Friday, 29 May 2015

It seems this is my second wake-up call .......

Sooooooooooooo the good news is that my mammogram is clear .........

.........  the results arrived within four days too!!

Thankfully there's a new procedure, they now send the results out from the breast care unit direct to both the patient and their consultant so there's no waiting for weeks anymore!!
It does however make your stomach turnover when the letter arrives ........ it could go either way being so swift!

Ok, so what's the bad news?

Well as you know I don't do anything by halves and this is no exception .......

I've only gone and got shingles .....

On Friday my ribs started to hurt for no apparent reason in the same area that I'd had radiotherapy. (I also smashed them that side in a riding accident some years ago) OH suggested that we'd been told somewhere down the line that they could hurt some years after radiotherapy ........ that would be it then! They were worse on Saturday but at least didn't hurt when I ran or interfere with our Wedding Anniversary celebrations!!!
Lying down in bed in  any position was uncomfortable though, it felt like I'd been kicked.

On Sunday morning there was a bit of a rash in a band from my back and across my ribs ....... as soon as OH said 'they're like little blisters' I just knew it was shingles!

Being a Bank Holiday weekend I couldn't get to the surgery until Tuesday .......... the pain got worse and so did the rash. OH feared the worst when I had pain all down my spine on Monday night and wouldn't believe my self diagnosis!!!!

As you know I have to be dragged kicking and screaming to the doctors but I was in so much pain that I was on the phone bang on 9am.

As you may recall the one and only time Dr. Fernandez and I have met was during my radiotherapy when we didn't seem to hit it off so I wasn't particularly looking forward to my appointment. I needn't have worried though, he was great ......... must have just been having an off day two years ago!!

The moment he saw the rash ........ 'shingles'

Oh bollocks ...... actually I didn't say that out loud.

He then said 'Shingles is caused by stress' ........ tick!

'Overdoing it' ......... tick!

'Lack of sleep' ........ bingo! .....bloody insomnia ..... tick!

'Yes, I need to talk to you about my tamoxifen and insomnia in a minute'

So he prescribed the one and only antiviral drug for shingles to be taken five times a day ....... what??? and said that I'd need painkillers too ........ ooohhhh noooooo I hate taking tablets.
So there was a choice of paracetamol (which wouldn't be strong enough) or morphine ........... blimey morphine that's for really serious stuff isn't it?

The next prescription was for co-codamol ....... oh shit!

Whenever OH has had them he's complained of constipation and you can't drink with them either!

Dr. Fernandez then said I needed lots of rest ....... 'could you stop working for a couple of week's ?'..........

All I could see in front of my eyes was the diary for the next two weeks which was full of work, cheesemaking and markets etc.

'Not really' ....... and I listed my itinerary and reasons as to why I couldn't ........ ' and I have a 6 mile race on the 10th June so do you think I can still do it?'

'Maybe not' ........... noooooooooooooo!!

Yes, yes, I know, don't shout at me I'm poorly!

'You need to eat well and drink lots of water to flush it out'

'And get lots of sleep .......'

So we then had the tamoxifen and insomnia conversation ........ he obviously didn't see my last post!!!

The pharmacist was summoned and although gave us the usual 'its not available' spiel, he is now looking at getting Wockhardt in and stockpiling it if necessary.

I started the antiviral tablets straight away ....... bloody great horse pills, even when halved but as it was OH's Birthday and I wanted some prosecco with him to celebrate I left the painkillers until Wednesday, despite the pain!

Yes, yes another of my stupid ideas ............ however as I toasted him a Happy Birthday with said prosecco, he read me the riot act and pointed out that its so serious it's my second wake up call .........

So as much as I wanted to put my fingers in my ears and la, la, la loudly I've agreed to slow down ........ Well not much choice at the moment!!!

On Wednesday I cleared the diary for two weeks and got my colleagues to do my farms.

I'm now trying to do as I'm told as after all, the third wake up call might be too late ........

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Night sweats and insomnia

Sorry I know you've been hanging on for a while since my last post ......

........ but I've been a bit busy with the running lark!

A couple of months ago when I was still 51 I read an article in one of the weekend papers that stated the average age for the menopause is 51years.

Ok so I'm now 52, have been taking Tamoxifen (which mimics the menopause) for nearly two years  ....... AND..........  I'm still having periods ........ my body clearly didn't get the memo!

Two of the many side affects of Tamoxifen are night sweats and insomnia........

As I've mentioned before each brand of Tamoxifen differs in side effects to varying degrees. My preferred one is Wockhardt which seems to like me and I it, however despite requesting it every month, the surgery reckon it's not always available so after six months or so on it and with minor side effects I've now had to endure four months of different brands, the last two being Relonchem  which as with now and previous months I've had it it's give me the most awful night sweats ...... absolutely dripping with sweat and drenching the bed clothes. It's so bad that OH bought more sheets so that we can change them daily if necessary!! I have to be thankful that it's not every night I suppose!

The worst thing however is the insomnia ........

Despite being absolutely knackered all I get on average is two hours sleep before waking up in a sweat and then being unable to go back to sleep for two or three hours, dropping off again for a couple of hours before lying awake again wishing for more sleep, and then of course it's time to get up ..........

I have at least another three years, if not eight on Tamoxifen ......... please don't tell me I'm not going to get a decent nights sleep during this time!!

It's definitely going to be for the next month as I've just interrupted this to go and pick up my prescription ............ I nearly cried when I opened the bag ...... they've given me bloody Relonchem again!!!

Ok, I'll duck now whilst those of you who suffer the same symptoms and are going through the natural menopause chuck stuff in my direction .......

In other news ........ we're off to RD&E later as I have my mammogram, then it will be fingers crossed for two weeks that I don't get a letter in the post ........

I've just made OH's day (not) mentioning this ..... he thought we got the results straight away ....... happy days!!!!!!