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Health Update for Polly and Bruce

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Regular readers know that my wife, Polly, has had a lot of health problems this year. I won’t go into all the details, but currently, she has a colostomy bag. Several weeks ago, Polly had another colonoscopy. The purpose of this test was to determine if she was a candidate for reconnection surgery. As things currently stand, Polly will have her colectomy reversed in late March 2020. (She will be off work for a month.) Left unaddressed is how best to treat her ulcerative colitis. Polly sees a gastroenterologist tomorrow.

Last week, I had a CT scan done of my chest. For the past year, I have had increasing pain in my underarm area and chest. A few weeks back, the pain was so bad that it doubled me over in the grocery store, and I lost use of my right arm. The CT scan revealed that a have a large — and I mean LARGE — cyst running from my sternum to my underarm and from collarbone to right breast. (I  told the surgeon that I was growing a third breast and joining the circus. Better to laugh than cry, right?)  When I am walking or standing, this cyst is putting pressure on the nerve bundle in my right shoulder area. This is causing my arm to turn numb and lose function. As of today, I plan to have the cyst drained on December 2. If the fluid returns — an all too common problem with cysts — I will have to have surgery to correct the problem.

This diagnosis does NOT address my ongoing weight loss, changes in bowel habits, sweats, periodic low-grade fever, and abdominal pain. I will likely have to see a specialist in Fort Wayne. If this has a déjà vu sound to it, you are right. I had similar problems a few years ago. Doctors found inflammation, along with a lesion on my pancreas. Is this round two? Time will tell.

That’s it, for now. Thank you for your words of kindness and financial support. Your love and charity are greatly appreciated.




  1. Avatar

    Best wishes to you both. It sounds as though things are progressing well for Polly, and I’m glad that you now know what is causing your pain and have an appointment to do something to alleviate it. I hope that the specialist will be able to figure out what’s causing your other symptoms.

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    Steve Ruis

    Between the draining of a large cyst and hospital food, you should actually lose some weight! Hows that for a silver lining to a health cloud? Seriously, I wish you both well and good health in the near future.

  3. Avatar

    Oh my, that is a lot of medical issues. I’m hoping that with this medical knowledge both of you can heal, or at least work to figuring out what you should do, to heal. (That saying, “Old age isn’t for sissies” is really true–as I’m finding out for myself.) Best Wishes.

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    Yulya Sevelova

    One of the things I hate about pain is how it can slow me down or stop me. The U.S. medical system is broken AND expensive, which makes it harder to deal with. I’m no longer impressed by American doctors. My latest tells me that instead of a B-12 shot, which I really need, I should just eat eggs and yogurt. When I asked why I can’t even buy the shot, I was told ” Oh, we don’t do that anymore.”. She was against supplements, but of course, I bought that Jarrow brand Methylcobalamin, better utilized version of B-12 now available, and I notice when I don’t take it. Conservative, lazy doctors. One must do their homework and not just do what ” they” say.

    • Avatar
      Brian Vanderlip

      Yulya, not sure your location but try searching a naturopath. My niece practices here in B.C. and routinely administers shots like B-12. The allopathic method leaves much to be desired and the medical docs are now beginning to see the wisdom in migrating from that pharmaceutical big-business model. It’s a long and slow migration.

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