Health Updates #3

« Please read my “Health History” blog, my “Health Updates #1” blog and my “Health Updates #2” blog before reading these updates! »

In 6 months time, I filled up another blog, so it’s time to start fresh – again. I hope the next 6 months aren’t as busy as the first, and that I start to really get some answers and problems solved.

7/21/09 – My sleep study took place today. I only briefly knew what to expect. Since I’m a night owl, they did the study during the day, when I’m normally sleeping (they do one 3rd shift person a day there, so it gets booked up very quickly). I was there at 6:30a, and was immediately assigned a nurse who would hook me up, get me anything I needed, and watch/listen to me sleep (from another room). I was happy that my nurse was easy to get along with, as some can just be unpleasant. While I sat and watched tv and munched on a bagel, he started sticking electrodes to me. First, I had 9 of them glued to my scalp with something that smelled like modeling glue. That took up a good bit of time, because the glue had to be mixed then had to dry completely before he could move on to the next. After they were all properly set, he stuck a bunch of them to various places on my body, then taped them all in place on top of that, so I didn’t pull them off in my sleep. Each of these had wires approximately 5 feet long, so that by the time I was all hooked up, I looked like an electrical experiment! LOL (pictures posted soon) The worst was the one attached to my face, between my nose and top lip, with a piece that hung down in front of my mouth. That itched and bugged me the entire time! It was 8:30a before I was left alone to try to relax and sleep. I read a book and watched tv, intermittently, until around 9a. Finally feeling like I could sleep, I struggled to get comfortable with all the wires attached. That took a good long while, and of course, no sooner than I was comfortable, my bladder spoke up. That happened to me twice before I was able to finally sleep! Damn bladder! At roughly quarter after 10a, I was in that place where I could feel sleep creeping in, and BAM! – some idiot slammed a door right next to my room. I shot straight up, my heart started racing, and I had to pee again. After that, the nurse put a sign on the door asking people not to use that door (employees only). Finally, around 11a, I fell asleep. I was awakened, briefly, a couple of times, due to the wires tangling around me or a door slamming shut somewhere close, but was able to fall right back to sleep. At 4:45p the nurse came in to wake me up … not even 6 hours of sleep! 😦 Then all that stuff had to be taken … or should I say “ripped” … off me. OUCH! The glue stuck in my hair was loosened with an oily remover, just enough to get the electrodes off my head, but not enough to completely remove the glue. So I ended up having to walk out of the hospital, past people, looking like I’d been attacked by an octopus! Once home, I washed my hair 3 times, and only succeeded in removing the oily residue and 75% of the glue. To the best of my knowledge, they didn’t find any sleep apnea, and I won’t have to return for a second sleep study. I’ll know more in August when I’m able to see the Pulminologist for a follow up. At that time, I’ll be able to ask about the “Non – 24 hour Circadian Sleep Cycle” that I’ve been researching, and which matches my problems exactly!

7/27/09 – What can I say about mammograms? How about, “OUCH!”. I thought I was only going to have my left breast done, since that’s where I found the lump. Turns out they wanted both done; not only as a comparison, but also because I’d never had one done before. I was pulled, stretched and squished in 3 different directions. The first 2 directions hurt the skin surrounding the breast, but not so much the breast itself. The 3rd one was a little different. It was just on the left breast, and instead of squishing the entire breast, they only did the part where the lump is, which meant only the bottom half of my boob was flattened. OW! That one hurt alot! Afterward, I went in for an ultrasound of the lump. I had my results immediately: no tumors, lumps or abnormalities were detected at all. Even though everyone can feel the lump, it just doesn’t register as anything to be concerned about, and nobody has an answer as to what it might be. But at least it’s not cancer! Yay! I’m happy … and relieved. 🙂

7/28 – 8/26/09 – The past month, I’ve seen my chiro a few times, and my family doc to go over the results of the mammogram. The most major thing to report is that I saw my Podiatrist for another follow-up. I’ve had a bit of a back-slide in my healing, but given that I was 2 months ahead of schedule, I’ll take a back-slide! I’ve had a bit more pain recently and some limited mobility; some days are better than others, but I’m muddling through it. I’ve got a new high-dose anti-inflammatory med for when it gets really bad. The one thing the doc is concerned about is the Keloid scarring. Basically, it means the scar tissue has extended beyond the original incision. It’s raised and very red, and could be affecting my mobility in that area. We’ll keep an eye on it … it might be temporary. If worse comes to worse, there are several ways to try to get rid of it – steroid injection, freezing or removal – none of which sound like fun. The most unusual part of this type of scarring, is that it’s not usually a problem for Caucasians. Maybe it has to do with my Native American genes?

8/27 – 9/24/09 – Another month, and only a little to report. I’ve seen my Podiatrist twice. The first time to see how the Keloid scarring was doing, and the second because I’d had a few days of excruciating pain, to the point where I could barely walk and was wishing for the wheelchair again. Yikes! He said it was most likely caused by a lesion between the achilles tendon and the “shaft” that houses it. The lesion caused the tendon to become attached to the “shaft”, making it difficult to move freely. When the lesion broke free, is when I experienced the pain. He said most likely, it won’t happen again, now that I’m moving rather normally, but there’s always the chance of another lesion, so not to rule it out. We talked about the possibility of physical therapy, but only if it happens again. I’ve had to take a break from seeing my chiro for a while, until I can get my insurance straightened out. They only allow 18 visits a year to a specialist, and I’m very close to that mark already, with all the follow up visits and such. If I keep seeing the chiro, I’ll go over my limit, and have claims start to be denied. I can’t take that risk right now. But my back and neck are sure complaining about it! And lastly, I’ve ended up back at the dentist again. *sigh* I thought all the problems on the bottom left side of my mouth were cleared up, but my body (as usual) has other ideas. I started having some really intense pain again, and the dentist put me on a week of antibiotics. I felt no relief until the day after the meds were done! Now I’m having a slight discomfort. If it doesn’t go away, I might have to have one last root canal done, on the one remaining tooth that still has a root. Of course, that will mean drilling through the crown that’s on it already. I go back in a week, and we’ll see. Life is SO much fun around here.

12/22/09 – I haven’t been here in a while. Still healing from my ankle surgery. I’m walking much better, though still with a bit of a limp. The scarring is much better, as well. I haven’t been to a doctor for myself in a long time … until today. I’ve been sick for the past 4 days; coughing often and badly. It’s been productive, but just won’t ease up, even with all the OTC meds I was taking for it. I finally had enough, and saw my doc today. Good thing, too, as I have another case of Bronchitis … again. She also said that I might be in the beginning stages of COPD, which is just another term for Emphysema. Lovely. And even with that news, it’s still not easy to quit smoking. Almost a 30 year smoker now. Anyway, she put me on antibiotics and a steroid, and I’m to continue to use my inhaler 2x a day, and whatever OTC meds I choose to take to feel better.

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