Monday, May 18, 2009

What's Going On

First I have to say, I am so envious and in awe of bloggers who write wonderful posts every single day! I lead a much more boring existence…I am not nearly as prolific or witty. For that, I apologize to my loyal readers who keep coming back to the site!! Thank you all for being part of my life. I am trying to write more often, but this day-to-day stuff just keeps getting in the way!


There’s Something Happening Here…

It has been rough going since the operation. I just haven’t felt right. If I had stopped to consider it, I would have realized I hadn’t felt right for quite some time. But this is how I deal with not feeling right: I ignore it.

I dragged myself to my den and got some work done each day, but kept falling asleep sitting there at my computer. I went to Physical Therapy, but sensed I made little progress because of the pain. I did my home exercises and started to feel depressingly certain that I would never regain total function.

As I am an obsessive glutton for punishment, I watched YouTube videos of shoulder surgery over and over, cringing at some of what I saw. Oh, not the cutting or the blood or anything like that. That I expected. I cringed at the stuff you tend to put out of your mind. Like how much of me was going to be exposed. Like how my body was going to be pushed and pulled, an unconscious dead weight. That there would be writing on my boob. No, not “Dr. W. was here”, which actually I think I would have found funny. No, these were lines indicating anatomical landmarks. So if the lines were used as anatomical landmarks, guess what had to be showing for the bulk of the surgery?

I cringed at the idea of the breathing tube down my throat, my eyes taped shut, my head strapped to a head stabilizer, my entire body, including my head and face, covered with surgical drapes. Everything covered except for the bits I would have preferred to be covered, however. The more I watched, the more upset I got. But I didn’t let that stop me!!

I also continued to feel crappy, very MS-y, twitching and wobbly. Then, just like last time, my legs blew up like two gigantic marshmallows. And it started to get a little hard to breathe sometimes.

You don’t have to be a nurse to put these pieces together and come up with this brilliant diagnosis: something is wrong here. But I just kept on my jolly way. Well, not so jolly. Just kept on my way.

…What it is ain’t exactly clear…

When I went for PT on Tuesday, my Physical Therapist Chris took one look at my legs and insisted I call my regular doctor before she even touched me. I called Dr. B., who I adore for his gentle and compassionate demeanor. But dealing with his front office person is a nightmare. Even though I told this loathsome creature I had just had surgery, my legs were swollen and I had shortness of breath, she intercepted any discussion with the doctor and gave me an appointment for two days hence.

I was just too exhausted to fight with her. Chris was pretty shocked, but she kind of shrugged. We did our PT session and I lived.

The next day I had an important meeting. I work from home, so I almost always wear sweats. But for this meeting I pulled a suit out of the closet and pressed a nice top to go with it. Went to put the slacks on and found there was a FOUR INCH GAP between the button and the button hole. It would not button. It would not even touch. Not believing my eyes, I dropped them, pulled them up again and, lo and behold, a four inch gap. I just wore this suit on Easter. Comfortably.

Little alarms began to jingle in the back of my head. This was not an ordinary weight gain. There was something wrong here. (Hmmmm…I detect a pattern…)

But in the meantime, I still had to get to this meeting, dressed in a professional manner. I yanked every suit and dress out of my closet. Nothing fit. I stood in the middle of my room, surrounded by clothing and howled:


Because everyone knows that makes clothes fit better.

I finally dug up a knit pants set that was presentable at least. And stretchy. But my heart was pounding with fear. This was a pretty alarming sign. When I got home that evening, my daughter and I eyed my legs, which were now about three times their normal size. I was having trouble catching my breath. She looked me straight in the eye and said, you are going to the emergency room. I didn’t argue.

…There’s a man with a gun over there telling me I got to beware…

Here is a scary realization...I am starting to love the ER. They were super nice to me and did every test known to man. Tests that would have taken days, if not weeks as an outpatient, and yet I was home within 3 hours. Findings: no Pulmonary Embolism, no Deep Vein Thrombosis, no cardiac problems, no pulmonary problems. They chalked it up to positional, because I was sitting up for the surgery, and to a reaction to the anesthesia. I wasn’t so sure about that, but I was so relieved to have the other things ruled out I didn’t care.

Went to my regular doctor appointment the next morning. Told him my sad saga. Illustrated with my horrific legs. As he was asking me about what tests they had done, he was flipping through my chart. And there he finds a five month old lab report documenting a major issue with my thyroid being out of whack! A major issue that needed to be addressed then, no delay.

…Paranoia strikes deep…

I am really upset this was missed. For months I have felt like crap, for months I have blamed the MS. Now it seems as though I have a problem with a relatively simple fix that should have been/could have been initiated before the beginning of the year. It is going to take weeks to find the right balance of medications and in the meantime I feel like death on toast.

Although on the other hand, I get to say, in all documented truthfulness, “It’s not fat, it’s glandular”!

I soldier on.

…Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
We better stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

-- For What It's Worth
Buffalo Springfield



Da Old Man said...

Soldier on, my friend.


brokenteepee said...

So sorry. I rather missed your little widget thingie in my box but with my memory...sorry your surgery caused issues and the thyroid problem. I learned with my doctors' receptionists to just be VERY forceful with problems and if that didn't work to pull out the sue word. THAT always works. Bitches think they have power...when you need to see the doctor you need to see the doctor. Especially if you aren't calling him 12 times a day.

I also admit to seeking out aneurysm surgeries to I know what you mean.

Wilma Ham said...

Marie, it is not about how frequently or how well you write, it is where you write from that counts for me.
This post came from your heart and I was there with you all the way. I felt connected and I so feel how difficult it is to follow your intuition when you don't know either what is going on.
I salute you for reflecting on it so well.

Marie said...

Joe: :) Thanks. Your words mean a lot.

Pricilla: I think of you everytime I take a shower. lol

That is good advice. She is so scary! I have to talk to the doctor about her. I don't think I have called for anything more than four times in 13 years. When I call, she has to know it is for something serious.

Aren't those surgeries morbidly fascinating?!?!

Wilma: It is so nice to see you here!!

Thank you for your lovely words.

Margaret said...

Sorry, I think you wrote about alot of suffering here, but all I got was "It's not fat, it's glandular!" Woo Hoo!