Health Updates #1
« Please read my “Health History” blog before reading these updates! »
This blog will be a work in progress, updated as frequently as needed. There are quite a few health problems that I have, and am trying to get resolved. In order of their appearance in my life, they are:
- Endometriosis/female problems
- Meniere’s Disease
- Bone spur/foot pain
- Dental issues
- Numbness in fingers
3/1/08 – I am finally covered by insurance! The new family doc is the first to see me. Having problems getting my records forwarded to my new doctors, not sure why (maybe because my file is the size of an encyclopedia? LOL). But, first things first; I have to go through my complete medical history, so they can determine the first course of action. After 2 long visits and a 2 week wait for my old records (still not forwarded, btw), referrals are finally made to specialists.
4/4,16/08 – I was supposed to have an EMG done on the 4th, but woke up that morning with another blinding migraine. Finally had the appointment on the 16th. I was nervous, because I’d heard horror stories, but it turned out to not be that bad. Electrodes placed on my fingers and hand, and I was “shocked” with a taser-looking device on many places on my arm. The intensity of the shocks were gradually increased, and it was unpleasant, but not painful. Then very thin needles put in to touch the nerves…I didn’t even feel them, and I hate needles!
4/14/08 – The week before, I was having some pretty intense pain around my remaining baby tooth (first molar on left side). That tooth had been worked on in July 2007, and I again had problems with it during the fall (2 abscesses), but nothing more until recently. Had to find a new dentist…again. Did the whole history thing with them, too. Ugh! I was told it needed to be surgically removed, because it had 30 years for the root to fuse with the bone, and needed an oral surgeon. Ok, no problem, I’ll have my one last wisdom tooth pulled at the same time, since it’s only 2 teeth away and also causing pain…may as well get all the pain over with at once!
4/21/08 – Saw the oral surgeon, who confirmed what my dentist said, and we went over the possible complications. The biggest possible problem will be that my wisdom tooth is touching the nerve, and I may end up with a numb face for a while. Whoo-hoo!! That should be fun. Oh, that and a possible broken jaw, which would mean my jaw being wired closed until it heals. Apparently my Husband thought that was funny. Scheduling the surgery was a complication in itself. LOL Every day they had open, I had a prior commitment. Finally got to schedule it for after my step-sister’s wedding, which means a month of taking Vicodin for the pain, BEFORE the surgery. ::sigh::
4/30/08 – Saw the Podiatrist today, about the bone spur in my heel/ankle. Thought it was just going to be a consultation, but turned out to be much more. After physically examining my feet, he sent me in for x-rays of both feet. It was confirmed that I have a spur on the right, with the tip broken off. I was surprised, though, to find that the pain on the left foot was also caused by a bone spur. They’re almost identical in the way they look! He explained my options, which are eventual surgery to have them removed. But he wanted to try a couple of things first, to see if we could get rid of the pain, and avoid surgery. First, I was fit for an “air cast”, which he wants me to wear any time I’m on my feet for more than a couple of minutes. Then he told me that he was going to give me a Cortisone injection, directly into the Achilles tendon. Normally, he said that’s the last course of action, but since I’ve been in this pain since Dec 2004, he wanted to try it to see if it would help. All I can say is … OUCH!! Damn that hurt! (not to mention, I think my Husband might not have use of his hand for a couple of days! ) I go back in 3 weeks, and we’ll see what happens then….
