Dang Details!

Well I pulled a whoopsie today.  I drove 50 minutes to my doctor’s appointment for the ketamine trial and after waiting 30 minutes or so I was directed to a recovery room with roughly 15 hospital recliners and medical equipment for those having steroid injections, EMG’s, nerve blocks, etc.  The nurse took my blood pressure, pulse ox and all that jazz, reviewed my allergies, and asked if I had my medications with me.  “Yep!” I said, half proud of myself – remembering anything these days is a tall order to fill.  “I brought the clonidine and ativan,” I reassured her.

Dr. Z had ordered these two meds so that if I had a negative reaction or response to the ketamine, we could “kill it” fast.  I had dropped the scripts off at my pharmacy so they could fill them and check their gluten free status before I needed them the next day (my pharmacy is awesome about checking meds to see if they have gluten! – and they’re pretty quick too).  I was happy that I’d been able to get this done with only 2 days in between.

on the ball quoteI was on the ball!!!

Then Dr. Z came out to administer the ketamine and asked me, “Did you bring your meds?”  I told her which ones I’d brought, then she asked, “Did you bring the ketamine nasal spray?”


Confusion was scribbled across my forehead.  “You don’t have some here?  I thought you were going to give me a shot or something so we could test it before I spent the money on getting the nasal spray filled?” I asked.  “No, that’s why I gave you the script to get it at the compounding pharmacy.  I don’t keep ketamine like that on hand.  We use it in much higher doses for anesthesia, but you’re only the second patient I’ve used it in low dose for pain management.”  We both realized we’d had a communication error.  She apologized but it was most likely my fault, so I missed a detail there in the translation.  “I thought you’d scheduled the ketamine trial really soon after our last appointment!” she said, as I’d seen her just this Monday, “and now I know why!”


We had to reschedule, but I didn’t waste the day.  I did get my ketamine trial rescheduled for next Wednesday morning, and I was able to also get another appointment with Dr. Z on the books for follow-up the next Monday.  When I got back to my car, I called the compounding pharmacy to see if they would kindly compound the ketamine for me right away so I could drive the 35 minutes from Raleigh to Durham and pick it up.  I didn’t want to end up in this situation on my second attempt, and given they’d have to send it by mail if I didn’t pick it up myself, it seemed more logical to spend my afternoon doing it when I was already half-way there.  The pharmacy kindly agreed to concoct it immediately, for which I expressed my thanks, and the pharmacist gave me a few more details and directions about how to use it and what may be its side effects.

I got back in my car.  My watch said it was 2:20pm.  I still had to drive home – another hour and 15 minute trip, and I could feel that wave of sucking exhaustion ride over me.  “Oh no, not now please” I said as I put more gas into the pedal.  Funny how long an hour can feel sometimes, isn’t it?  About half-way home, I stopped at a grocery store.  I felt like my blood sugar was low, so I busted out my glucometer.  85.  Not terrible, not enough to make me feel as bad as I did – my eyes wouldn’t stay open more than half-way – but I bought a banana and ate it to bring my blood sugar up enough to get me home.  “Ok girl, you gotta keep driving so you can get home and rest before your evening work shift begins.”

I did keep driving after that, but I sure wanted to just stop on the side of the road and take a nap.

So I guess the day wasn’t a total washout.  I got the ketamine nasal spray, I have the other meds I need, I got some important phone calls made to schedule other appointments, had a long-time-no-see friend over this morning to chat, and I washed the dishes, responded to some emails, swept the pollen off the walkway with the water hose while watering the plants, and now I’m going to get a shower before I do some biofeedback exercises and bed.  Sounds pretty productive to me, and that, despite the communication whoopsie, makes me smile.

What can I take from this whoopsie and do better next time?  I’ll try to do a better job at writing down what my doctor says at my appointments!

Gutsy Girl



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