dysarthia is almost totally gone, now we can focus on other stuff

finally after what seems like forever, i am able to communicate with almost no hesitation!  there is very little lag in my structure, and i am not even getting words backwards or all convoluted.  i don’t think my family has ever been so happy to hear my voice!

i went to the gp yesterday.  now that the communication issues are under control we have some stuff that he really needs to focus on like infections on my leg that leave these purple black bruises and my gut issues.  so we battle the snow and drag the youngest and his best friend to the dr bc we got them from school.  we get there at 2:35-must be there at least 15 minutes early or you don’t see the dr!  so we go in and wait.  i get called back-no drug test this time!  the nurse ask me all the questions nurses are supposed to ask, and i answer all the questions patients are supposed to answer.  she leaves the room, then comes back in 10 minutes later.

“the dr wants to run some lab work on you.”

“ok.”

so she gets her little needle ready, and then ties my arm off.

“pump your fist, ok”

“sure.”

she lightly pokes around on the bend in my arm and feels for my vein.

“this is going to hurt.”

“no it isn’t.  i am fine.  i get blood work done all the time.  it’s no biggie.”

she slips the needle under my skin and then goes pretty pale.  she starts trying to move the vein to the needle.  i wanted to just grab it from her and do it myself.

“your vein rolled.” yeah whatever!”i don’t like to poke a second time.  let me get someone else.”

“look what is he running?  i just had a cbc and a chem 12 done.  why are we doing more blood work?”

“o he said you need a comprehensive blood panel to check your potassium and sodium and other iums”

“yeah that is the chem 12, it’s less than 3 weeks old.  i don’t understand why we need to do it again.”

“o if it’s that recent we don’t.”

exit scene left.  we waited another 25 minutes for the physician’s assistant to come in.  he is the guy i usually see.  i kinda have a theory that my gp is a bit homophobic and we make him uncomfortable being all gay in his face and stuff.  i mean it’s not like we tongue each other but we look like “those kind”.  the pa told us that we could wait to see the dr if we wanted to.  i had two kids, well, teenagers in the waiting room, and very little time and patience.  i figure the dr doesn’t know what he’s doing anymore than the pa so it’s six of one half a dozen of the other.

“no that’s cool!”

so i tell him why we are there.  i show him my leg again.  there is an abscess that in which the inflammation is going down and one that is just starting.  i show him the bruises that they leave when they finally go down.  

“how did you get those?”

“ummmm….yeah i don’t know.  they are just there all the time.  i have showed y’all before.  they are just getting way worse and with the neuropathy so bad in that leg i am a bit worried about necrosis.” i watch as he shivers with my use of medical jargon, see that makes him uncomfortable that i happen to have a pretty firm grasp on anatomy and physiology and how the body works.  “also i haven’t gone to the bathroom in like 2 months.  it’s pretty bad and i am very uncomfortable.”

“hmmmm…well it says here you are on _____________ for that.”

“yeah i know.  it worked for about the first month, then it stopped working altogether.  i have been drinking lots of water bc that is how the medication works, and i am obviously retaining water since i have gained 30 lbs in the past 4 months, but it isn’t working.  i had an abdominal series done.  there is no obvious signs of anything being wrong according to that-like structurally wrong.”

so pa pulls out his handy dandy stethoscope and i lay back on the bed.  he listens for bowel sounds-this time in all four quadrants, usually it’s just two.  then he checks for rebound which obviously isn’t going to feel very good.  everytime i wince he asks if it is tender…yes, it is very tender, as a matter of fact it is so tender i would call it painful.  he walks out of the room with a puzzled look on his face.

“that makes me feel real confident”, amy said shaking her head.

he comes back into the room, and gets on the computer, trying to find my latest lab work.  he bumbles around looking and he can’t seem to find my xrays.  luckily, we had just gone to the radiologist and picked up a copy.  i got them out of my purse and handed them to him. “see there is nothing remarkable except i am full of shit.”  amy laughed.

he takes the xray results out to the dr, and they do their ‘heal this woman’ dance or whatever it is that they do.  again there is another long period of time when we are sitting in there twiddling our thumbs, looking at each other, occasionally hearing a noise outside the door and looking up then looking at each other rolling our eyes.  enter pa stage left.

“well, you have some work you need to do.  i am going to give you this medication____________”

“man, you are scopin me?”

“no not yet.”

“look i just had a colonoscopy right before i started coming here, as a matter of fact it was like the day before i started coming here.  this is not a new problem.  there is nothing that you are going to find.  there is no problem with my stomach or intestines.”

“well, there has to be something wrong bc you have decreased activity.”

“yeah.  i know, but it’s not something wrong with my stomach.”

“we are going to have you take this, then take that, then take this again, then we will scope you, then we will send you to a gi dr.”

“who is going to say there is nothing wrong with my stomach, and there is nothing he can do for me.”

“well, we will see when we get there.  now, your leg that isn’t life threatening so we aren’t going to worry about it right now.”

amy dropped her head in her hands and started running her fingers through her hair, the full on sign that she is done!

“what about her insomnia?”

“we are going to focus on getting her cleaned out for right now.  we can’t do too much at once.  then we won’t know what it is that is working or if she has side effects, which she always does, what it is to.  the nurse will be in to send that script in for you.  i will see you back after the holidays”

exit stage left.

“well, that is something, i guess.”

“yeah i know that medicine will work, but man, i feel like we are about to walk into a medical twilight zone, aims.  this is going to take forever and it is going to be the same thing over and over again.  man, i think they are going to let me die.”  by this point i was shaking and almost in tears.  my body is tired.  i am tired of medication to treat the symptoms right this minute but never dealing with the cause, fuck they don’t even think about trying to figure out what the cause is.  and while these drs are off figuring out what to get their loved ones for christmas or what kind of brandy to serve at their parties, i am sick and half septic.  

“yeah i have a feeling it’s gonna be a long stretch.”

we put our coats on, and amy held my hand as we walked out the door.  we passed the gp on the way out.  he didn’t even look at us.

“let’s go kids!”

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