A Lot Of Pain

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Nov 202015

Thanks to everybody who sent messages and blog posts saying you were glad I was out of the hospital. I’d like to say that I’m feeling better now that I’m home, but I’m actually worse as far as pain levels go.

When I was discharged from the hospital in Temecula they would not give me a pain prescription so I’ve just been taking Tylenol. But last night I remembered I had some Codeine from an almost two year old prescription for back pain. I had taken 4 out of 30 pills, that’s how much I hate to take drugs. But I’m going to see if they will help take the edge off. There is a good VA hospital at Loma Linda, about 70 miles from here, that I may have to go to if things don’t improve, because I’m not in any condition to drive back to the Tucson VA hospital right now. The Loma Linda VA is only a few miles from Redlands RV Service and I know the folks there, so if I have to be readmitted maybe they can help Terry find a place to park the motorhome.

Several people have asked me what brought this attack of acute pancreatitis on. I don’t know, and neither do the medical folks. One common cause is alcohol abuse, and they must have asked me a dozen times, both in front of Terry and when she had stepped into the bathroom, if I was sure I wasn’t a closet drinker. I kept telling them that the last time I had any alcohol was 40 years ago, but I’m not sure they believed me.

I didn’t feel anything coming on that I can put my finger on. Saturday afternoon we had a late lunch with friends in Temecula, stopped at the grocery store for a few things on the way home, and driving back to the campground I sneezed two or three times and felt a sharp pain in my back. This happens quite often, my total back is trashed, and usually when we get home Terry can put me on the floor and rub my back enough to put things back into place. But not this time around. By the time we went to bed I was having pain both in the back and in my upper abdomen and it intensified overnight.

Our dear friends Orv and Nancy Hazelton have a lot here at Jojoba Hills, just across the street from where we are parked. Nancy was also my original primary health care provider at the VA hospital in Lexington, Kentucky before she retired. So midmorning Sunday I called them and they came over. Nancy checked me out and suggested that I needed to get to an ER. And you know the rest.

So at this point we’re playing the waiting game, hoping the drugs will give me some relief and allow me to get some rest and begin to heal. And by the way, the drugs they gave me in the hospital had a side effect I never saw coming, absolutely horrible dreams. I’m not a fan of slasher movies and such nonsense, but I’m sure these would make Freddy Krueger grimace.

And once I do get back on my feet, I realize that I have to make some drastic lifestyle changes. It’s no secret that I’ve abused my body for way too many years.

Thought For The Day – I wish everything was as easy as getting fat was.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  23 Responses to “A Lot Of Pain”

  1. Nick, I’m happy to hear that you are improved enough to be released from the hospital. Hoping you soon begin to FEEL better. I also hope that Terry is taking care of herself.

  2. Praying for quick recovery. However my opinion is that you get your butt to the VA Hospital immediately so they can determine the problem. Your playing with something that could be serious. I’m not a doctor but the Morphine or Dilaudid which ever they gave you, probably on a PCA may have contributed to the bad dreams. Ask that hospital what it was so you don’t get it again.

  3. I will be the first to admit that I click on your blog to read second only to getting my daily Doonesbury but as you rethink your current and future needs and wants maybe it is time to scale back on the blog. When you started there weren’t as many platforms to market and keep your public connected. It might be time to scale back the blogging and spend those extra minutes on your other writing….while working hard towards health. Those kites don’t fly themselves.

    And then GBT is currently using cartoons from the 1980’s six days a week so he can go off and do other creative things.

    Yes, go get some second opinions and some better relief from pain while your body has a chance to heal.

  4. The pain killers can cause halucinations and horrible dreams. I think your idea of going to Loma Linda is a good one, especially if you can call ahead and arrange to see a doctor you know. Good luck in chasing this down.

  5. Nick, sound like something that happened to me this Summer while camping in the NF at Big Lake, AZ. I started getting severe pain in my chest just below my rib cage and my temp went to about 104. My wife called the paramedics and I ended up taking a helicopter ride to Banner Baywood in Mesa for emergency Gall Bladder surgery. Have they checked your Gall Bladder ???

  6. Nick, get yourself to the hospital. Don’t depend on the medicine you have. You need them to keep checking you until they find the root of the problem. Too many times they just treat the symptoms which is all well and good, but having pain like you have is not good. Don’t worry, we’ll wait until you are healthy to visit with you every day via your blog. Your health is the most important thing you can take care of right now. Pain is no fun, as you well know.

