In the 4 days since my discharge from the hospital, pain has become my constant companion. I try to keep ahead of it with my po Dilaudid. Pain never really goes away, it just slinks off into a corner and waits until my meds wear off. I am not afraid of it. I acknowledge it and face it. I just can't figure out how to coexist with it. In college, I took Integrative Med classes, so I practice the techniques I learned. Deep breathing.... relaxation.... visualization... aahhhh- Pain screams and wails and makes demands. Pain wants my undivided attention and wants it NOW! Everything else in the world becomes a white-noise static as I focus on pain.
This morning, at Dr. Laudi's office, I asked for the Fentanyl patch. The nurse's eyes got wide and she looked at Mark who was sipping on a Red Bull after working late last night.
"Yep. You heard her right. I am outnumbered." He said.
Dr. Laudi told Mark and my mom that he appreciates the great support they give me, but that I am his patient. He needs to listen to me and help me in any way he can. My mom agreed.
I was scheduled for a Lupron injection (that would shut down my ovaries, further decreasing the estrogen in my body).
Mark said, "You know, Sarah is a 28 year old woman and these drugs are essentially turning her into an 80 year old woman."
"We need to cut off the estrogen supply to these tumors." Dr. Laudi explained. As I headed to the infusion center for my injection, Dr. Laudi spoke to Mark.
My mom said, "Sarah, I don't have to come with you to your appts."
"I want you to."
"But it's important for you to develop a working relationship with your doctor and maybe I distract from the things you need to say."
I told her, "I am a lot like Dad. I just want to get in and get out. Sometimes, I need help."
Mark and Dr. Laudi were talking and laughing by the elevator.
Dr. Laudi said to my mom, "What did you say when Sarah brought this guy home?"
I jumped in, "She said 'Keep looking.'"
Dr. Laudi smiled, "Mark is a good guy."
Mark picked up my Fentanyl patches from the pharmacy. I wasn't there, but I bet that he interrogated the pharmacist. At home, he removed a patch from the package and examined it carefully for defects before I stuck it on. That night as I slept, I imagine Mark lying awake- counting my breaths and reviewing CPR.