Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sitting, Laying, Sweating

This was the saving moment of my hospital stay..getting to sit up and not be basking in the ass/back/leg sweat that I'd been lying in for the past 2 days. And I regret the seems even beards can get sweaty and greasy. And where was my sponge bath!? The nurse left me with a bucket while I was lying down and couldn't sit up to clean what, my arms? oh great.. so my back, ass, legs, stomach gross stitching are sweaty as sweaty can be.. and my forearms are clean? Makes sense.

After 2 days though it was all good. I started walking basically on saturday and from then on they couldn't contain me. Sunday aft they let me out as I refused to lay in my sweat soaked bed any longer.

Gross...and they got even grosser

Thankfully the surg was done laproscopically leaving me with just 2 small and 2 medium size incisions...that hurt like a bitch. Unfortunately I had some strange reaction to morphine and other heavy pain meds and was limited to tylenol..not gonna cut it for just having an organ removed.

Oh and I also had a reaction to the tape causing the biggest..the grossest.. the yellowest..the wateriest...blister I've ever seen. It was the size of a small football stadium. Its gone now and hurts like a bitch too and it leaked grossness all over one of my shirts. amazing.

Pheo and the knife

Well after 4 long stressful weeks of anticipation and fear, the day finally came to remove "it". I've decided to call it "it" rather than "pheo" in hopes that I may never have to hear that name again.

I arrived to the hospital Thursday morning, promptly at 8:30 am, 2 hrs prior to the surgery start time.

Brody: "Hi there, Im here to have fist sized growth pulverized out of me for 10:00".

Nurse: "What did you do, stop for some gambling before you came in!!.. your 2 hrs late"!!

Brody: "Well, looks like I'll just head back to bed then"

Apparently they rescheduled the appt without confirming with the important parties involved: the Patient! However this ended up as a blessing in disguise. After shaving exactly half my body (I really think this was unnecessary..I mean they were only going to be making 3 small cuts in me, and now im left with shaved abs), they whisked me away to the pre op room. After a bludgeoned attempt at sticking an IV in my wrist which created a scene of spraying blood the nearly knocked my sister out, the second attempt finally connected. With no time to waste they shipped me right into the operating room, where I shimmied onto the table. Interesting scene I must say. Room full of people, all of who were introduced to me by the surg while I lie on the table being stuck full of needles. Before I new it they had a mask on my face and asked me to take some deep breathes..none of this counting backwards business, they were going strait for the action. And that about sums it up. Next I knew I was awake with a bunch of nurses humming and hawing all around me. I checked out my wounds..laproscopic which was good, checked out my catheter..and checked the took just under 3 hrs. Man was I hungry, thirsty and ready to go. I really didn't feel out of it at all.

Overall the actual surgery wasn't all that bad. The doctors were all cool and chelaxed and like I said even introduced me to everyone who would be working on me in the room, kinda like a Gray Anatomy might be even though I've never seen it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Art and the Pheo

Yesterday, June 3, I had my Pre Surg Admission Apt at Toronto General Hospital. With surgery being only a week away I suppose they want to make sure I know exactly what their going to do to me. In a way it felt good to know exactly what would happen even though I'll be out almost from the time I pass through the hospital door, what with me requesting "something for the stress" aka code word for dope me up please. What I found out is rather discerning but again thankfully I'll either be doped up or passed out. 1) A minimum of 4 tubes will protrude from various parts of my body during the surgery2) 2 of these tubes (one of which will extend from my johny and when taken out will feel like a sharp bee sting) will still be in me when I wake up 3) They remove the tumour by.. and I quote "pulverizing it". Apparently my request to attach the growth to a necklace post op will go unanswered.

The apt went well I must say. 4 different nurses visited me, each with specific tasks including the more common blood pressure, ecg, blood test.. and the less common armpit swab, nose swab, butt swab, and groin swab. At least the latter swab nurse seemed to find it a highly rewarding experience and found my uncomfortable jokes somewhat entertaining. Isn't it common curtesy to thank someone for swabbing you nose?

Oh so the title of this blog actually applies to the fact that 5 hrs worth of nurses and doctors later I decided to reward myself with a visit to the not so new anymore Toronto Art Gallery. Marvelling at the addition along dundas I happened to notice that looking down on me was room 1711 from Mount Sinia hospital, my previous venture in the not so pleasant hospital. I was glad that Toronto General was hidden behind it in the background and I was able to enjoy the moment leaving thoughts of my upcoming surgery behind.

On a random note I read today in the Star that Lebron James had a growth removed from his neck during a 5 hr operation. For some reason I found this comforting knowing that even the King has to deal with shit like this..cheezy i know.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sister and Toronto Life

Just found out my sister has a short article posted in Toronto Life..thought I'd share as its her first for that mag

Monday, June 1, 2009

Symptoms of a Pheo

Common Symptoms of a pheo: sweating, headaches, stress, high blood pressure and heart rate.

Uncommon Symptoms but apparentely affecting me: ugliness.

