Monday, July 11, 2016

Chaos is My Middle Name

So, after waiting all month to get the results of my x-rays and lab work, I still don't have any answers because people suck at their jobs and just can't do them right.  I swear, I have been fired from jobs for less than the stupid mistakes I see people make every day that affect me negatively.  Basically, my suspicion that they mixed up my x-rays with someone else's was correct.  My results talked about my hip and knee replacement surgeries, and I've never had any such surgeries.  Both my doctor's office and the imaging lab were having computer problems on the days I went in, because I'm lucky that way.

Then there's the blood work.  My body is a mess in general, with several systems clearly malfunctioning.  I'm also battling fatigue.  I was hoping to get some answers regarding my total lack of energy, but most everything came back normal.  Then we saw something in the results that made us question whether my lab work might have been mixed up with someone else's, as well.

The hormone levels show me as being post menopausal, yet I menstruate for three weeks out of every month.  When I told the general practitioner that, his eyes got all big and he said, "You need to see your OB/GYN and get an endometrial ablation."

I said, "I did.  It worked for about three months, and then all my problems returned."

He said, "Then you need a hysterectomy."

Crap.  I've been trying to avoid that, because major surgery means no horseback riding for a very long time.  So, now I have to go hunt down my old OB/GYN who changed practices.  The last time I went in to her old practice, they didn't have any doctors on staff and an RN did my physical.  She didn't have a clue about my history, so I never got to follow up on treatment for my HMB.  Also, there were signs in my blood work suggesting I may have cancer, but my biopsy got botched because of mistake her nurse made, so I was supposed to follow up on that, but couldn't because no doctors were available.

Anyway, before I could bring the topic back to my fatigue, he told me he was giving me two months to lose weight and bring my cholesterol down or he was going to put me on cholesterol medication, and I'm already on so many medications that I don't want anymore pills.  As is, I keep forgetting to take the majority of them.  I told him I should already be losing weight because not only do I have my mobility back and can exercise again, but I've been juicing and hardly eating anything, because everything I eat makes me sick.  I haven't been weighing myself, though, because it's just too discouraging.  I judge my success by the way my pants fit.

My cholesterol has always been high, but this is the first time I got a serious lecture about heart disease and stroke.  He took my blood pressure a second time and said it was super high and we may have to increase my dosage of blood pressure medications.  I wanted to cry, because the dosage I'm on instantly puts me to sleep, and I came in there because I wanted help with my fatigue, and now he's going to make it worse.  What kind of quality of life am I going to have if I'm asleep all day and night?  And how am I supposed to exercise to bring down my cholesterol if people have to peel me off the floor?

I definitely get less exercise in the summer than I do the rest of the year, because of the heat, but I eat so little that I can usually go all week without even having to wash dishes.  I suspect that a huge chunk of my weight can be attributed to my bloated uterus, so perhaps a hysterectomy could shave off a few pounds.  (Yes, I'm being sarcastic.)

He insisted that I monitor my blood pressure twice a week and bring him the results, like I really needed one more thing to do.  I had specific questions I was trying to remember, and he was asking me how my weekend went, what I did, whether I worked...  I was getting frustrated because I felt like this had nothing to do with anything and I was running out of time.  When I didn't give him enthusiastic answers, he kept pressing, so I told him my weekend sucked because my horse went lame and my dog got sick and as soon as I get out of his appointment, I have to set up appointments with vets.  I suspect he was trying to determine if I was depressed, but if he just asked me, I'd say no.  I'm just frickin' busy and trying to find out why my leg hurts and why I'm so tired.

I interrupted his probing to tell him that I had been taking an acid reducer, and I wanted to make sure that it didn't cause trouble with my other medications, and he said that if my acid reflux doesn't stop, we'll have to take a more aggressive treatment.  I told him I don't have acid reflux.  I just have pain and stomach upset every time I eat, which has caused me to stop eating for several days at a time.  He said, "Well, it's only a matter of time before that turns into acid reflux, which that can lead to damage to the esophagus and cancer."


