Posts Tagged ‘medication’

Sick people

January 19, 2010

“So many sick people.” A lady beside me commented while seated in the waiting room of Dr. M’s medical office.  I agree.  It was 11:00 am Monday, January 18, and all the seats were taken in the waiting room.  My son, Louie, gave up his seat for an elderly.  The receptionist had to bring out more chairs to accommodate the rest.

I was there to consult with Dr. M, my oncologist, of the constant stomach pain I was having over the weekend.  I was unable to sleep or eat, and was always on narcotic pain medication, Tramadol.  My wife was already worried about my intake of pain meds but it was the only I can get through the night.  What worried me more was my lost of weight, not much (3 lbs) but I cannot go on like this for the next chemo cycle next week.

“Hi, Bo.  We are running late but the doctor will see you.  You okay, sweatie?” Nurse Edith said to me in the waiting room.

“No.” I said.  I was also in their office a week ago Monday complaining of the same stomach pain prior to the start of my first chemo cycle.  I was seen right away since not much people then, but on that day it was different.

I saw a parade of cancer patients coming in, sitting in their infusion chairs, getting infused, then picked up or going home.  A mid-sixty Asian cancer patient staggers to the waiting room after getting infused.  He was frail looking, pale, and thin.  Dr. M helps him take a seat while waiting for his daughter to pick him up.  He asked if he was eating but could only murmur yes.  Dr. M told him to take Ensure if he could not eat.  (Ensure is a life saver!).

“Oh hello.  It is good to see you again.  Happy New Year!” The conversation started at the other end of the room by a 50ish old man who had just entered with his lunch.  He greeted an elder lady accompanied by his son.

“How is your husband?  I sat beside him once during our chemo session.  Wonderful guy.  You in for treatment?” He added.  I remember instances like this at the hospital during my chemo sessions.  I remember meeting this wonderful lady who had more sessions than I did.  She was in high spirit even though her hemoglobin count was low.  This is how we make our bonds.

“He passed” replied the elder lady “I am here for my treatment as well.  I see you are doing well and you even brought your lunch for your chemo session.” The conversation continues but respectful of the life taken by cancer.  Apologies exchanged and jokes were passed.  This how we cope.  All part of the life of a cancer patient.  Shit happens.

Suddenly my stomach pain or worry-stress seems relieved.  As much as I wanted to get well myself, I could not help think of all the pain and little victories of the “sick people” there.  I am among them.  We are in varying stages of our sickness and pain, and each of us has our own way of coping.  Most of the time we are silent and finding the will to survive.

Upon seeing Dr. M., I told him that I saw my primary physician, Dr. O last Friday who prescribed Kapidex but the stomach pain continued at night.  He changed my medication to Carafate and Levsin, and told me to continue to use Tramadol for pain as needed.  I prefer Tramadol because it does not cause constipation but makes you weak.  My body is under a lot of stress with all these chemo drugs and medications.  My room is getting to look like a drug store lined up with different medication bottles but I need to be ready for the next chemo cycle.  This is how we live.


PS: Go ACS – DetermiNation!

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