5/14/08 – Had my dental surgery on Monday. The procedure apprently went just fine. The I.V. knocked me out really fast, and I don’t remember much of anything until after I was home and had slept for a couple of hours. I was told I did some funny things, though. As of this typing, it’s been about 60 hours since the surgery, and I’m still hurting pretty bad. I’m taking the highest dose of Vicodin possible, and taking it every 3 hours instead of every 4. I’m hoping the pain goes away soon! I look like a chipmunk, but that’s to be expected. And, the entire left side of my face is still numb. Again, I’m hoping that’s just until the swelling goes down, but it’s possible it could take weeks for the numbness to go away. Then there’s the problem of eating. Since I’m numb, drinking anything has become amusing. And the pain makes chewing almost impossible. I actually considered buying baby food! My Husband has been wonderful to me, making soft foods for me to eat, while I sit with a cold pack attached to my face. I never thought I’d miss eating like a human being, but boy could I go for a big fat juicy bacon cheeseburger right now! :::drool::: LOL
5/18/08 – Sunday night, a full week after surgery. Still having some pain where the baby tooth was, but around the wisdom tooth seems to be ok. Still swollen, and still hurts when I touch my face towards the back of my jaw. Half my face is still numb, too, but I think it’s trying to come to life again … I keep feeling the strangest sensation, almost like jolts of electricity hitting my bottom lip occasionally. I’ve spent the week pretty loopy in the brain because of the meds, but I’m slowly decreasing them, and regaining clarity of the mind. Eating is still somewhat of a problem. I’ve existed on pudding, yogurt, ice cream, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, and a slop made from cooked hamburger meat chopped very small with country gravy mixed in (I could become addicted to that concoction! ). Today, I had a “meal” at McDonalds. Took me 10 minutes to finish a burger, but I managed to get it down, and only bit my lip once. LOL My stitches are starting to dissolve and fall out, too, which is a relief.
5/22/08 – Today’s a 2-fer. Saw the podiatrist on Wednesday. Since the cortisone injection has decreased the pain in my right ankle by at least 50%, he wants me to try adding 600mg of ibuprofin 3x a day, but not until the meds for my mouth are finished. If that works, great. If not, then we talk surgery, at which point I’ll get an injection in my left foot, since I’ll be non-weight bearing on my right for a long time. Today, I had the follow-up with the dental surgeon. Found out that the wisdom tooth came out much easier than he expected, but the baby tooth was a bit of a pain. It came out in pieces, and since the root had fused with the bone, there’s still a bit of “root” left. I’m still taking Vicodin for the pain, but not as much as before. And I’m still numb. But things are healing just fine, and the doc is hoping that the pain and numbness will go away by next week. We’ll see.
6/19/08 – I ended up back at the oral surgeon’s today. Everything was fine for a month, then all of the sudden, I felt like I’d been punched in the jaw. I had an appointment less than 24 hrs after I made the call…guess they knew it was something worrisome. Saw a different doc this time, but it made no difference. All the docs there seem to be very nice and funny with an excellent bedside manner. X-ray was done, nothing could be seen. The doc was poking around in my mouth (ouch!) and finally told me that there might be a small infection, which is normal for about a month after surgery. So, I’ve added pill 6 to my daily routine for a while. :::sigh::: As for my feet, I’m still in alot of pain, even with the mega doses of Ibuprofen. I’ve been taking about 1/2 a dose of Vicodin every 3 days or so, and that seems to help alot. I need to get back to the foot doc and schedule surgery for early September.
7/7/08 – It just never seems to end. On Friday, the 4th, I broke a tooth. It was one right next to where I had surgery in May. I don’t know how it broke. I haven’t chewed anything on that side since the surgery, and I didn’t have anything harder than a hamburger and potato salad. Hmmmm. Anyway, I tried calling my dentist, to see if they had an emergency doc on call. Nope. Then I tried calling my insurance company to see if I could go somewhere else. They don’t even have an answering service; it rings, picks up, and goes immediately to a busy signal. So, I’ve learned my lesson: here in Lancaster County, you may NOT have a medical emergency outside of nomal business hours. Lemme file that away somewhere for the next time I feel like having an emergency. So, I go to the dentist today. The doc says he can save the tooth, but it will require a cap. Ok, fine, I was planning on getting that tooth capped anyway. Then he tells me that my insurance company requires pre-authorization, and that will take 2-3 weeks! WHAT?!? By then, it will start to decay, and I’ll end up having to get that one pulled as well. I finally called the insurance company, explained the situation, and asked if they could expidite the process. They told me that IS the expidited time, normally it’s 4-6 weeks. So I told them, in my Bitch tone of voice, that if they didn’t get it faster than that, they’d end up paying ALOT more for a bridge or dental implant. I’ve come to the conclusion that my insurance company doesn’t really care about their patients.