Then I told him that I think I figured out why I had a salty or soapy taste in my mouth previously.  I read that Pyrethin poisoning can do that, and there is Pyrethin in horse fly sprays.  I spray them on my hands and wipe it on the horses' faces.  He said that acid build up in my stomach would do that too, and he asked if the taste stopped when I started taking the acid reducer.  I said it did, but it also stopped when I no longer sprayed fly spray on my hands.  So, I'll have to pay closer attention to which one seems to be the cause.

Anyway, I didn't want us to get waylaid off the subject of my fatigue and leg pain, and I had a list of questions to ask him, but he was in a hurry to get to his next patient and he kept interrupting me, so I didn't get some of my questions answered.  The high cholesterol and acid reflux discussions kind of eclipsed the purpose of my appointment.

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, I was checking out and I overheard a discouraging conversation between my doctor and his nurse.   He had previously left the examining room to get his nurse to call the imaging lab to find my correct x-ray results.  When he asked his nurse for an update, the nurse didn't know what he was talking about.  The doctor raised his voice in frustration, and then I heard one of them say, "Oh shoot!  I threw that piece of paper away," meaning that he threw out the copy of my incorrect x-ray report that gave him the information on who to call.  Seriously?

Stooges.  All of them.

Almost as if the universe thought I hadn't yet had my fill of a lack of responsiveness from the medical community, I called my equine vet to get her advice on Lostine's hip, and received a message that she would not be available for the rest of the week and I will have to find some other vet.  Awesome.

I don't trust a lot of vets because I've been burned too many times.  Lostine is putting weight on the hip and she's eating fine.  She's just stiff and off balance.  So, all I really want is some Banamine for the inflammation and pain.  However, since I have to call a vet who does not know me, I'll probably have to trailer her into a clinic for x-rays, and I don't want to put either of us through that.  Driving a horse that is in pain and struggling to stand square in a trailer at 55 mph down a freeway and then taking tight turns on city streets just seems cruel, especially in this extreme heat.  Horse trailers don't have air conditioning.  I know some vets can bring portable x-ray machines on ranch visits, but the way things had been going for me, I doubted I'd get that lucky.  So, I went to the feed store to ask what they have for pain and inflammation.  The clerk was so helpful and sympathetic that I almost asked her if she ever considered becoming a doctor.  Ha ha!

One of my frustrations with the doctor's office is that they shove all this paperwork at me and tell me to review it, which I can't do unless I have my reading glasses.  They get impatient with me when I have to dig through my purse to find my glasses, and they usually either order me to just sign the paper or they take it away from me before I can read it.   I used to keep a pair of reading glasses hanging around my neck, but can't do that anymore because of neck pain.  I really need to just get Lasik surgery, but my eyes haven't stopped changing yet.

Anyway, the lady in the feed store saw me struggling to read the label, and she read the whole thing for me and explained the dosage and ingredients in great detail.  She was even doing math for me.  It was rather refreshing getting such great customer service after a day of having everything else turn out to be a bust.

I've been so flustered that I won't be surprised if I see my own Silver Alert some day on a digital freeway sign.  When I was on my way to my doctor's appointment, I saw that my truck was almost out of gas.  I meant to stop for gas, but forgot and only remembered after I got to the doctor's office.  So, I told myself I'd get gas on the way home, and before I knew it, I was pulling into the garage and forgot to get gas once again.  Then when I was headed out to the feed store, I knew I wouldn't make it if I didn't get gas.  I got to the intersection where I should have made a left to get gas, and started going straight to the feed store.  Fortunately, my brain kicked into overdrive and I remembered to get gas at the last second.

