do that; I've worked too damn hard to let that happen.

The other option that has been suggested by friends who are medical professionals is getting a PICC line with a heplock on it. I can still get IV steroids, but I don't have to be admitted – so I can attend lectures. I'm not sure how to go about getting that; my PCM has told me that if I can't tolerate the prednisone I have to go back to the ER. Do I ask for it there? Do I call my PCM and ask him about it? Do I tough it out and see what happens….and if I'm no better in a week ask to be admitted them (Thanksgiving break. I won't miss classes)? I don't know.

All I know is that I'm not failing this semester. Period.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

home care is available in most cities, though I can't speak to military facilities. Start with the staff at your primary doc's office, as they may have experience with making home care referrals. You might not need a PICC line, it depends on how long you'll be needing the IV steroids. A home health nurse will set up your routine with you, can teach you to give your own medications, will maintain the PICC line or IV access as you need assistance, and you can do the infusions at home. Start with your PCP.
Peggy, RN in Ohio