My Double Lung Transplant

Monday, April 6, 2009

"Take with food"

What exactly does that mean?

What constitutes 'food'? Honestly. Do they mean an all-out meal, or would a single oreo suffice? Could you have a handful of peanuts or a cupful of cadbury mini eggs?

Do you always need to take it with water? Why not pop? Or milk? Or juice? What about a smoothie? Or why not just throw the pill in ur mouth once ur food is mashed up, swallow it all at once and hope for the best?

Riddle me this one, people. Riddle me this.

As i am still in the early stages of Sporonox, I am in an on-going battle with myself as to what exactly constitutes 'food', seeing as i have to take this pill 3 times a day - you guessed it - with food. And seeing as i have a hard time actually eating 3 meals in one day (I prefer to graze like a cow), i find that my pill-taking times vary considerably day to day.

This probably is not helping the cause.

If anyone has any idea, let me know.

Onto other topics

Today was day 1 of having to get weekly bloods taken thanks to Sporonox and it's potentially horrific liver side effects. My arms are still shockingly bruised from Fridays hospital excursion. I must admit that the blown vein residing on the side of my right arm is pretty impressive: it's all black and purple like the vein exploded - puncture mark in the center included. I could probably get away with telling people I was bitten by a one-toothed vampire and they'd beleive me. It's smallish but it looks vicious and painful. It's not, but i will use it to get out of whatever strenuous activity is forced upon me if need be.

So anyways, i get to the MSD lab and sit down. I am taken to the back and take off my coat so they can take blood. I hold out my left arm and the blood taker-lady ties the plastic thing around my arm as tight as humanly possible and orders me to make a fist. I do.

"Squeeze harder" she says.
I do.
She takes her plastic gloved hand and taps a finger over the inside of my elbow.
She looks at me. Her eyes widen.
She feels nothing.
"Oh my god!" she says.

"I got IV's Friday," i explain. "My veins are bad; they tried twice. See?" I proudly hold up my right arm and display to her the bruise left by the altercation my vein got into with the needle.

"What did they do to you?!" she asks horrified. For some sick reason, i found this funny and smiled. I love my nurses and they don't do it on purpose; my veins just suck from years of use.

She holds the needle to my vein and i start to laugh. "Don't laugh till i've got it in," she says.

She finally feels a vein and holds the needle to my skin. It's massive and looks like a thick steel pin. It's gonna hurt; I know it. It's so big that i can see the hole in the end of it. She sighs and looks at me.

"Good luck," she says, "to you and me both" and proceeds to stick the needle in.

No dice. No blood return, no nothing. She digs around, tries different angles, and nothing. She pulls it out, and it hurts. She holds the cotton swab to it and looks at me.

"I'm sorry," she says. "You have to come every week?? Give me your other arm." She takes my left arm, finds a vein, cries 'eureka!' stabs me, gets the blood, and tells me she'll use that spot next week.

I'm not so thrilled about that. That's the spot they give me my IV's in. It's the only spot i have left. It's my secret weapon, and this fucking sporonox shit will all but deplete my only vein source.


Once again, i wish i could get a Picc or a Port but nooooooooooooooo my immunolgists won't have it.


So that's all. Today wasnt a horrible day. I just did Tobi. I'm off to TO tomorrow. I'll write if it's eventful. If not, i'll stay completely silent until something interesting happens.

Which will be hard, b/c i never shut up.


Jennifer said...

Couple of suggestions .. I'm sure you've tried it all, but just in case.

1st. Depends on the medication as to waht "take with food" means, but whenever I had to take with food .. I generally ate bread or something like that (cheese if dairy was permitted) or applesauce. Something on my stomach. Mostly they mean .. not on an empty stomach.

2nd. My doctors (prior to finally succumbing to a picc) instead of using that elastic thing to tie the crap out of my arm would use a blood pressure cuff to squeeze the crap out of my arm. I'd also drink a lot of water prior to going to get blood or IV's and use a heating pad once I did get there.

One time they used betadine and it helped the vein show up a little better.

