N is for nasty and nerves

NWhen I first got this small bowel obstruction I ended up in the hospital for a week. Mainly to get used to the new phrase “you don’t eat anything any more”. One thing they did to help empty my stomach of the build-up of stomach juices was insert an NG tube. That was the worst 24 hours of my life. It hurt, my throat hurt, I quit talking, I quit thinking, I withdrew into my shell and tried to shut everything out. When the doctor said it wasn’t in right and he could fix it or remove it I told him to remove it. I would rather vomit multiple times than have that tube down my nose/throat.

When I’m struggling to vomit, I am still grateful that I don’t have an NG tube. Anthony knows that I better be unconscious and dying before anyone tries that again. I will grab my IV pole and run through the halls with my rear showing before I’ll consent to another NG tube. I know it is a helpful thing and does good things for some people. And the two nurses who inserted mine were very nice and tried to help me. But that didn’t change the overall result and experience for me.

My other N term is neuropathy. Chemo brings many side effects as we discussed back with the letter C and one of them is neuropathy. It’s a numbness mostly, but not completely. My feet and shins are numb, but I still get foot and calf cramps, and my toes can hurt and need to be massaged to stop aching. My hands are numb and I can’t feel with my finger tips to pick things up. But my fingers tingle and my palms get hot. I know it could be worse. I’ve read of people needing to crawl to the bathroom their neuropathy was so bad. I am still mobile and can still write (mostly legibly) and type (slowly) among other things. But it is a real part of the new normal.

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