Happy: A Quest for Life After Death

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Sleeping Beauty

Mat is a champion sleeper. Ever since I've known him, he's been able to sleep any time, any place. Having cancer has introduced a bit of insomnia (anxiety is not all that sleep-inducing), but generally has made him tired. So he sleeps a lot. Here's a typical schedule: arise with the early birds at 10 a.m., nap from about 3-6 p.m., retire at 11 p.m. Roughly 14 hours a day.

A couple of weeks ago, he topped even that. Sunday night, he dropped off around 11 p.m. as usual, and then woke up the next day at 3 p.m. All 14 hours in one stretch. And then he was still tired. Mat dragged himself around for a couple of hours and went to bed early. Monday night was about the same.

We were both pretty worried about it. This kind of fatigue could mean bigger tumors in the liver, making for poorer liver function. We entertained ourselves with this and several other possible (and impossible, I'm sure) scenarios until Wednesday.

During a long conversation between Mat and his palliative care doctor on Wednesday, it came out that Mat has been treating his right shoulder, which is a bit sore ever since the port was implanted, with a heating pad. The patch on his arm that delivers his pain medicine through his skin was on the same arm. The dose is regulated by body temperature, so Mat is very careful not to sit in the sun too long, or he could OD. It didn't, however, occur to us that the heating pad would do the same thing.

So basically Mat overdosed on narcotics and we're lucky he didn't quit breathing.

In more positive news, the effects of the Reglan (convulsions, jumpiness, etc.) are mostly gone.

Since recovering from the pain patch incident and the side effects of Reglan, Mat has been feeling better than he has for a long time. He felt well enough this week that he took the subway to his office by himself to catch up with friends from work, who threw him a surprise party. And not just any party -- a pie party. And not just any pie party -- a Petsi pie party. And he brought some home. Life really is good.


EmilyCC said...

Great story! I'm so glad things are going well (because you guys were LONG overdue).

ellen said...

I'm glad Mat has perked up!

Anonymous said...

Wow! The pain patch, who knew? I'm so glad you got that figured out. That's fantastic Mat was able to go into his work. I want to try that pie.


SLP said...

Wow! Great News...
Who would have guessed...