BreathinSteven said...

Hey Bree!!!

First of all, please don't ever shut up...

Second -- I agree with Jennifer -- "with food" means something on your stomach... A slice of bread, crackers, oreos (maybe 2 would be better than one...), apple sauce, maybe even a glass of milk... It doesn't have to be a meal. For some meds, they suggest what not to take it with, like dairy or fatty foods -- a pharmacist can usually suggest that...

And nope -- I've never been one to take my pills with water... However, a lot of older people, and children of older people, seem to feel that pills should always and only be taken with water (then slug down a beer after they take their pill with an ounce of water -- WTF?) I pretty much take them with anything -- milk, pop, juice, beer, whatever is handy -- and I have swallowed them with food (but sometimes some of them should not be chewed, particularly if they're micro-encapsulated or some such nonsense and should not be chewed...

And -- if you're taking oral sporonox, I believe that those are supposed to be taken on an acid stomach... Sooooooo, if you're on prilosec, prevacid, protonix or the like -- you should take your sporonox a few hours before your dose of that, and with an acidic beverage... Carbonated beverages are always acidic... Apple juice is always acidic... Orange juice is not always acidic, though many people assume it is... So, I always took my sporonox with a Diet Coke or a Diet Orange Crush because I went freakin' diabetic after transplant and I miss regular Coke and Pepsi and stuff like that greatly!!!

Try to take your sporonox and that stuff at a regular time with something small -- even a cookie or something -- and something acidic... It's better to get a steady blood level in your system...

I think about you often -- I hope you get your lungs very soon...

Love, Steve

Alice said...

Hey Bree, sorry I haven't commented is a while!! I can sympathise abt the vein crap, and weren't as brave as you when it comes to needles!!! Still have blood taken once a month, and was SOOO cross 2 weeks ago when the lab screwed up and did the WRONG tests on my blood!! So after all the pain and stress I went through the results showed my Dr NOTHING... at least he's a sweetie and didn't make me go AGAIN...

Megan said...

The vein thing. God that sounds like torture. I have a nurse who always chooses the most uncomfortable vein to take blood from, yelling 'MAKE A FIST, MOVE YOUR HAND, MAKE A FIST AGAIN' throughout the whole ordeal. Other nures are nicer, they just shove the needle in my arm and away we go.

I do have crapped out veins too. They put so many IVs in my arms when I was younger that they had to use the veins in the side of my wrists. Till I gave up and demanded a port. But even after 6 years some of my crapped out veins are still little buggers. We've named one 'Woody' because its all seized up! Xx

Meghann "Queen of the O2 People" said...

Hey woman.

You poor sick oxygen challenged child. We both have been going through hell lately, haven't we? I hope you're feeling a little better and that the Sporonex (sp?) isn't upsetting your tummy.

I'm getting used to my IV treatments although they suck! Speaking of, gotta go, time to unhook it! My MSN is tripping today. Talk to you soon. *hugs*

Kira said...

I would say it could be light food vs a whole meal cause I know some drugs require a full stomach and unless specifically told i think its just to make sure you don't get queasy. If in doubt ask your pharmacist *end add hehehe*

Candi said...

I took Sporonox, it was a capsule w/ beads inside. Well it wouldn't digest right for me. I swallowed it and it came out the "exit" area latter looking the same as it did before I swallowed it, just wasn't in the capsule anymore. The little beads didn't digest at all. So I had to switch to a different anti-fungal. Sorry about your veins, that sucks! I did the IVIG pre-tx too, but they gave me a PICC line for it, the doc told me its very irritating to the veins and will use them all up and will burn the vein up to where later you won't be able to use those veins anymore. I hated getting weekly blood draws done, thats what did my veins in. The doc finally broke down and let me get a port because they were starting to use the veins in my calf muscle in the leg and the veins in my ankle and feet since the ones in my arms were used up and hard and knotty feeling and would never give blood again.

It's Her said...

Have you tried your foot for iv access yet? There may be some magnificent lurkers in there!!