Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Adventures In The Health System

So, I went to see the super-fancy disease doctor yesterday morning. He was behind which meant that it took a lot longer than usual to see him and when I did see him he was quite abrupt:

SFDD: "Are you better yet?"

Ragdoll: "Not really. I'm not taking any medicine to make me better."

SFDD: "Well, if you're seeing me that means you're going to get better."

Ragdoll sits there with a stupified look on her face. He then sort of stumbled through my file. Oh, and the 24-hour urine test? Yeah, he didn't even look at the results. Oh, and the bone scan? Says it's useless without the MRI (which I did last night too), but more on that later.

The end result? I'm going to start taking methotrexate by injection once a week. And because the drug leaches Folic Acid out of your system, I've got to take it too. The side effects of this new drug are sores in the mouth, upset tummy (been there, done that) and, in rare cases, pneumonia-like symptoms.

I called my RRHB after I saw the doctor and said, "What do you want to bet that's what I end up with?" He laughed, and then told me I was being kind of negative, which is true, but every drug I've tried to take over the last few months has had me end up in side effect hell, if such a place exists.

And speaking of side effects, my left hip has really been bothering me; it's a very similar pain to the one that ended up with my right hip being replaced, so I'm a bit freaked out. As I've been taking prednisone, which is the cause of avascular necrosis (the technical name for the problem in my hip), I told them right away (the last visit, not the most recent one) about the pain. The intern scheduled a bone density test and an MRI, which I had last night at 10:30 PM.

At about 9:38, I was trying to decide what to watch next on TV when my RRHB said, "Come on, let's go." In the span of about three hours, I had totally forgotten that I had to go back to the hospital, had my PJs on, and would have been in bed in about 20 minutes. It's a good thing he remembered.

It's a strange thing, having an MRI. You have to wear ear plugs because the machine is so loud and they wrap you up like a mummy, tape your feet together (so your legs don't move) and then inject you into this tube up past your head. I was stuck in there for over half an hour with the damn thing whirring and whizzing and sounding like a strange techno show. At first I totally panicked and then I calmed down and focused on this pen mark above me. I kept wondering, if all you wear is a hospital gown, how on earth does a pen mark get onto the machine? Is it even a pen mark? What else could it be? On and on my brain went as the machine did its thing.

Lesson learnt? When they offer to give you a sedative, um, take it.

Up next in terms of the Health Quest 2006? I'm going to call the super-fancy disease doctor next week and hound them for the results of the MRI. If my other hip is dying from avascular necrosis, I want to know sooner rather than later. Wouldn't you?


Gallis said...

Yeah seriously dude. The time has come to REGULATE on some SFDD ass!

indigo herself said...

oh you! i have experience with the tunnel of love, also known as MRI. the only thing that helps me is putting a cloth over my eyes so i can pretend i'm somewhere with lots of space to breathe. i also like to imagine angels kissing away illness and fun times over the course of my life -- like flashbacks. they always appear in this sort of super 8 quality. i have even tried to remember entire trips just to keep my mind busy and think of something good.

i hope the tests don't find anything wrong.

in my experience, it takes awhile to get MRI results from the dr. but a week after the session you can buy your own copy on CD. May help you if you are going to see the super fancy dr. again soon. sometimes inter office communication is not good at hospitals.

Anonymous said...

Wow...sounds like you had quite a day too. I do believe in side effect hell, but I hope you don't have to venture down that path again. Definitely call and hound them for the results! I would too. Maybe we should be each other's advocates because I'd be much better at yelling at and harassing people for you than I am for myself!

My Boy is Ten

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