Adventures in Modern Medicine
Before I get started...
It's been years since I added anything to this blog. In fact, I was a little more than surprised to find it was still here. I guess what they say is true, "In space no one can hear you scream"...wait, what I meant to type was "nothing ever goes away on the Internet." I was initially going to write this on my Facebook page but realized it would be too long. Maybe I will link to this from there. Maybe not.
I had a pain in my side and I felt like shit. I went to a party that night but felt so awful that I left early and went home. I thought I had indigestion or something so my wife went out and got me some medicine for indigestion. It didn't do any good. The next day was Saturday and since I still felt like crap, we went to one of those walk-in clinics. There I was diagnosed with a pulled muscle and advised to take some Ibuprofen and rest. Monday, still felt like crap so went to my regular doctor. She took a chest x-ray and told me I had pneumonia. I went back to work because my boss thought that I was being a pussy. Wednesday, on my way into work I coughed up some blood--not a lot, just a little. I called my doctor's office and explained to her nurse what had happened. Much later that afternoon, the doctor called me back and asked me to come in for a couple more tests. I did.
The next day my office phone rang early. It was the doctor's nurse advising me that they had made an appointment for me to have a CAT scan in an hour. I went to the place, got an injection of some kind of dye, had a CAT scan and went back to work. As I was having lunch with a co-worker my cellphone rang. It was my doctor who told me to get my ass to the Cone Emergency room ASAP. I called my wife who was in the drive-thru at Wendy's getting her lunch. She had to pull out of line and picked me up at my office. Together we went to Cone Hospital. The diagnosis: multiple pulmonary emboli (i.e. blood clots in my lungs). I spent the next 4 days in a hospital room hooked up to an IV with blood thinner. I was advised that people in my condition had died. I did not die but it took 4 office visits to determine what wrong with me and I guess it's a miracle I didn't die.
I had back surgery in 2015. They fused three lumbar vertebrae which solved my immediate problem: my legs would suddenly go numb on me and I would fall down. I expected great things from this surgery and I think, so did my Neurosurgeon but when I didn't get remarkably better, my doctor was puzzled. He ran a bunch of tests on me and eventually sent me to a neurologist. The neurologist diagnosed me with Peripheral Neuropathy and gave me a bunch of drugs (Neurontin) that made me sleepy as hell but didn't help me walk better and didn't help the pain in my right hip. He eventually sent me to a pain clinic which supplied me with more drugs (Hydrocodone). I had to go to my pain doctor every 30 days to get my prescription renewed and every time I complained about the pain in my right hip. She gave me a stronger dose of Hydrocodone.
Around Christmastime, the pain got a lot worse but the only doctor available was my primary care doctor. He gave me a prescription for Prednisone which helped a little but made me pee 4 to 5 times a night. My wife and I developed a routine. I'd get up in the morning and would sit in my recliner with a ice pack on my right hip and would rub my leg until the pain subsided which took anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. We did this every day for over a month.
At my next appointment with my pain doctor I told her what I was going through and she scheduled and MRI for me. To make a really long and painful story short, the MRI revealed I had a herniated disc! She advised me to see my neurosurgeon which happily, I was scheduled to see the very next week. I had to advise him where to look on the MRI (I had a preliminary report sent to me). His response was...OH MY!
I had surgery in February of this year. The pain is gone but I still can't walk without a walker and I itch! Holy crap, I itch. Everyone says that's good because it means I'm healing.
I'm sitting watching TV when I feel like my foot is going to burst out of my shoe! Swollen feet? What the heck does that mean and how many doctors will it take to figure it out?