Sunday Coffee – Medical Chaos

Oy, what a week! Jason and I are definitely showing our 40s by having our bodies crumbling bit by bit, heh. Here’s how the last week has gone in our house:

1 – Jason slips and falls down a few stairs at work, landing heavily on his thigh and putting him out of commission for a bit.

2 – Jason comes home from work early because of a really bad toothache under one of his crowns. He sees a dentist, who says he has an abscess and needs the crown removed and a root canal performed. Only an endodontist can do this, so they refer him to one. But she turns out not to be covered by our insurance (a complete shame, because I can testify from personal experience that she’s the very best in town), so he had to call out to the only endodontist that IS covered. Unfortunately, they don’t have any appointments open for a week, and that’s just for the consult. In the meantime, Jason has been working from home, living on ibuprofen, with half his face swollen cartoonishly and in immense pain. Sigh. (Notably, the good endodontist could have seen him THAT SAME DAY, rather than making him wait a week.)

3 – I got the results of my autoimmune and inflammation blood panel done last week. My inflammation markers are off the charts high as usual, and I’m testing positive for autoimmune antibodies on multiple tests. On specific disorder tests, though, I test negative. My non-medical interpretation of this data is, “Why yes, you’re right, you DO have some kind of autoimmune disorder though we have no idea what it might be at present.” Then my doctor wrote and said that it could be a false positive, or a result of chronic inflammation (cause unknown), or something viral, or maybe an indicator of an autoimmune disorder developing in the future. Nothing to do now but wait and test again in the future, she said. But that feels a lot less pro-active than I like. And frankly, it’s not like we tested for every specific autoimmune disorder – we just ruled out the main ones. Not sure what my next steps are supposed to be. Might be time to graduate to a specialist.

4 – The day after I got those results, I went in to see my PCP about this ganglion cyst on my left wrist. It started as a pea-sized lump that felt as hard as bone, popping up suddenly on January 14th. I’ve never had one before, I’d had no trauma on that wrist, and I hadn’t even exercised on it that day. There was no real reason it should appear. At first, it didn’t hurt or anything, but each day it grew. I had to stop doing any yoga poses that are on hands and knees, like cat-cow, because bending my wrist back at 90 degrees was painful. Then I had to stop doing poses like downward dog because bending my wrist back at any angle was painful. Now, it hurts to do regular activities like turning doorknobs or driving my car, and even bending my hand forward pulls on the cyst painfully. I knew exactly what it was, but had to see my PCP for a referral. He took one look at it and said, yep, that’s a ganglion cyst, and referred me out to an ortho specialist. I’m waiting for a call to schedule that consult next, so they can figure out if this now-marble-sized cyst can be removed with local anesthesia or if it extends back toward my elbow where I can’t see it and I need full-on surgery. Either way, yoga is currently out of the picture and I’m babying my wrist. At least it’s my left hand…

5 – My sister and I trade health updates regarding insomnia, because we both have the same kind and it started for both of us when we were exactly 32 years 6 months old. We figure that if one of us finds a working solution, the other might benefit. She recently had a second sleep study (the first one told her nothing), and I asked her about her results. Turns out the study was a waste of her time. The doctor claimed that her results showed no wake-ups at all. She told him that she absolutely did wake up. He claimed that sometimes our perceptions can be different (aka she can’t tell the difference between shallow sleep and actually being awake). She explained that at one point during the night, her phone alarm went off. She had to yell to the tech that she’d forgotten to turn off the alarm, then get out of bed, walk over to the dresser, and turn off the phone. Clearly, she was awake. The doctor’s response was, “Oh.” He did some digging and found that there were things missing from her results. And then he diagnosed her insomnia as idiopathic (meaning “we can’t determine a reason for this”). Neither of us has any faith in sleep studies anymore.

(As a side story, my mom also had a sleep study done once. The terrified tech ran in several times in the night and woke her, because his monitors kept saying her heart stopped and she’d lost all brain function. While she was clearly breathing and alive. Makes you feel even more confident about sleep studies, yeah?)

In better medical news, I FINALLY received my Lumen this week! I ordered this little lady back in November 2018. It was supposed to come last May…then last July…then late last summer…then sometime in the fall…etc. Anyway, it finally arrived. I set it up and did my calibration day (pic), and have been doing fasting morning tests as well as pre/post exercise tests every day. I’m a little disappointed in one thing – originally the Lumen was supposed to give you your actual basil metabolic rate each day, as well as if your metabolism was burning primarily carbs or primarily fat. Now, it’s just doing the latter. I really wanted a look at my BMR and wouldn’t have purchased this otherwise. But we’ll see how it ends up affecting my health over time. Once I’ve been using it for a month or so, I’ll do a full review.

That’s about it for the week. Kind of a smashing way to begin February, no? At least this week has some really awesome events scheduled!

***PS: We also got some worrisome news from Morrigan late in the week, which is not helping stress levels. Please keep him and us in your thoughts if you will.

About Amanda

Writing. Family. Books. Crochet. Fitness. Fashion. Fun. Not necessarily in that order. Note: agender (she/her).
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2 Responses to Sunday Coffee – Medical Chaos

  1. gricel d. says:

    I developed insomnia a few years ago as well. I have a strong suspicion it’s tied to my hormonal issues, but nothing conclusive to date. After about a year and a half of taking melatonin, I’m starting to wean off and I’m sleeping okay-ish. I have a crazy set up that involves the pillows being just so, my diffuser going with a breathe blend, ASMR to fall asleep, and a mask called the IMAK eye pillow that puts pressure on my face and has actually been helping. Such a mess.

    Like

    • Amanda says:

      My problem isn’t so much falling asleep as STAYING asleep. My sister and I both wake up anywhere from the 2-4am area and can’t fall back asleep for several hours. Which of course doesn’t help because then it’s time to get up anyway. I look back over my journals and blog posts since the insomnia became full-time in 2011, and I know that hormones and eating low-carb are a big part of why it continued. Originally, it started to resolve after about 4 months, but then a month later I began eating low carb, clean-eating-only, and it came back. Then a few years later, I managed to get it under control with magnesium-citrate supplements, but the wreck that was our year in Boston destroyed that. And now it’s just one sleeping pill after another. Ugh. My neurologist literally said, “Well, I don’t know what to do with this. I can’t think of anything.”

      Like

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