At the gas station, I pulled up next to a pump, and realized it was the wrong kind of pump.  So, I pulled around to another pump, and realized that my gas tank was on the other side of my truck.  So, I pulled around again, and by this time the other customers were all looking at my like I was totally senile.  When I first pulled in, the majority of pumps were unoccupied, but by the time I figured out what kind of gas I needed and how to pull in with the tank on the correct side, there was only one pump left.  Then when I was prompted to input my zip code, I drew a blank.  I'm really scared that I'm not going to survive in today's society without a babysitter, because my memory is so bad, and with everything being a computer, the world revolves around PIN codes and passwords and security questions that I am incapable of memorizing, especially when I am distracted or under stress.

I did succeed eventually in getting gas for my truck, but then I lost my keys.  I was sitting in the truck digging around in the seats, my pockets, and my purse when I became aware that I was very close to losing consciousness because it was so hot inside the truck without the air conditioning on.  Kids and pets left in hot cars die on a regular basis around here, and now I was experiencing it first hand.  I jumped out of the truck and instantly cooled down, then found my keys in my purse.  It's probably time that I sew myself that organizer tote I've been designing in my head all these years, so that I can locate my keys and reading glasses much faster.  Society has already made it clear that they aren't willing to wait for me to get my act together.  I was half-expecting someone waiting for my gas pump to start honking at me.  Everything's a process when your brain is like scrambled eggs.

Oh Lord!  The doctor's office just called and said that my hip x-ray came back normal, but they said nothing about the knee x-ray.  He did give me a copy of a knee x-ray that said there was joint degeneration and water on the knee, and he kept a page that said the knee replacement was intact, so maybe there were two x-ray results instead of one and the one he gave me was actually my results?  He didn't reject my back x-ray results as being someone else's, and they said that my spine was degenerating and had water build up, so I guess back and knee problems are coming through as hip and thigh pain.  It doesn't make much sense to me, but I'm tired.  I don't care anymore, and obviously, nobody else does either, because no one at the medical clinic is trying very hard to get all of my correct x-rays and offer me a diagnosis or solution.  See what I mean when I say it is a waste of time to see doctors?

Situation normal:  All f'd up.

I know nothing more now than I knew a few weeks ago.  I'm still having my doubts that any of those x-rays were mine since the location where I have most of my pain came back normal, while two other locations where I don't have pain came back arthritic and inflamed.  But I've got drugs that help, so I guess that's all that matters.  I just find it weird that I seem to only get one or the other -- a diagnosis or a treatment, but I can't have both.

I did get the bill for my x-rays in the mail today.  I wonder if I should bother paying it since no one really bothered to get all the correct x-ray results to my doctor.  I mean, I wouldn't pay a sales person who didn't deliver my product, would I?  What a concept.

This guy's face says it all.


Cheryl Ann said...


My husband told me last night (he's been retired now for...6 weeks) that he FINALLY doesn't need a bottle of wine EVERY NIGHT! He was so stressed at his job that, yes, he would have a bottle of wine a night. Now he has finally relaxed. And, yes, it took 6 weeks! I'm way past that. I've been retired 8 weeks and I haven't felt this good for a LONG time!

I also make a smoothie in the morning, but add Spirulina. I usually make it with coconut water. Sometimes I even add chia seeds. I found a hemp/chia seed "milk" at Whole Foods, too, that I like.

I hope you get your medical issues resolved. I went in for my mammalgram and they found a lump and I spent 2 weeks worrying about it. An ultrasound showed it was a benign cyst. This is the same cyst I had last year. OYE! Next time I'm justs going to point and tell them, "This is where I have a benign cyst".

... pulling out hair...
Cheryl Ann

How Sam Sees It said...

I'm sorry things are so tough. :(

Try giving Ambulatory Equine a call - she is new to the area and was working on building her practice when I left. I found her super friendly and affordable. We had her out a few times - once when Maggie wrenched her back and another when the farrier cut Baron. She is a super nice lady and her response time was great. I will e-mail you her number.

Good luck!

Linda said...

I wouldn't pay for those x rays. When cowboy broke his coffin bone, they didn't bother to read his xrays, so they refunded me the cost. I'm sorry to hear about your health issues. I hope you get some help and relief.