While chatting to one of my cousins last week I made the huge mistake of dismissing the weight loss she was admiring as a result of my ever decreasing kidney function, “There has to be a silver lining to kidney failure somewhere,” I foolishly laughed.
To redress the balance, the end of the week, weekend and beginning of this week has been one of unmitigated black clouds. First I did something to my right shoulder resulting in pain whenever I moved my arm, breathed in or out, yawned, hiccuped or lay down on my back or right side (can’t lie on my left side in case I damage the fistula) so I have been sleeping sitting up – not ideal on chilly January nights. Added to this I’ve felt sick virtually allthe time and frequently am sick in the night.
The pain in my shoulder was sufficient to drive me to Neurofen Plus to enable me to drive at all and on Saturday sent me off to the local Primary Care Centre – an adventure in itself as you are supposed to call first (which I didn’t know) and on arrival I was met with a grim receptionist informing me that they were not a walk in centre and I should have telephoned. Feeling slightly less than cheery I asked if she would give me the phone number and I would go out of the building and phone them if it would help but instead she sent me off to A & E where I was sent back to Primary Care with a note on official notepaper saying I needed to see a GP as I hadn’t had an accident and while obviously in pain it wasn’t classed as an emergency and why had they sent me there in the first place? I was then told I’d have to wait about an hour (nearer 3 in the end) I took my seat among the sick and lame of the city (would you really think it appropriate to bring a child who had been vomiting copiously into a washing up bowl since breakfast time, on the bus to a hospital and then complain loudly when the doctor suggested he’d be better off tucked up in his bed at home and given something other than a can of Irn Bru to drink and Penguin biscuits to eat while you waited!) and was finally seen by a very pleasant young doctor who said I’d probably pulled a muscle and was well on the way to prescribing lots of painkillers when he asked if I took any other medicines. I handed him my phone on which is a list of my daily pills and potions and also latest test results, information about transplant status etc so he rapidly changed the prescription to Deep Freeze gel and sent me on my way. Over the weekend I regularly anointed myself with the menthol scented gel and although it did numb the pain a little I wasn’t improving. Today I went to my own GP and saw a “nurse practitioner ” who first told me I probably had gallstones, then said it was a muscle strain and gave me arm exercises to do and some painkillers. I mentioned the increasing sickness and was prescribed a new drug (new to me I mean) called Metoclopramide to control the symptoms which she thought were being caused partly by a build up of toxins due to the failing kidneys and partly due to the phosphate binders I take. I collected the medicines from the chemist, went home and began reading the information pack before taking either drug (a habit I got into due to the number of doctors who prescribe drugs I cannot take due to my renal failure) and was amused to see that one of the common side effects of the Metoclopramide (an anti-emetic drug) is that it can make the patient feel sick! Now that did make me laugh! It can also make the patient feel confused, dizzy and affect driving so I am going to delay taking my first tablet until just before I go to bed and see how it goes.