When we went in for Dave’s consult appointment, we were told several different times that he would experience “flu like symptoms” for about five days following the procedure. When he opted to treat the whole liver at once, that time frame bumped up to “up to two weeks”. A few days preceding his treatment, Dave had a phone consult with one of the nurses. She optimistically told him that he would feel better in five days. And he clung to this information.
When day five arrived yesterday, he was so down in the dumps. The pain has been steadily decreasing with each day. However, the nausea has suddenly reared its ugly head. So on the day he believed he would be feeling better, he felt crappy. This disappointment spawned a series of other emotions like frustration, anger and depression. No one really talks to you about these side effects but they are as real as the nausea, fatigue and pain.
I am fluctuating between sympathetic mutterings “That sucks. Is there anything I can get you?”, silence, and cheerleading “Think of the end result! It must be doing its job!” I think that our health care professionals could do a better job discussing the emotional side effects. If your doctor tells you “Hey, you are going to be pissed off because you feel so lousy. You are going to be irritable and at times just downright depressed. That’s all normal.” at least you would recognize it as part of the process and could be treated just like you are treated if you call to report any physical symptoms. It’s just a small indicator of the state of our mental health care system. We should be doing better.