They’re baaaack

It’s Halloween, and what could be more terrifying (for me) than to find myself eyeball-to-eyeball with the dreaded oral antibiotics? Not much scares me after dealing with cancer and its many-tentacled aftereffects, but these drugs certainly do make me want to run screaming from the building. 

Bactrim & Minocycline, the drugs I dutifully swallowed twice a day every day for 267 days, are back. Just a quick 10-day course this time around, as a preventative measure following Thursday’s revision surgery. No big whoop, right?

Uh, not so much.

I gladly received two giant bags of IV antibiotics in the OR Thursday. Levaquin and Vancomycin are the old standbys, and they coursed through my veins Thursday morning like a herd of mighty stallions clearing the path of any wily mycobacterium that might be hanging around after last year’s post-mastectomy infection. IV abx don’t bother me one bit, but the oral ones give me the heebie-jeebies.

After puking my brains out all the livelong day after surgery, I was not ready to swallow those pills. I put it off as long as I could, and had to have a “come to Jesus” meeting with Trevor to make me get back onboard the abx train.

You would think that after taking these drugs for 267 days, a mere 10 days would be a piece of cake.

You would be wrong.

Something inside me seized up and said “Uh-uh, no way, not gonna do it.”

I couldn’t convince myself to start taking these drugs.

Trevor astutely pointed out that instead of seeing this short course as easy, my brain sees it as the equivalent of swimming the English Channel because I’ve used up my lifetime supply of mental and physical tolerance.

He’s clever that way.

I knew I had to take them, of course. I knew the risk of re-infection vastly outweighed the inconvenience of taking the drugs. But I also knew just how awful I was going to feel, and while my rational brain said take the drugs, my irrational self whined like a tired toddler way past naptime. 

Here we go again. 

One dose in, on Saturday, my tastebuds were already shot. I tried to savor one last glass of champagne, to toast surviving yet another surgery and to say salud to my improved shape. But the damage had been done, and my lifetime supply of physical tolerance was exhausted. Cue the nausea, the roiling tummy, the overall puniness, the malaise, and the distinct feeling that something died in my mouth. Nothing, and I mean nothing sounds good to me. Not even Halloween candy. And I really like candy. Especially Twizzlers.

I spent the weekend feeling sorry for myself and wondering how long it will take this time to get back to “normal.”

So far no sign of the elusive “normal.”

Macy sent me off to surgery with her best buds, Froggy and Baby Snoopy. They kept me company Thursday in the triage area while I awaited the arrival of my favorite surgeon and his pack of Sharpies. The nurses who took my vitals and started my IV thought it was so cute that my little girl sent her posse to look after me. I explained that she’s only 9 but she’s wise beyond her years.

Pedey the Weasel Dog kept me company all weekend and happily obliged my sedentary schedule. He’s really, really good at being lazy and laying low, and I’m trying to take a page out of his book.

He makes it look so easy.


10 Comments on “They’re baaaack”

  1. David Benbow says:

    Buck up, girl. Keep your eyes on the prize.

  2. Jan Hasak says:

    The saga continues….but you are up to the task, it’s clear. I’m so sick of seeing medicine bottles, almost as much as iv needles. But I loved your pictures anyway, especially the one of Pedey. He’s someone who challenges us to be more relaxed. We can take many lessons from pets. Thoughts and prayers going your way.

  3. Christy says:

    OHHH Pedey. What would you do without him?? Your little recovery buddy 😉

  4. Tamara Kay says:

    I felt my stomach DROP until I read your post, thinking something awful was back! I just look at it as “keeping it good” . At least you aren’t chasing away the bad this time. And, yes, Bactrim totally sucks, I know. Plus each one is gaggy huge. Who knows? In years to come, you may not even remember this 10 day stint…I sure hope not!

  5. Lauren says:

    I feel so guilty for whining about my ordeal. I once read a book about a chick who hike the AT, and how one morning, after months of oatmeal, she just could not swallow it. Her boyfriend yelled,”Eat it!” and she couldn’t.

    Here is what I think, like we bribe with prizes each time our kids take their meds, go get a prize each time. 🙂 Maybe think of them as “Vitamins.”

  6. Mandi says:

    I think your posse is adorable. Hang in there, each day is one step closer to done!

  7. SusanP says:

    I think you should think of some AWESOME reward for each one of those stinkin’ little pills you have to swallow…and take a cue from Pedey…He looks so relaxed. Just breathe in and out.
    As your sweet momma would say this is just ‘too grim’ !!! Know you will soon put this latest ordeal in the ‘Things I did not want to do, but did it anyway’ column.
    You are my hero.
    Love you ~

  8. Amy H. says:

    the one thing that stood out to me on the pictures is the “NO REFILLS Dr. Authorization required”!!!

  9. […] Oh, the dreaded antibiotics. […]

  10. […] it in Neosporin and cover it with a band-aid didn’t cut it (heh heh) so I’m now back in antibiotic hell. Cue the nausea, thrush, and terrible taste in my mouth, which join the dizziness, joint pain, […]

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