Tuesday, April 24, 2018

I must need my head examining

The long list of side-effects makes we wonder why anyone would choose to take opioids for fun. I've been prescribed the minimum level for pain management and, long story short, have been having all sorts of amazing things go wrong with me. And they're all on the 'possible side-effects' list for oxycodone.

Everything, aside from the backache that drove me to a doctor in the first place, followed on from chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and pain management drugs.

The dizzy spells I've been putting down to positional hypotension. My low blood pressure drops as I stand up, blood drains out of my brain, and until my heart bumps up the pressure I feel a bit woozy. Sometimes I have to sit down again. This only happens when I rise, so is not an issue during periods of sitting: driving is not affected, but getting out of the car can be.

But the said dizzy spells have been getting more frequent over the past month or so, and have occasionally been more spectacular. I collapsed, or at least slid down the wall outside my oncologist's office, and she put me in hospital overnight for observation. To nobody's surprise, I came up normal in all tests. I spent to following 24 hours wearing a Holter apparatus. This recorded my heart's behaviour and proved beyond reasonable doubt that my cardiac function is completely normal.

Other than my heart being two sizes too small, that is.
So off I was sent. I suspect that the cardiac move was little more than an arse-covering exercise to ensure that if I dropped dead it wasn't in Oncology.

But the dizzy spells occasionally get worse, coming with cold sweats and the occasional loss of,erm, control of natural functions. And I had what looked like a full-blown seizure last Friday. Again, one of the possible side-effects of oxycodone. I made an appointment with my pain-management doctor as early as possible. She says it's extremely unlikely to be such a tiny opioid dose, and has referred my to a neurologist.

I spent yesterday awaiting insurance approval for a brain CT scan, and everything appears normal. But tomorrow I'm due back for a MRI scan and some wires to be put on my head to make wavy lines on long rolls of paper. They won't be happy, it seems, until I'm confirmed as having a brain tumour. Grump, grump, grump.

Further grump is being caused by a sudden deafness on my left ear in addition to my normal right-ear hearing loss. Again, "...profound bilateral hearing loss..." is listed as a side-effect of oxycodone.

Long story short: If I have developed epilepsy from whatever cause, I'm banned from driving. If I go deaf I can no longer enjoy music. And those two things seem calculated to fuck up what remains of my life.


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