Saturday, August 25, 2007


Thursday, August 23rd, I had my appointment with the neurologist about the MRIs I had last Saturday (the 18th) and received some rather shocking medical news. Not what I was hoping for, and not anything I had prepared myself for, although I thought I had pretty much covered all the possibilities in my mind -- and although this information should prove very useful in obtaining MEDICALLY NECESSARY pain treatment.

Basically, nearly every single disc in my back is herniated or nearly so, and because so many are damaged, it's considered inoperable. It's a wonder I can move at all -- and things have been this way for probably close to twenty five years (this has to have been caused by the school bus accident I was in when I was in seventh grade), and only just now has anyone though to bother to run the test to see it -- and he ran it for a different reason (to diagnose or rule out multiple sclerosis).

Exercise is pretty much out of the question for any reason except swimming and bike riding -- and we can't afford a bike or a pool membership right now -- because one wrong move could mean paralysis and a wheelchair for life. That's the same instruction DH received from the same neurologist close to a year ago -- because of ONE disc in this precarious situation. The neurologist actually didn't get that far with me because he wants to run more tests; I suppose it's possible he could tell me NO exercise and to get in a wheelchair now so I don't really screw myself up -- LOL -- would I even notice?

So, now I know why my back hurts so badly all the time -- and I do NOT feel guilty about it. It's NOT my imagination, it's NOT caused by depression, it's NOT because I'm faking it, or because I'm lazy (as my brother insists on every rare instance he has time in his busy life to have anything to do with me). In fact, I'm LAMINATING these test results to show doctors that I am NOT DEPRESSED but have a REAL, EXTREMELY SIGNIFICANT, PHYSICAL INJURY causing INDESCRIBABLE PAIN which it is INHUMANE not to properly manage with appropriate pain medications.

But it was a huge shock and really threw me off Thursday and Friday. I didn't even need my usual pain medication (which is not NEARLY enough for this type of injury!) Friday because I was actually having physical symptoms of shock and just felt numb from the news. I certainly could have received far more useless news, and I realize this will be very useful, but it's still an awful lot to digest right now.

Meanwhile, we are continuing the MRI investigation looking for signs of MS because the neurologist still thinks it's worth considering -- or at least worth completely ruling out since we've come this far already. The brain and cervical spine will be done with and without contrast next Tuesday morning, right before an appointment with my PCP, after which I will be immediately leaving town for Michigan to see a doctor willing to prescribe REAL pain meds -- and thankfully, I now have something to show her besides my diagnosis of fibromyalgia that shows her just how badly I need them!

For those who are wondering, there has still been no MRI of the breast for the still growing "lump," which now feels more like half a slice of bologna. I need to do another major rant on this particular subject, but I swear Illinois must be where everyone who nearly flunked out of medical school comes to practice. However, I'm actually much less concerned about the breast issue at this point. If that's breast cancer, based on my other breast symptoms, it's IBC, the 95% fatal kind WITH treatment. And unfortunately, the treatment for that is always chemo and radiation first before surgery -- and I will not do chemo with odds that low. Cut anything off of or out of me you want to, but I have no interest in wasting the last few months of my life just to die looking like a concentration camp victim and feeling like crap, in order that everyone else can say, "At least, she fought really hard." I've already fought really hard, darn it, while none of the dipstick doctors in this area were listening, and if people don't already realize that, then screw them. The only reason for a diagnosis there would be to give my husband what he needs for a lawsuit -- and if I suddenly die, I guess he'll get that from an autopsy, now won't he?

Thanks to all of you for your support.

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