Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Got out of the hospital to finish recuperating at home. Clindamycin burned an ulcer into my esophagus and messed up my entire GI track. I seem to have a lot of trouble with side-effects, starting with Tetracycline (an antibiotic) that stained my teeth yellow when I was a kid.

Well, they got me stable, taking 2 mg of Dilaudid every 4 hours for pain, plus lots of other junk to restore my digestive system. Another week or two to fully recover, they project.

So, I get home and my left arm starts swelling up around the elbow, turning red, getting itchy and hot. An infection from an IV that was plugged in there. That happens less than 2 tenths of 1% of the time. How do I keep hitting the rare things??

Friday, October 10, 2008

Another Medical Problem

I've been in the hospital the last couple of days, was mostly irrational a few days before that. I'll probably be here at least a couple more days. The side effects from taking the antibiotic Clindamycin started bad and got to the point where I was in constant severe pain in my gastro-intestial track. One small swallow of anything would amp the pain to writhing in bed for 30-60 minutes. I'll explain more later.

Monday, October 6, 2008

FMD Update 5

What a nightmare. I developed a bad toothache a few days before going to see the specialist in New York. I had put off going to the dentist for a couple of years because I was so disappointed with my last experience... my dentist had put in 2 crowns in the back on the same side and they were too short, ruining my bite. Well, this toothache was bad enough that I couldn't procrastinate any longer, but I found a new dentist. He gave me several options, and I chose to have him remove this tooth in preparation for a snap-on-smile. I could always get an implant later, if I want to.

Well, the root of a tooth is normally inside the jawbone, but in this case the jawbone had an indentation and the root was outside the jawbone. So, when the doc pulled the tooth, he mixed some of my blood with some bone graft material and spackled it in the gum and sutured it up. It was supposed to hurt for a day or two after the Novocaine wore off. It didn't. So the doc put me on penicillin in case there was an infection. It felt a little better for a day, then got worse and worse. I was hurting a lot when it was time to leave for NY, but I didn't want to postpone that trip. The trip was very unpleasant due to my gum.

FMD-like right renal artery
Well, on the trip, Dr. Olin, the FMD specialist, had trouble reading my angiogram. The software on the CD for showing the images does a poor job of cacheing, so it was very slow. He said he'd review them later on a faster computer. Based on the images he did see during our visit, he said that the stretch of right renal artery looks very much like FMD. However, he didn't see any other arteries that looked like they had FMD, so that's a puzzle since FMD normally affects more than one short section. There is, however, a test available that I had not heard of, one that combines an angiogram and ultrasound, and gives the most accurate picture possible of an artery. Since my case is still a mystery, a friend of Dr. Olin's down here in DC may do that test.

So, I get home from the trip, and my mouth is killing me. I call the dentist in the middle of the night and leave a voice mail. He didn't call back right away, so I went to the emergency room. All they could do was put me on a stronger pain medication (hydromorphone) and tell me to go back to my dentist. Actually, the ER doc, who did not examine my mouth at all, said that I needed a root canal on the jaw where the tooth had been. I asked if there could be an infection that might be resistant to penicillin, and he said no, there was definitely no infection. I get home and talk to the dentist (cells phone signals are suppressed in the ER). The dentist walks me through some steps while I look in the mirror, and I push on my gum and some whitish-yellowish liquid comes up out of a hole in the gum. He says it's definitely infected and obviously resistant to penicillin, so he tells me to stop the penicillin and calls in a scrip for clindamycin.

My blood pressure was highly erratic all this time, but my temperature had always been normal. After starting the clindamycin, my temperature started going up and down and the pain got worse. Finally, last night, my fever came down to stay, and the mouth pain has diminished significantly. Just in time for the onset of severe heartburn, a side-effect, apparently, of the clindamycin. Another call to the dentist, who called a pharmacist, and he called and told me to use Mylanta to deal with the heartburn. It doesn't get rid of it, but it makes it a little more tolerable.

Oh, I almost forgot one thing. One afternoon after a trip to the dentist, with my mouth full of Novocaine, I felt no pain anywhere, my blood pressure was great, my mind was clear (well, you know, as clear as my mind gets...), and I was full of energy. That was extremely delightful. Perhaps my mouth has been part of my blood pressure problem. If so, that should be remedied soon.

I see my dentist tomorrow morning, and my general practitioner tomorrow afternoon.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


FMD update delayed due to dental emergency...
Pain and blood pressure out of control. Don't feel like writing...