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Would an Apple a Day Help?
May 10, 2011
Before I get started on this week’s blog entry, I’d like to announce a blessed event: three kittens, born Saturday morning. All have extra toes, and one has seven (!) toes on each front paw.
Also, I have a diagnosis: Kidney stone. Which is large and stuck, blocking my urethra and enlarging my kidney. Surgery is set for Thursday. At the rate I’m going on surgeries, I should just rent a room in med-surg and move in.
OK. On with it:
“What’s wrong with you?” Nancy asked when she called from Germany recently. “You turned 60 and started falling apart!”
Sadly, it’s true. It was just a little more than two years ago that I ruptured my Achilles tendon and started the downhill slide to a below-the-knee amputation last November. Now that we know what that whatever-it-is is that’s been causing me problems, maybe the fever I’ve had since early March will finally go away and my white cell count will get down to normal. And my platelet count, too. And whatever else my blood work shows is high.
Even though I now know what’s wrong, that doesn’t mean I get to stop with the medical appointments. You saw the bit about surgery in the second paragraph? In fact, yesterday I was only scheduled to see the hematologist/oncologist (h/o), but then he sent me to a urologist, who then sent me for x-rays. I stopped short of getting an EKG after that. I was tired, hungry, and grouchy.
I swear, if it weren’t for medical appointments, I’d have no social life at all. It seems that every day, I see somebody or have a test of some sort. A couple of weeks ago, I had a colonoscopy and endoscopy on Monday, a follow-up with the surgeon who amputated my leg on Wednesday, my regular appointment with my endocrinologist Thursday, and a visit my new h/o on Friday. Just so Tuesday wouldn’t feel left out, I went to the prosthetist to be cast for my permanent leg.
Last week was dentist on Monday, a CT scan Tuesday, and a double-whammy — my infectious disease doc and podiatrist — on Wednesday.
After that, I needed a rest!
Today I get to go give my permanent leg a try. Oh, and have an EKG as part of the preparation for surgery. I don’t know if I will leave with my leg or not. It depends on if it needs more work that can’t be done on the spot.
So did I tell you about firing a doctor after only one visit? It was my first h/o. See, I wanted Dr. A in the first place, but he’s retiring this summer so I got Dr. B. Who talked to me as if I were three years old and didn’t listen to me — even when he asked me questions. And didn’t want a follow-up visit for four weeks.
I called the practice manager. “I’m not going back to Dr. B,” I said. “I wanted Dr. A in the first place. Is there any way?”
“He’s retiring and we agreed he wouldn’t take any new patients so he wouldn’t get in the middle of something and leave,” she said.
“That’s fine,” I said. “Ask him if he’ll take me.” He took me. (So he knew me from my newspaper reporter days…) If not, I was prepared to go to another practice.
What a difference! We had a give-and-take discussion. No lectures from him. No interruptions and going on to the next question while I was in the middle of answering the previous one. I was treated as an equal with the brains to participate in my own care. Ahhhhh. Just the way I like it. And things sped up quite fast, too. In fact, it took less than two weeks to come up with the reason (I hope a kidney stone is all it is!). I’d still be waiting to see Dr. A again.
So I fired an h/o — and inadvertently added an infectious disease doc. How’d I do that? Darned if I know. I’m still trying to figure that one out!
There was some discussion in the beginning of calling in an infectious disease doc, and I have one I’ve used before. She gets her teeth into a problem and she won’t let go. Well, the last time I saw her, which was for the MRSA I picked up while dealing with the Achilles tendon debacle, she just suddenly stopped, saying she didn’t know what else to do. Huh?
So I called her office manager and asked if Doc would see me if an infectious disease doc were needed. That was it: Would she see me. I didn’t know if the previous deal was because of me or because of the doctor who was dealing with the tendon, etc.
Well, she called and said she wanted to see me. But the office manager didn’t know why. Did she just want to talk? What? I went to see her — and ended up as a patient.
As it turns out, the problem wasn’t with me (I learned from somebody else). Anyway, now I have to call her office and tell her I have a diagnosis.
Some appointments lead to other appointments. For example, I went to the dentist for a check-up and cleaning and found out I need to have some work done on a molar that he apparently will be unable to save. At the rate I’m going, I’ll have more bridges than Venice.
Thursday’s surgery will, of course, lead to follow-up visits. I still need to make an appointment with the dentist for that molar, but after I see how things go on Thursday. It’s time to see my rehab doc for injections for my osteoarthritis. Oh, and I need to make an appointment with the ophthalmologist for this month because I’m on a twice-a-year check-up with him because I have some background retinopathy. I think that’s it.
Maybe I should have gone to medical school after all.
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