Doctor’s Visit Update

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Several people have asked about my doctor’s appointment today. Although I do have gallstones, the surgeon does not think I should have my gallbladder removed. He said that I do not have classic gallbladder symptoms. Normally, the pain would be on the right side and vary depending on what I ate. My pain is sharp, constant, in the upper left quadrant. I can not sleep on my left side, back, or stomach. Right now, I am getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night.

So, watch and wait. Blood work tomorrow to make sure I don’t have pancreatitis. Could be pleurisy, but I have had it before and it always is made worse by inhaling. This pain is constant, deep. Could be inflammation, so I am also having my SED rate rechecked to see if it has gone up. As you might remember, under 20 in the norm. Last year, my SED rate climbed to 35 and then in December it jumped from 35 to 67. This is a sign of increasing inflammation, but where?

Doctor thinks I should have CT scan or MRI repeated again if pain doesn’t go away.

Only negative was having to listen to the doctor (surgeon) lecture me about my weight. I have never seen him before. He acted like he knew everything about me. He is a big believer in calories in/calories out determining a person’s weight. His ignorance reflects his age, 63. I said nothing and let him preach his sermon. He knew I had Fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and neurological problems, but, in his mind, I just needed to eat less. Never mind, he didn’t ask what I did eat. Had he done so, he would have found out that 90% of the time I don’t overeat. He thought my weight loss was wonderful. Never mind it is because I have no appetite. He could see my pants were falling off of me…but hey…no Big Mac and all will be well.

I am frustrated, tired, sick, angry, pissed off, depressed, and suicidal. I have those moments where I say to myself, no more. Maybe Polly would be better off collecting the insurance and finding herself a man that isn’t a physical wreck. She deserves better.

Since November 2014, I’ve had a CT scan, MRI, ultrasound, endoscopic ultrasound, biopsies of pancreas and lymph nodes, numerous blood tests, and five office visits. Cost? My insurance paid out $25,000 of which I (we) owed over $6,000. Just today, after my latest appointment, we stopped at 1st Source in Fort Wayne, to sign papers for a $5,000 personal loan. Parkview Hospital refused to help us with the bill and demanded we pay the bill off in no more than 12 payments. To avoid them ruining our credit, we took out a personal loan.

All this money and I am not one step closer to knowing what is wrong with me. Last week, the gastroenterologist called and said he wanted the endoscopic ultrasound redone in 6-9 months. Why? I thought my biopsies were benign?

I am not writing this to solicit medical advice, money, or sympathy. This is not a cry for help. No intervention is needed or desired. This is me grabbing the hair on my hairless head and screaming ____________________. (fill blank in with appropriate swear word)

What I have detailed above has been my life since 2007. I’ve had Fibromyaglia since 1997, but, in 2007, I started having neurological problems. Numbness in my thighs, face, and feet. Burning, searing pain if I walk for every long. I’ve lost motor function and muscle strength. I can no longer drive the car and must use a cane or wheelchair to get around. The doctors initially thought I had MS, but after $20,000 worth of brain scans and tests, the doctors said “inconclusive for MS.”

Since 2007, I have also had basal cell skin cancer removed from my nose, a cyst removed from my leg, and carpal tunnel surgery. Last weekend, I had a nasty fall and almost fell down a concrete abutment into a canal filled with water. Instead of falling backwards, I fell forward, spraining my ankle and causing a huge, bloody contusion on my leg. Polly was trying to help me up the abutment when all of a sudden she lost her grip and I fell. She ended up with bruised knees. But hey, I got some great photographs. :)

Why are you writing this, Bruce? Beats me. Feels good. Time to play some Rage Against the Machine.

Yes, I feel like dying. Yes, I feel like throwing in towel. Yes, I feel like taking a Doctor House dosage of drugs and calling it a day never to wake up again. But, I can’t. The Reds are 3-0 and in first place. Maybe this is the year. :) Polly and I have tickets for Sunday’s Reds vs. Cardinals game. I can’t feel any worse than I do now…well I don’t think I can anyway, so I am going to keeping doing what I can do. As long as the sun is shining, there is gas in the car, and money in the checkbook, I plan on getting out of the house, camera in hand.

Hey, I feel better. Thanks for listening. :)

15 Comments

  1. Connie

    Sending snorgles (a word created to describe the ‘it will be ok mom’ licks my service dog gave my ears)

    Glad listening helped. I aim to please.

    Reply
  2. Zoe

    Listening and I hear you. So very frustrating.

    Reply
  3. Ian

    We’re here and we care.

