Emergency pain meds - quick!
Today was quite a day! I had a whole day scheduled with training a new nurse in the morning and client visits all afternoon. This was all put on hold when I received a call from Kevin at 10 am. He was having acute back pain in his lower spine which started the evening before. By morning, the Vicodin which he had been taking throughout the night wasn't even dimming the pain. I called Dr. Bendel, the oncologist, who recommended I take Kevin to ER for pain management. We both felt it was most likely related to the Neulasta injection he had given himself on Saturday. This is needed after every chemo round to boost white blood cell counts, but often causes bone pain.
We got to ER at 10:30 am and after checking in waited for 50 minutes for a physician to come to assess Kevin. During this time, the pain was excruciating. Then we waited another 15 minutes before a nurse finally gave him some IV Dilaudid, which didn't help at all because by that time his threshold was so high; it wasn't enough to bring it back down. After another 20 minutes, they gave him another IV dose, and after that kicked in, the pain finally started to subside. There is nothing in this world worse then a mother watching her child in pain and not being able to do anything about it.
I was a very upset red hot mama by the time the nurse finally came in to give Kevin that first IV dose of pain medication! As I stated to her, there is no excuse for making someone in excruciating pain wait for over an hour for some mediation to relieve it. And this was even after Dr. Bendel had called the SCH ER to let them know Kevin was coming so they would be ready for him. Kevin has a very high pain tolerance which probably resulted from being involved with Karate since he was 9 years old and now being a 2nd degree black belt. But believe me when I tell you, he was HURTING!!
Labs were drawn which showed his cell counts coming up slightly. When Option Care drew the labs on Tuesday, counts were very low. So at least we know the DARN Neulasta is working. We left ER at 3:30 pm with enough oral Dilaudid to carry Kevin through the next 24 hours, after which the bone pain should decrease since the effects of the Neulasta will be wearing off. He also developed acute nausea and vomiting after he got home, most likely from the heavy narcotics he received on an empty stomach. Hopefully he will be able to sleep well tonight.