Update on cycle 5 (part ii)

Four days & nights have passed; the main problems continue to be the pain, sensitivity and swelling in my hand/arm from the IV, tiredness and insomnia (always a great combination!), hiccoughing attacks, and the peripheral neuropathy, which seems to be affecting both my hands and my throat this cycle.

The pain & sensitivity in my hand is slowly fading away; the swelling is still there though I think it is also starting to reduce now. Hopefully things will be back to normal over this weekend.

The tiredness and insomnia is becoming a real problem. I feel completely exhausted. Come the evening I can barely keep my eyes open, and yet by the time I’ve climbed into bed I’m suddenly wide awake again. I’m struggling to get more than a few bare hours of sleep, and most of those are interrupted. I’ve always been a bit of a night-owl, so in some ways I suspect this isn’t affecting me as badly as it might affect some people, but I’ve noticed that the cumulative affects are building up. I’m struggling with a general feeling of apathy, and I’m definitely feeling more irritable and bad-tempered (some would say even more so than usual!) over even stupidly trivial things that wouldn’t normally bother me.

I suspect having no real targets to focus myself on, and the current stress-inducing changes that IBM is making to my pension scheme (which I can also do nothing about) is not helping matters either.

The attacks of the hiccoughs are a strange combination of the long-running overnight attacks I noticed early on in my treatment plan, and the more recent short & sharp attacks of cycle 4. Often I’ll find that I have a short, sharp attack which then dissipates into a long-running, less-severe attack, especially later at night. This often then starts to interact with the insomnia problems too. So far I’ve not found any workable remedy to these attacks beyond simply waiting for them to fade away.

No change in the peripheral neuropathy so far; I still have constant mild symptoms, which are significantly exacerbated as discussed in my last post. One thing I do suspect however, is that triggering the peripheral neuropathy in my throat seems to then be followed by an attack of hiccoughs. I’m not convinced that they are tightly linked, but I do suspect that it increases the chances of an attack of hiccoughs. For the time being I’m avoiding any cold drinks. I’m limiting myself to room temperature water to make up into squashes and to take my tablets with, but squash just doesn’t taste as nice when tepid. My tea consumption has gone up pretty dramatically as a consequence, which may also be contributing to my insomnia, but I need to drink enough to keep hydrated so my options are somewhat limited in this space.

And with that, the night is nearly over, so unsurprisingly I’m now feeling tired again. Time to try to squeeze in a couple more hours sleep before the family all wakes up again.

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