I got my second infusion of Solu-Medrol today, and while I'm not seeing the effects I'm hoping for yet (which is normal), I am noticing the side effects.
I'm still beyond exhausted, but it's very hard to fall asleep. And I'm overly chatter-y, which is a nervous/jittery thing for me. I guess I'm always pretty opinionated, but I'm even more so right now.
But the stuff I find most distressing is the way my heart is racing even worse than usual. I'm incapable of taking my own pulse for some reason, but luckily my husband isn't, so he clocked me at 120 bpm while lying down, which is high even with my tachycardia.
At the infusion center, they noted that my blood pressure was creeping up and that they'll need to keep a close eye on it.
And my dilemma this afternoon is trying to figure out if I'm just having a panic attack triggered by the steroids (which is pretty common) or if my chest pain, shortness of breath and racing heart means I really need a trip to the ER. I hate running to the ER when it turns out to be no big deal healthwise but is still a big bill to pay afterwards.
I've been off anti-anxiety medication for a long time (pretty much since I got off steroids the last time about six months ago or so), but I popped a Klonopin about an hour ago to see if that would ease my symptoms. And it has, a little, but I don't know if it's enough.
I know if I call the on-call doc, they'll tell me to go the ER just to be on the safe side because the steroids can trigger heart attacks and other stuff. But in some ways, that feels like a CYA kind of automatic response rather than a thoughtful look at my history which so far hasn't had anything turn up on EKGs or echocardiograms (although my last one of those was back in July 2007, but I've had several EKGs since then).
Gotta go lie down now. That eases the chest pain a bit.
Oddly, I think my hands look more swollen than less, and it seems like the steroids should be reducing inflammation there as well as on my optic nerve. But they haven't turned into little sausages yet so I'm not going to worry about edema or anything. No swelling in my ankles that I can notice.
I guess my big fear about going to the ER today is that when I went to the ER with similar symptoms back in July 2007, I got admitted and came out in worse shape after 8 days than when I went in. I really don't want to do that again ... although it's unlikely since they could look at my history and see all the tests that have been run in the past two years.
Sorry for the stream-of-consciousness. That's about the only way my brain is functioning today, and truthfully, I guess that's pretty much how I blog most of the time anyway.
Oh, and totally off-topic: I got my first ever book review accepted for publication. It's online now and will appear in the April print edition of Palm Beach (FL) ArtsPaper, a startup run by an old friend from my days in the Charleston, WV, bureau of the Associated Press. I wasn't sure if I knew how to write a journalistic critique since it's not something I'd ever done before. So this was the trial run, but Greg has already authorized me for two more books, which I'm waiting for from Amazon. Back when I was doing real freelance writing, I would have been too snobby to work for the low pay involved, but a) I'm excited to have something professional and recent that I can point to if/when I'm ready to rejoin the workforce and b) it's for a friend who's trying to get a new business up and running and fully intends to raise his payscale for these as soon as he can afford to.
And hey, I still remember my mom telling me no one would pay me to read books because I'm such a prolific reader. So I'm excited to prove her wrong! :) (Ok, that dates back to grammar school in the mid-70s when I was in a read-a-thon for some charity and I was unhappy that my mom only sponsored me for 10 cents a book when another girl was getting $1 per book. Of course, she read a total of 5 books, I think. I, on the other hand, read something like 250.) :)
Anyway, please check out my book review -- I'm sure page views help Greg make a little advertising money -- and if you or someone you know is based in the Palm Beach, FL, area, you should consider checking out his print publication too as well as the rest of the website. He's really on top of everything that's going on in the arts community down there.
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4 months ago