As I write and title this blog, Doctor Doctor, it reminds me of the song with the same title from the Thompson Twins. However, there is no correlation with the two (laughing). I think I’ve spent more time at doctor offices these past two months than I have in a long time. As of right now, those office visits are coming to a minimum… thank goodness! But for those who know what it’s like to metaphorically be living at the doctors office, here’s my little journey of those visits.
Since the beginning of August I’ve been dealing with sinus problems. But after the first two weeks of symptoms, I finally went to Urgent Care and was diagnosed with not only a sinus infection but bronchitis as well. The doctor also tested me for Covid-19, which I’ll be happy to report that it came back negative. Now after two weeks on antibiotics and steroids and no diminish of symptoms, my primary doctor gave me a Kenalog shot. The shot didn’t really relieve a lot of the symptoms but it did give me some energy back. After over a month of sneezing, coughing, congestion, sinus headaches etc… I decided to make an appointment with an ENT (ear, nose, throat doctor). Last week I had my appointment with him and he put me on a decongestant, ‘more’ antibiotics and is sending me for a CT scan. My follow up is with him at the end of the month so we’ll see what he says. Let’s just hope I can finally get these allergies under control before the winter months come.
About a month ago I was seeing strobe lights in my left eye and was a bit concerned about possible retina detachment (my mother had one a few years ago). I spoke with my eye doctor regarding my concerns and he referred me over to an Ophthalmologist. That doctor said there was scar tissue around my retina. He asked me if I ever had laser surgery done and I said no. I continued to tell him that the only eye surgeries I’ve had was cataract removal and monovision implants. So he chalked up my diagnose as probably just being born with the scar tissue around my retina. However, he referred me over to a retina doctor to see what he had to say. Eventually I saw the retina doctor and told him the same thing I said to my Ophthalmologist and his diagnose was the same. The retina doctor just added that we’ll monitor it but if the strobe lights become consistent or I see a curtain over my eye to go to the emergency room. Although I’m not done with the Ophthalmologist just yet, I do have to go back this week because he was concerned about my eye pressure and possibilities of glaucoma. But in the end I’m going to stay positive and check the retina thing off my health issue list.
Now continuing on with my adventurous doctor visits. Because of Covid-19 and the quarantine at home, I wasn’t able to get a majority of my annual check-ups done. But with patience and finally businesses opening up, I’m finally getting those done. My physical from my primary doctor was good but she is still monitoring my blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Then I got my mammogram and a week ago the results came back that there were no abnormalities. I was on a roll with these doctors and their positive results. I took it with a huge gratitude and big smile on my face! The next doctor would be the Dermatologist to remove some moles and check for skin cancer. I had three removed and those test results came back as benign. Happy happy girl so far!
Oh, I did forgot to mention that when I went to my primary doctor for my physical, I had her check something else out. The week before I had my appointment with her I noticed a lump above my right wrist. I told her that I didn’t injure my wrist and that it just showed up one day. She sent me for an x-ray which only showed some swelling. Then she sent me for an ultrasound which showed no abnormalities. I eventually went to a hand specialist and it turns out I have intersection syndrome “aka” tendinitis. So I have a hand brace that I have to wear for the next six weeks. If after the six weeks and the lump is not gone then he will have to do a steroid injection in my wrist. Fun times, more steroids!
Albeit these doctor visits so far haven’t actually given me any bad news, there are two more specialists that I still have to mention. And these two specialists messed up my ‘good news’ streak, well depending on how you look at it. I’m looking at it as just getting my health in order and taking it one day at a time. Or should I say, one doctor visit at a time. In addition to just being grateful to have medical insurance and being at 100% coverage right now. So onto the next specialist to talk about… hm. Let’s go with the easy one, the colon and rectal specialist.
So for some of you this may be TMI but what the hey, it’s life. One of my grandmothers had rectal cancer and the other had colon cancer, which means it’s hereditary. Which it also means that instead of having a colonoscopy every ten years I have to do it every five years. The one I had done last year was fine but I’ve had some other issues that I’ll just leave it at that. I do have my limits with TMI when it comes to certain things. Let’s just say that I’m having an outpatient surgery this month for that issue and just happy it’s getting taken care of. NEXT!
As far as the update on my back, well, unfortunately I’m still deal with it. Just to recap, I had a lumbar surgery in April. Then a month later had an emergency back surgery due to liquid forming around the incision. It turned out that I had a nasty bacteria infection that was effecting my bones and joints, which therefore effecting my walking. After five weeks of physical therapy I was released from the Orthopedic doctor. But after two months from the last surgery I was still having trouble with my back. The Orthopedic doctor recently sent me to a Chiropractor and said not to have him adjust me. That there were other methods he can do to help relieve the tightness in my lower back. After about four sessions with the Chiro I wasn’t feeling better and kind of felt a bit worse. I will admit, he did adjust me but I didn’t feel like where on my body he adjusted me was going to make things worse. Bottom line, I held off on making any new appointments with the Chiro until I went and to see my Orthopedic doctor again.
Eventually I saw my Orthopedic doctor and told him that the tightness around my incision seems to be getting wider. I continued to tell him that in the last week as I was walking I had two incidents. In both incidents I had a sharp pain in my lower back that shot down my left sciatic area to my left calf and made my leg buckle. He then sent me for an MRI of the lumbar. On my follow up he said some medical terms that I couldn’t really tell you what they were. But in layman’s terms it was basically this: no more surgery (just yet), more physical therapy and pain management for injections. At that point I became a little frustrated, I told him I felt as if I was going backwards. That I had already been through physical therapy and pain management. I continued to reiterate that I went through a few rounds of Cortisone injections and ablations that eventually didn’t work and hence lead me to the surgery.
Later that day I had called the Orthopedic doctor to see if he would be okay with me not starting physical therapy just yet because I spoke to soon. The rest of that day the pain was being consistent and making me (more) frustrated and restless. The nurse related to me that he said I can wait on physical therapy and just go see the pain management doctor. Unfortunately when I tried to make an appointment with the pain management doctor they didn’t have anything for weeks before I could get in. Not to mention that the first visit would only be an assessment… SO. The possibility of more restless nights, dealing with pain and discomfort seem to be on my agenda for awhile. Oh where is my break!
So as you can see, I have been a bit overwhelmed and busy lately. Though before I end this blog I want you to know why I chose to write about this particular subject. It’s not to complain or vent about my health issues and doctor visits, not at all. It’s to share my story because I know that there are many of you who can empathize with when it comes to this discussion. Bottom line, you are not alone in the frustration and exhausting ritual of doctor visits… I do get it! Now let me flip this to something positive.
Yes, I’ve seen a plethora of doctors in the past two months… more than I wished to have seen. But I have had a majority of good news from them and for the other health issues I’m still dealing with… all I can do is take it one day at a time. And you know what? All of this is teaching me three things: 1. patience 2. gratefulness 3. remembering that it could always be worse. So through the restless and sleepless night, pain and mental anguish… I’m going to stay as positive as I can. Hope for that day where I can at least be back to somewhat normal physically and enjoy my life again. Till then… I’m keeping my fingers crossed and going to still be persistent in trying to persuade any of these doctors to just give me a new body. I’m tired with this lemon (laughing)!
P.S. I will end this blog on another positive note, at least I’m not back in that walker or having to give myself IV injections every 8 hours. I need to remind myself every moment to always be grateful for something!
“Health is not valued till sickness comes.” ~ Thomas Fuller