Happy: A Quest for Life After Death

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tardive Dyskinesia

Here's your vocabulary word of the day: Tardive Dyskinesia. Say it slowly with me: Tar-dive Dys-kin-e-sia.

Tardive Dyskinesia is "a neurological disorder that consists of potentially irreversible, involuntary movements of the tongue, mouth, face, lips, and sometimes the arms, legs, and trunk."

What Mat has.

Mat started taking a drug called Reglan about a year ago to help him digest food faster after tumor growth caused a partial stomach obstruction. It helped a lot. He had been throwing up regularly, and the Reglan helped food go through his system faster.

But ... apparently the drug is only approved for short-term use, meaning 4 to 12 weeks. And almost a third of people who use it longer than that develop Tardive Dyskinesia. I wish someone had given us a heads-up about that.

For awhile Mat had been having an unpleasant sensation of being uncomfortable in his body -- wanting to crawl out of his body. His muscles would involuntarily twitch. He couldn't quite put a finger on it, though, and ignored it for awhile.

Eventually Mat had a response that seemed like seizures. Intermittently, his arms and legs convulsed for several minutes at a time. It was a little scary, to say the least. He called the doctor (actually, I called, because Mat didn't have enough control of his hands and fingers at the time) who suspected Reglan.

That was a couple of weeks ago. Since then, Mat has gradually cut his dose from eight pills a day to one only as necessary (every few days). He hasn't had a repeat of the bizarre seizure-like experience, and other side effects are mostly gone. Until today, he had even been keeping his food down on the much-reduced dose of Reglan.

Feeling bored? There's always something interesting going on at our house.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

... and then Ian stole home

Ian and I played baseball with the Red Sox last night at Fenway Park.

We got four field passes to yesterday's game against the Oakland A's, so we showed up three hours early to stand on the field and watch batting practice. We watched the players warm up from a few feet away -- David Ortiz, Kevin Youklis, Jacoby Ellsbury, J.D. Drew, Jason Bay, Josh Beckett, etc. At one point Jason Varitek was doing warm-up swings right in front of us. I could almost have reached over and touched him. But then I would have been hit with the bat.

Seeing the players that close was almost like seeing a toy come to life. We've watched the Red Sox on TV and from distant bleacher seats (with one exception -- thanks Brandon!), and from there they look like miniatures. Up close, they're, well, people. Amazing. They are a bit more miniature than their statistics claim, however. (Julio Lugo is 6'1"? I don't think so.)

Early during practice, Nick Green threw us a ball, and of course we brought our mitts, so during a break in the action, Ian and I played a game of catch. So we didn't exactly play with the Red Sox (they were on the field and we were behind a rope at the edge of the field), and maybe a game of catch isn't quite baseball, but still. We waited patiently, but the Red Sox had their game faces on and did not volunteer to autograph the ball, even when I yelled "Go Beavs" at Jacoby Ellsbury (we have something in common -- we both attended Oregon State).

We were given the field passes by the Red Sox team dentist, who fortuitously is also Mat's dentist and our former bishop. Even more fortuitously, Mat broke a crown two weeks ago. It was a rare visit to the dentist -- Mat has not been terribly concerned about the longevity of his teeth lately. So the next time you break a crown, remember: it could be your lucky day.

After Red Sox batting practice, we sat near the Green Monster and watched the A's warm up. Now I know why everyone wants to sit there. A dozen balls must have been hit there, and a few more were tossed.

I have to say that even though we had great seats (right behind John Smoltz's family), the game was a bit anticlimactic. The Red Sox made some great plays, but lost 0-6. The highlight of the day was definitely the game of catch with Ian.

Oh yeah, I did eventually manage to meet Jacoby Ellsbury and get his autograph on that baseball. That part of the day was pretty good too.