    Inconclusive tests are why I hate going to doctors. It seems that I pay a lot of money just to hear a doctor say, “I don’t know, so let’s schedule another test”.

    Reply
  4. Ami

    Already commented on your Facebook, but did not say this… I have started printing out relevant posts from my blog prior to doctor visits if I anticipate the usual ration of bullshit. I know that you know I won’t step on a scale in a doctor’s office, I have ranted about it before.

    I think that doctors fail to listen too often, and sending them a well-written letter can sometimes be helpful.
    During all the work comp shit I wrote a heartfelt letter, sealed it into an envelope, put the doctor’s name on the envelope, added ‘contents personal’ to the front and hand-delivered it, agonizingly crutching each little step into the office and back out to my car.

    I received a very contrite phone call from the surgeon. He had been COMPLETELY unaware of what he’d done.
    Didn’t make up for what happened, but it was meaningful to me.

    Your post says it all. It might be worth the time to print it out and make sure the doctor gets it.

    I’m sorry you drew an asshole card in the great medical poker game.

    Reply
  5. Steve

    Yeah, of course. If only you weren’t a gluttonous pig like IFB pastors, then all your problems would be solved. (Sarcasm)

    What an asshole doctors are. I deal with this same kind of shit from them all the time, too

    Reply
  6. Lydia

    Thinking of you.

    Reply
  7. gimpi1

    Venting helps. Vent away. Thinking of you and hoping things get better.

    Reply
  8. Connie

    Dreamt on your post. Per the conversation I remember the point is to do what feels correct for you. By the time my late husband reached the weight the transplant doc wanted he was dead. Just saying….

    Big doesn’t equal fat. I know that memo was filed years ago. Perhaps it’s time to send it out again.

    Reply
  9. Maggie

    “I can’t feel any worse than I do now…well I don’t think I can anyway, so I am going to keeping doing what I can do.”

    New reader here! 🙂 Please don’t ever underestimate your influence or the love your readers have for you! Keep doing what you can…we’d miss you otherwise 🙂

    I’d send you prayers but we both know how much good that would do ya. Just know you’re in my thoughts and that I appreciate your voice crying in this wilderness.

    Maggie

    Reply
  10. Michael Mock

    Is it selfish of me to say that I’m glad you’re hanging in there? Because that all sounds like it sucks mightily, but I’m glad you’re still with us.

    Reply
  11. Heather

    The thing about someone you care about suffering is that you don’t always know what to say. That skill is not taught anywhere. People just say things they have heard others say before. Not a lot of emotional intelligence. Anyhow, I’m one of those people that hurts for you and cannot think of a darn thing to say or do that will help. So all I know to say is I care and I hate it that you are going through so much pain and suffering.
    When I let it be known that I was having gastric bypass many people gave me unsolicited advise: But you don’t look big enough! (I know that I hide it well, but I am 100 pounds overweight.) I know so-and-so’s cousin who died after that surgery. (My surgeon has less than a 1% complication rate and it is mostly with people that have comorbidities) Most people gain the weight back after they lose it. (Thanks for letting me know you will be waiting for me to fail and watching my weight like a hawk.) This is not a license to eat whatever you want. (Really? Because I was planning on eating donuts for every meal. I guess you haven’t noticed the clean eating I have already been doing for six months leading up to the surgery.) You mean you will have to take vitamins for the rest of your life? (I know, what a burden. But I weighed it out and taking some chewable Flinstones compared to obesity that will cause me to live a much shorter life won out.) Have you researched this? (No, dipshit. I thought I’d just walk in and let somebody open up my stomach and hope for the best.)
    So I can understand some of the dumb comments.

    Reply
    1. Connie

      I love your replies. Even with snark your sense of humor is evident.

      Until the last year of his life my husband was the healthiest looking sick person. We were swamped with ‘sure-fire’ cures for cancer, advice on how get ‘right’ with God (he was Asatru and I’m pagan)… Lots of people telling me they knew exactly what I was experiencing.

      I’ve decided that until a person is faced with serious health concerns they don’t know what they don’t know. For example I no longer tell anyone I hope you get better because sometimes a cure is not in the works. Instead I ask how they are doing and really listen. Some days that’s all they need.

      Reply
  12. Mary Ellen

    (((gentle hugs)))

    Reply
  13. HeIssailing

    Hey Bruce, I hope you have a great time during the ballgame this weekend. Take some good photos of the action while you’re there.

    Reply
  14. Michael

    Sorry Bruce Almighty, you’re gonna have to hang around til at least the end of the next season. It gonna be the Cubs year this year..

    Reply

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