Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Checking In With a Heavy Heart.

Well the last time I posted, I was about to go under the knife for an exploratory surgery and life just got real crazy after that!  I'll do my best to summarize and not blab on and on about boring stuff!  (warning, this is very medically heavy!) But first a few pictures!

This is the most recent picture I've taken for a weigh in but it's certainly not up to date.  I'm at about 190 currently.

Yay new car!  That's one stress off my back!

Spending some much needed time out of the house at a DiamondBacks game!

Now back to the medical crap:

The surgery itself went ok.  I am STILL healing from it 8 weeks later.  This annoys me but what can you do?  It's SURGERY!  They weren't able to find any indication of what is causing my pain whatsoever.  So that was a big bust and useless time away from a paycheck.  Yay!  But, at least I know, and some of my long time gynecological questions were answered by the surgery so it wasn't all that bad I suppose.

Where does that leave things? Up in the air I tell you.  My doctor is a nice man, but he's not on the ball about the next step or where to go or what we should do next.  The last 7-8 months have been all me making choices on where to go and who to see and I would just run it by him.  I'm currently just treating the abdominal/pelvic pain with medication and a pain cream.  This combination of stuff is helping but it's not fixing.  So big ? at the current dead end here.

Next, we have the sciatica I developed about 10 weeks ago.  The last I mentioned this, I was waiting for MRI results.  Those came in and *truly* showed nothing significant.  After going back for another month's worth of medication from my PCP, he actually suggested something!  Hallelujah! He suggested that I get an epidural shot in my back to try and knock out one of the two major pains I'm dealing with.  I was very welcome to the idea of trying something else rather than just sitting on the issue.

So I talked with the doctor that would do the procedure and after hearing all about the pain, he changed his mind and said we'd go with a caudal epidural to see if the pain is generating from my tailbone area.  So I showed up for the appointment, met a lot of amazing people (new hospital for me) and even though the procedure was 4 hours late, I didn't mind because I was being taken care of.

The shot was WAY scarier and painful than I ever imagined.  I mean, sure you hear how epidurals hurt for pregnant ladies, but I got it right in the base of my tailbone where everything is tender and super sensitive.  The numbing shot was the WORST.  Once it was over (took maybe 7 minutes total) they took me into recovery where everyone who I had started with came in and checked to see how I did.  The care was overwhelming (in a good way) especially since I came in expecting a little shot, not a full blown sterile procedure in a hospital.

This shot will take some time to kick in so I'm still not sure how helpful it will be but I am hoping it provides some answers.  If this shot doesn't work, I got a referral to an amazing back surgeon to see.

And last but certainly not least... I found out last night (while waiting for my shot) that I DO have at least ONE diagnosis!!!!  Can you believe that??  After all these months and tests and everything else.... A diagnosis (while terrible news) was the best thing to happen to me.  That's one less ? in my life.

Throughout the late months of 2013 and early months of 2014 I complained of hip pain when I tried to run.  I took the issue to my PCP finally and he immediately said let's get an MRI! And I'm like, great!  Let's do this and get some answers!  Well, when it was time to get the answers, I got a big fat "everything looks good, no problems with the MRI" from the doc.  So I turned away hurt and angry.  Not understanding how one person can keep hearing the word "healthy" with so many issues.  I didn't give it another thought because I was dealing with trying to get my abdominal pain under control so it sat on the back burner, as did my running and most of my walking.

Well, I happened to get my hands on my chart from my PCP that he sent to the doctor for my epidural.  I started flipping through.  Curious what he writes every time since my appointments last a grand total of 3-5 minutes.  I was horrified to see that most of my detailed complaints were missing.  Each page said pretty much the same thing, "pt complaining about pain and , asking for medication refills."  Anywho... skip about 4 months of pages and you get to my hip MRI results.  I skimmed it, stopped on a line about 2/3 of the way down.  I re-read it and finished the page.  I turned the page just to see if there was more and on THAT page, in doctor's handwriting WITH a signature next to it... it said "degenerative joint disease."  Now I spent a good 10 minutes flipping from those words to the line I have now read about 30 times.  I pulled out my phone and we googled the very large doctor words and came to the conclusion that my MRI shows "Moderate to Severe cartilage degeneration where my hip socket is."

Well, it's an answer right?  Certainly not one I want since this (like most of my other issues) runs heavy in the family.... But now I really know how much my PCP doesn't care about helping his patients. (by the way, that line was highlighted in my chart).  I will now have to proceed to an orthopedist to have someone look at it who specializes in these types of injuries to see what needs to happen next.  But hey, it's an answer and now it can be treated.   That's more than I can say for my other issues.

So as far as being healthy and active... I'm doing all I can which really isn't much but it's something.  I'm able to walk about 1/2 a mile most days for my exercise.  And I'm trying to keep my eating in check.  It's hard because I'm almost never in the kitchen with all my problems.  But one step at a time and I will not roll over and let my body get the best of me.  I may have put the weight back on because of my inactivity but I know that it was literally unavoidable with recovering from surgery.

I'm pretty much at my wits end with medical stuff and if I never saw another doctor, I'd probably be a happy person.  But, I will keep going.  I will make sure I don't get defeated by my issues.  I will stay as POSITIVE as I can.  I will move forward.

I have a lot of great people in my life helping me through all this and I wouldn't be who I am now without each and every person who has touched my life.  I thank you all.