Saturday, March 5, 2011

Monday's Blahs

I cancelled last Monday's physical therapy appointment because I was not feeling well.  Exhaustion from a busy weekend, four hours a day driving, then whirlwind visiting with my family coupled with only a few hours sleep the night before left me with a couple of painful cold sores and the sniffles.  There is also a buzzing sound in my ears and objects seem to sport a lightly radiating gloriole  around them.

I hope they won't charge  for the missed appointment.  Which askes the question, am I really too ill to go or am I playing hookey?  I feel guilty about choosing to stay home.  In my heart, I should have gone and just been sick.  It will be my fault if I will have to pay for this out of my own pocket.  I should never have gotten sick.  It is my own fault.  I should have...

I am amazed by my unwillingness to declare myself ill, even in my own head.

The last time i saw my chiropractor was a year ago when I was experiencing pretty severe pain in my legs.  We thought they were muscle related, but it turned out to  be CIDP.  I was so wiped out after Monday's visit,  I spent the rest of the day in bed.

Reminded me of my life a year ago.  I was in pain, but I was trying to ignore it.  Lots of ibuprofen and not much else.  Eventually I realized I couldn'g go up stairs any longer.  Then came the day when there was a fire drill at work and I had to run for something; I couldn't run!  My legs wouldn't pick up my feet any faster.

Adrienne and I were getting ready to go to Florida for spring break, so I decided I should see a doctor before we left.  Wednesday, March 17th, 2010, I started calling physicians near my place of employment (it was a one hour commute, so I figured it would be better to try to see someone locally, then return, instead of going home early.)  I was able to see the physicians assistant of a nearby doctor, who ordered xrays and blood work, then sent me on my way.  I was confused when I got out of the blood work; no one had said anything to help me at all, just sent me for two procedures that I was sure were expensive. I laboriously made my way back to the doctor's suite and asked to see the physician's assistant again, wanting to know what was next.

Even though I could barely stand up without tottering the next day, I was still convinced that it was garden variety back pain that could be treated with a hot pad and muscle relaxers.  That afternoon I got a phone call from the doctor whose office I had visited the day before.  The xrays and blood work hadn't revealed the cause of my pain; the next step was to see a neurologist.  His staff would find one for me to see the next day.

I had never gotten a personal phone call from a doctor in my life.  It did not occur to me that it was a big deal.  I got my second the next day.  There were no available neurologist appoints that day.  The soonest appointment was two months away.  He advised me to go to an emergency room with a neurologist on call ASAP and have the attending call him.

He was concerned that I had Guillane-Barre Syndrome, in which case speed was imperative.  I told my supervisor what he had said, adding, "I don't have guillane-barre," but should check it out anyway since I was leaving the following Tuesday.

I still didn't want to admit there was a problem; I tried to dissuade Adrienne from driving down to Cincinnati  Even after my spinal tap came back with an elevated protein (the only real, internal symptom I showed, despite my summer tour of every medical machine at UC), I still insisted I should go home.

The emergency room staff convinced me to stay the night so I could get a MRI the next day.  My plan was to go home and drive back early; I promised them I would be back first thing.  By this time, someone had stuck a port in my arm and wrapped a bracelet around my wrist, yellowly declaring me a fall risk.

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