  7. It’s crazy we have to keep going back to the hospital. They did dozens of tests on me, only because I insisted. Worst pain of my life. In the end, they sent me home with a bunch of codeine, which I took for a week before the symptoms started to let up. After finally going to Stanford, they “think” I have a bad gall bladder, but refuse to do surgery because nothing shows up on the scans. If I really watch what I eat, I can live with it. Cool whip however, is off the list forever.

    Those nightmares? Been having them all my life. You might be able to use them in a new book!!

  8. Take care of yourself Nick. Hope like hell this problem goes away and you can get back on track. Be safe and I will add to everyone else’s posts that you should probably get to the hospital and find out what is really going on.

    Good luck guy!

  9. It happens to all of us, sooner or later. But … it is never too late to start doing the right things. Husband had a sudden scare for me this summer when we were 1500 miles from our winter home and normal doctors and he decided to experience Atrial Fibrillation. Happily, the VA Medical Center in Madison, WI is top notch and they got him sorted out. We made it back toTucson and are working on an ongoing solution. Diet changes are also a big one for us. I have found a FitBit and a food scale to be a tremendous help. Tracking everything you put in your pie hole is not as burdensome as it might sound … and portion control is KEY. You can eat pretty much everything Miss Terry whips up … you just can’t eat all of it!! Hope your pain continues to recede … sending all good thoughts.

  10. Nick, we are glad you are home and so sad you are still in so much pain, word of caution: check the experation date on the pills. DO NOT USE THEM if they have expired and after two years they probably have, the reason is they can be toxic. Please do not delay in getting to the VA. we love you and sure hope you get on your feet soon

  11. Hi Nick, So nice to see you are out of the hospital. Obviously you are still not feeling well and should go for second opinions at the VA. Prayers are with you and Terry.

  12. I am glad that you got out of the hospital. I do agree that just treating the symptom, pain, with pain meds without knowing the reason for the pain is not good.. I think that the plan of going to the VA at Loma Linda and having the folks in Redlands help Terry find a place to park the rig is a good one, especially compared to possibly experiencing something which would require a harried trip to an ER.

    I also know that if diet changes are part of the future, Miss Terry will find a way to make things taste good and help you with everything.

    Positive thoughts and prayers for both of you.

  13. Nick, how firm is their diagnosis of acute pancreatitis? Was it confirmed by some lab test or something? Or is it just their best guess. Since the main cause seems to be alcohol and you don’t drink, I’m concerned that they may have mis-diagnosed you. Especially since they seem to believe that you must be lying about it.

    I concur with the other folks who posted here and get your self a second opinion.

    — jc

  14. Codeine is one of the drugs that they tested for shelf life and it is still good for many years past the expiration date. Do what you have to do to get better. You are a stubborn cuss, but you are not stupid.

  15. No advice from me other than take care of your body, it’s the only one you’ve got! Be well.

  16. I have some experience with dealing with pain day after day after day. It sucks! I know you and Miss Terry will figure out the best way to handle this. Sending prayers and good energy your way.

  17. What everyone else said! We all love you and want you to hang around for a LONG time to come. It is definitely time to seek second opinions, especially since your pain continues to make you so miserable.

    And, I’m with JC: if pancreatitis usually results from alcohol abuse, and you don’t drink, then maybe that diagnosis isn’t too accurate.

    Here it is Friday, and we are headed into the weekend, followed by the holiday next week; this is not a good time to wait-and-see if things heal.

    And what’s with just giving you Tylenol for all that pain? Good grief!

  18. So glad to hear your are home but we agree with all the above comments about getting to the root of the problem. Pain is no fun and there is a reason for it so hopefully soon you will have some answers. In the meantime, thanks for keeping us all informed.

  19. So happy you are out of the hospital and feeling a little better. Sending lots of healing prayers your way.

  20. Wising you a speedy recovery and good wishes to Terry as it must be frightening for her too.

  21. Hey Buddy!
    So sorry to hear about your troubles! It is a good thing Terry can handle the rig and get your butt to a Hospital you feel more comfortable being treated by!
    Do it ASAP!!
    Love Ya Man!
    Russ & Deb

  22. Second opinion needed.
    Gall bladder? OK?
    Take care. Using codeine only deadens the pain and the symptoms.
    Need to find the cause.
    Find out what is the cause. ASAP
    Hugs and prayers, Connie B.

  23. Sorry to hear about your health troubles. Under the laughter is the best medicine, I saw a video of some fat guys dancing and thought the one in the green shirt might be you, or maybe Greg White.

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