Saturday, February 26, 2011

It Takes a Village

When I talked to Dr. Kaeser on Thursday night, he told me he'd be calling me the next day, around the same time, to let me know the time to come in and see him on Monday.  I was surprised when my phone rang yesterday, displaying his phone number, at 11:00 a.m. (10:00 a.m. Chicago time).  I had a brief moment of panic, thinking "Well, he's changed his mind.  He read my blog again and wants not a thing to do with this."

My worries were short-lived, as he exclaimed:  "1:00 on Monday!"  I told him we'd be there.  He let me know that I shouldn't worry if I'm running late, that he's got the room reserved for me.  (Trust me, I'll be there early).  He also asked if I minded if some other doctors/practitioners took a look at me.  He'd spoken with some, and there is another chiropractor, a physical therapist, a pain management doctor, etc., etc. who would like to help as well.  Would I mind?  "Pack 'em in!" was my word-for-word response to him.  Just a little bit of Bedford coming out of me there.  He told me they'd start by doing some x-rays--of my chest, back, etc.  No one has even looked at my back or my chest.  I asked if I should bring my abdominal/pelvic CT scan that I had done about three weeks ago.  His word-for-word response to that was "Bring anything you can get your hands on."

So, Rowan and I hopped in the car (Tim's car, actually, as mine is messed up right now--strangely, I don't even care) and headed to Bloomington to get what we could get our hands on.  The first stop was the hospital.  That's where I had the CT.  I carried him in (as an aside--that kid is HEAVY) and we went to the medical records department.  On our way, we saw two of my students (there for clinicals) eating lunch.  They got to meet Rowan after hearing me reference him and Amelia so much while I teach.  Anyway--you'd think that you could get your own medical records without too much trouble.  They're yours, right?  They depict something about you, your body, or your health.  Well, let me tell you, they've got them on lock down.  I had to show a picture ID, give them my SSN, sign 15 papers, then sign something else, then swear I wouldn't sue them, etc., etc.  I even had a cute, smiley baby in my arms and they acted like I was trying to rob the joint.  The worst part came when they asked if I was a minor, as I would need my mother or my father to sign for me if I was.  Now I know I didn't look great yesterday, and I get constant threats from Amelia and my husband about being nominated for TLC's "What Not to Wear," but I can't imagine why they asked me THAT.  Finally I was given the CT results.  I had to walk to an entirely different part of the hospital to get the actual CD of the scan (like I said, Rowan is HEAVY).  In the end, though, I got them. 

Got Rowan back in the car, as we had to go to two additional places (IMA gastroenterology and SIRA) to get the colonoscopy, abdominal ultrasound, and HIDA scan results.  I had to sign in blood there, too.  The only thing I didn't manage to get were my labs.  In all of this, I've only had one lab drawn:  my liver function tests.  They were normal.  But, honestly, could we maybe check a sed-rate, a CBC with differential, anything?  No one has done that yet, and I'm not sure why.  I got Rowan back in the car again and finally headed home.  I felt victorious.  Before pulling out of the parking lot, I decided to read my records.  As a nurse, I know that what doctors dictate does not usually match what they tell patients.  The CT scan actually revealed an ovarian cyst on the right side, as well as an enlarged liver.  The abdominal ultrasound I knew showed an enlarged liver, but the HIDA scan did as well.  I had not been told a lick (the Bedford in me is glaring today) about the cyst or the liver showing up anywhere but on the ultrasound.  Now, I know that ovarian cysts are pretty normal for a woman my age.  But it's on the right side, where my pain is--maybe someone should have mentioned this?  What I'm getting at is....whenever you're going through something like this, a situation where no one seems to know what's wrong with you, take the day off (it'll take you that long), bring your fingerprints, bank account numbers, license, passport, DNA sample, and your first (or second) born child and go fetch your own test results.  I should note that the colonoscopy report was actually just as Dr. Spier had explained it to me.  I knew I liked him.

So, I ran today.  10 miles.  Tim asked me how it went.  "Same as usual."  "You survived," he said.  Yes, I did.  And I have to insert something here that I mentioned yesterday.  But, at least for my sake, it bears repeating:

"When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation--some fact of my life--unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake."

As I began my run, I prayed for mercy.  Please just let this one not be as bad as the last.  And you know what?  It was bad, but it wasn't as bad as Thursday.  That's something to celebrate.  I tried to think of all the positive things in my life.  That did help take my mind off the pain.  I tried to vividly remember the days on which my children were born.  I thought about Amelia, when she was 3 or 4, dancing in the living room to a Shakira song.  I thought about how lucky I am to have such a kind-hearted soul for a daughter.  I thought about Rowan, and those last few, intense moments of my labor with him.  I thought about my husband, and how utterly lucky I am to have him.  Unfortunate events, for both of us, occurred in the time leading up to when we met.  Without those, however, I am 100% sure I would not even know Tim Miller at this point in my life.  I refer you again to the paragraph above.

Long run tomorrow.  Keeping the faith, knowing that there's an A-Team waiting for me in Chicago.

1 comment:

  1. I really hope this trip to Chicago to see the doc works out for. And yes I am still alive, this whole trying to get my PhD done by August is however rather time consuming. I have no idea how you do it with a family. ~Cynthia