The Pheo Beard

Well I've taken the liberty and fully embraced the Pheo Beard Challenge: No shaving or trimming or fixing up of any sort of the facial hair until I'm cured of the tennis ball like pain in the ass growing inside me. Week 3 in action.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pills, pills and more pills

Well the first thing the doc's usually do with a pheo patient is attempt to control your bp. However in these cases often bp isn't really affected by bp meds. I actually read that sometimes these meds can actually make your bp go higher. Perfect.

I started on labetalol 1oo mg 2 x/day. Now I take double that 3 x/day, plus another drug called terazosin which none of the pharmacies or nurses at the hospital had really heard of and is often prescribed for elderly people to make them pee. Excellent. Thats 5 pills a day. Perfect. And they don't really seem to help my blood pressure. Great. Oh and the real kicker..The one on the far right was specially ordered as its technically an "experimental drug", costs $7.20 a pill and only comes in 100 tablet packages, and I have to take it 2x/ the math people..oh and its not covered under normal health insurance. I'm attempting to determine if there is someway to get this drug covered though as expensive drugs and no job = crap. I'll keep you posted.

So I'm currently up to a solid 7 pills a day. To sum up the difference in pills well the 2 on the left are beta blockers and the one on the right called phenoxybenzamine hydrochloride is an alpha blocker. These meds are a must, especially prior to surgery. Specifically the $800 one. Apparently 30 yrs ago they had no idea how to control ones hormones and the surgery would be rather complicated. Today the surgery is still complicated but they at least have these meds which help to block the effects of the tumour on bp..a must for surgery where your bp can react to the poking and prodding of the tumour and increased/decreased hormone/adreniline production during far too much info yes? I'v been doing alot of reading what can i say.

The Pheo Timeline

1 Year ago:
I think it was a year ago or so when I first started feeling 'weird'. This 'weird' feeling was like a tingling in my hands and the occassional pounding heart kinda thing. Being new to the pounding heart scene I decided to see a doctor, and ended up with a take home ecg and echocardio graph, both which showed I was healthy. I continued having these symptoms every so often, and continued to see different doctors for the next 6 months. Diagnosis = stressed out. Just chill out they said.

6 months ago:
I tried running for the first time in 7 or so years (don't judge me). After I got past the initial shock of "when did I get this out of shape" feeling, I began to get a really intense headache. I mean I've had the worst of worst hang over headaches and this absolutely destroyed any previous headache I'd ever had. Needless to say I stopped running. 2 weeks later I decided to try again only to end up with a similar result. These headaches only laster for 10 or so minutes and I really didn' think much of them. However I went to the doctor anyways. Again... Diagnosis = stressed out. Just deal with your issues I was told and chill the f out.

Around 4 months ago:
these headaches began to accompany the pounding heart feeling on a somewhat regular sometimes multiple times a day and often in the middle of the night. Back to the doctor I went. Back to the Diagnosis = stressed. I decided to see a counsillor to deal with my stress.

Around 2 months ago:
I met with my councillor just one time and was told to see a doctor at my school (I'm in Uni) to ensure that all was indeed good and that I was just stressed. Luckily..I say luckily because I could have continued on thinking I was just stressed all this visit to the doctor was following my last week of classes where my symptoms really began to peak. Discovery = abnormally high blood pressure. Apparently during the other visits to el doctorio my bp was fine. Result = a wknd in the hospital where they have no idea whats wrong with me where my bp continued to go up and down dramatically.

Around 1 month ago:
I was referred to a high bp specialist where I pissed in a can for 24 hrs. Result = a random phone call on a friday night leaving a voice mail telling me I had a tumour! No other information..just that I had a tumour and that I should go to the hospital. Apparently I wasn't as stressed as I thought...well at least not until now. 5 days in the hospital later they had confirmed that I had a "Pheo" and that it was indeed on my adrenal gland (where their normally found). After multiple meetings with the bp specialist, $800 worth of medication, 3 other bp medications, and random tests,I finally met with the surgeon and booked a date to have this puppy removed (June 11th).

I'm leaving out a bunch of other things (basically this process has been really confusing and rather inefficient) as I'm a little lazy. Had I started this back in the day I would have told about all my experiences..for now I'm going to focus on what is happening/going to happen.

Pheod Defined

Basically I'm writing this blog because A) I have Pheocromocytoma and I feel like being self indulgent and need a place to vent and B) I have way to much time on my hands. I'm also going to post information and links regarding "Pheo's" as their called in the medical world, as I come across info during my daily obsessive compulsive internet searches. I'm may throw in random posts such as how I'm spending my oh so productive days, which I'm sure will entertain seeing as how I spend nearly 4hrs of each day sitting in the park staring blankly (hence why I have the time to write).

So what is a pheocromocytoma? Well rather than explain it myself which I still can't do very well here's some links for a little background info on what they are:

Beod Defined

Well my nickname is Beod as most of you know... I won't trouble you with the story behind the name but I will say that it has nothing to do with body odour. BEEEOODDD!!