8/5/08 – So, I was on the phone last night, feeling perfectly normal, when all of the sudden I was experiencing the most excruciating chest pain. Now, I’m not the type of person who goes running to the hospital for every little ache and pain. But this was different than any other pain I’d ever had. It was so bad, I couldn’t catch my breath, and could barely support myself on my own legs. When my Husband asked me if I wanted to get checked out, I could barely answer him, which prompted a call for an ambulance. On the way to the hospital, with my Son in the front and my Husband following in our truck behind, the Medic tried to start an IV … twice. He missed the vein on the first try, then blew out the vein on his second attempt. He didn’t dare try again! LOL I was given a Nitro-glycerin tablet (tastes like crap and burns), and an Albuterol treatment, because I was having trouble breathing. Once at the hospital, the nurse tried to get an IV started in my arm, and my vein collapsed, so she ended up putting it in the back of my hand. Those are the worst! They took 5 vials of blood, then gave me a shot of some type of “pain reliever” (can’t remember the name of it, though, was something I’d never heard of before). Well, I can tell you that it did nothing to help the pain! All it accomplished was that I ceased to care that I was in pain. LOL They ran an EKG, twice; bloodwork, twice. After 9 hours in the ER, hooked up to all kinds of stuff, they were no closer to figuring out what had happened, and I was STILL in pain, and very pissy. The best they could come up with, was that I’d pulled a muscle in my chest. When I pointed out that I’d done NOTHING that could cause a pulled muscle, they told me, “well, you can pull a muscle by just breathing.”. Do what?!? Are they kidding? Apparently not, as this was confirmed by every other one of the medical staff that I spoke to. The only bright spot in my night, besides having my Son and Husband by my side, was that my Sister-in-law was on duty that night, and stopped in to check on me every hour or so. It also helped that she informed the rest of that staff that we were family. After we got home, and got some food in our systems, we all crashed. When I woke up, I was still in pain, though it wasn’t as bad, and I felt like I’d been run over by a fleet of trucks. I’m still very sore, and have sharp pains when I move certain ways, but there’s a definate improvement. Now, if I could just stop this breathing thing, I won’t have to worry about pulled muscles anymore. .:::sarcastic grin:::.
9/9/08 – I finally got my tooth (the one I broke on July 4th) permanently fixed today! 2 weeks ago, my dentist finally called me, and told me that the insurance company approved the cap. Of course, I spent every other day on the phone with the insurance company AND the dentist office. Turns out, my dentist’s office never sent in for the pre-approval! Anyway, I went in for the mold and a temporary cap, and was told 2 more weeks for the permanent to be made. Got it today, and it’s wonderful! Fit perfectly on the first try, and feels natural. I also had a cleaning done, where they found a few small cavities. I go back on Thursday to have the left side’s cavities filled. They’re also going to see if my other molar (the one that’s been slightly painful for a couple of months) needs pulled or if they can do a root canal and another cap. Oh boy, what fun! Then I get the right side filled. Once that’s all finally done, barring any more dental problems, I can go back to the foot doctor to see about the surgery. At this rate, it’ll be my Xmas present for the year! LOL And they say you start to fall apart at age 40?? Ha! Try 20, for me.
12/30/08 – After 3 months of fighting with my dentist over financial issues, I finally gave up and went back to my old dentist last week (she just started taking my new insurance!). She checked my tooth, told me it was most likely infected and would need a root canal done by an endodontist, and put me on antibiotics and pain meds. Today, I saw yet another new dentist, and for the first time in nearly 20 years, I can say that I think I finally found the perfect dentist for me! Both he and his staff were wonderful. After being numbed up (I’m a big baby when it comes to needles, yet he made me comfortable), I had a root canal done on my back lower molar. 4 nerves had to be removed, and the holes were packed with tiny cotton swabs dipped in medication to finish clearing up the infection. I have a temporary filling to keep the swabs in for a week, when I’ll go back to have the root canal finished. I had absolutely no pain during the procedure. Unfortunately, once the numbness wore off, I was in terrible pain, but he told me that should subside by tomorrow. Let’s hope so!
« Continued on my “Health Updates #2” blog. »