I am sick and tired of doctors and medical tests. I am going to whine for a while.
On August 7, 2003, I fell hard at work and ended up with a large butterfly fracture of my right humerus (upper arm)-not an easy thing for a very large person to do. On August 19th I had surgery- a planned 2 hour operation that lasted 5 ½ hours-which left me with serious nerve damage, and more pain than I have ever experienced in my whole life, despite years of various surgeries.
The day after surgery I started physical therapy. For the next 9 months I never missed a physical therapist appointment, and worked harder than I ever had at anything, determined to regain the use of my hand and arm. It hurt. A lot. Every time. I also found a personal trainer and nutritionist, a somatic internationalist (a body worker of sorts), and I worked. Hard. Every day. In pain. For 9 months.
And to what did I give birth? A cranky, depressed, stressed out, semi-rehabbed bitch, who can ( thank Goddess) move her fingers and arm, but still has multiple health problems-some related to the fall, some perhaps exacerbated by the fall, some just beginning to happen. And I am still in pain. On-narcotic-meds- through-a-Pain-Clinic type pain.
In April, my orthopedist, Dr. K. decided I could go back to work, despite the ongoing problems. Unfortunately, I work at a prison, and have to be 100% to go back. This may never happen. Angry, I said but what about, and listed my ongoingproblems, including the pain, a high sed rate (measures general inflammation), and my fingers turning blue during p.t. Although I have been pointing these things out for months, he seemed quite surprised. (He’s a good surgeon, but not much of a listener. I don’t like him).
Finally, on May 19th, he took me out of physical therapy, pending some testing. Unfortunately, my workers comp insurance company denied permission-pointing out that I had been okayed to work. Eventually, my attorney got involved, and the tests were scheduled. At the same time, my PMD, Dr. D. also ordered tests, worried about my kidneys, wondering it the sed rate might indicate arthritis, or some other immune problem. Luckily he is a good doctor and a good man.
Between mid June and today, I have had 13 doctors’ appointments, 4 dentist appointments, nerve conduction testing (yes, it hurt a lot, but nothing compared with the post surgery pain), kidney ultrasounds and radioactive dye test, a hand and arm function series, vascular testing and an MRI on my back and neck. And blood work- I have had more blood drawn in 10 weeks than some people have in a lifetime. I have also seen my therapist weekly, continued at the gym, and with Pete, my body worker. Tuesday I go to UConn Health Center to see a rheumatoidoligist, and the next day I report back to Dr. K.- an appointment I dread.
I have found out some good things. My kidneys are doing well for a diabetic of 30 years. My back has 2 bad discs, but they are not bulging (yet). My blood pressure is down (I’ve lost 65 lbs, with 120 still to go). My screwed up nerve seems to have grown back, even though I now have severe carpal tunnel in my right hand. I found a neurologist who will listen, if I ever need one again. I now have a naturapathic doctor whom I like.(Dr.D. is not too pleased, but oh well…)
It has been a terrible summer, and I am a lot more depressed that I was last spring. And I still hurt-a lot, despite all my hard work, all my healing meditations, my exploration of alternative medicine, my impressive array of pain meds, despite it all, I am still having periods of serious pain. It sucks.
Tomorrow I will get up and read my (many, many) journals, and walk the dog, and go to the dentist-again, contemplate returning to my diet, and keep on keeping on. Tonight I am going to bed.