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The Knee Needle

By M Davies   /     Dec 08, 2017  /     Medical Issues  /     0 Comment

I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with me.

Wait. Let me back up, because that’s an open ended question and the answer is always “a lot.”

My knee has been clicking since August. I don’t know why or what happened to produce the clicking, but here we are. Every time I walk up a flight of stairs it clicks after ever single step. You can hear me coming at least a mile in away and my career as a serial killer is now ruined.  Thanks Obama.

Anyway. After polling my friends, I decided to see a specialist. About 3-4 weeks ago I saw an Orthopaedic specialist. The actual spelling of “Orthopaedic” feels unnatural to me, just like my experience at this doctor’s office. I will preface this post and say that if you know me well enough, I’ve seen the same doctor in the past, around 2005 and he fixed up a broken ulna for me. He has an odd bedside manner and sense of humor, WHICH I TOTALLY APPRECIATE.

All signs point to a torn meniscus or some kind of awful knee thing that requires rehab or surgery, but he can’t prescribe any of that shit until he does “A PROCEDURE” first to satisfy my insurance’s needs. Fine, whatever. Except its actually not fine according to my body. (what I’m about to say is probably 1000000000% exaggeration because I hate medical procedures) He comes in with a 12 inch needle that he proceeds to jam into my knee cap without warning. Not only did it feel like an alien probe, but I didn’t mentally prepare myself for a needle that day. I circled the drain on the procedure table. I started hearing things and seeing spots. All color drained from my face. I saw angels hovering over my body calling me home. Oh the joy of having vasovagal syncope.

After the dagger was removed, and upon noticing my ghost like appearance, a nurse came into the room and asked if I wanted smelling salts. What are smelling salts? NO IDEA. I imagined it was something like bath salts (the kind you snort and not soak your feet in). I declined and asked to lay down and have cold water to drink. After about 10 minutes, I was able to get up and move around. I was alone – 30 minutes from my house – and was allowed to drive back home. I felt drained and limped around the rest of the afternoon.

Reflecting back on this experience weeks later, it made me remember my tolerance scale of medical procedures. Getting a knee needle, or whatever the fuck the official scientific medical term is, reminded me a lot of getting an epidural. It feels like an alien probing your body. Someone is jamming a long needle in your body and its the most weird uncomfortable feeling ever. I have a follow-up appointment next Thursday. I’m terrified of getting another one of the alien knee probes. My knee is still clicking ALL. OF. THE. TIME. It’s all that is occupying my thoughts all of the time. I wake up and think “Oh shit, only  6 days until they jam a huge ass needle into your leg today!” I think about it so much that I actually get nauseated because I’m a weirdo sadist.

In talking to a friend from High School, I decided that I will make a “Knee Needle” bucket in my life. Anything I hate gets a needle straight up in the knee. Taking out the garbage? KNEE NEEDLE. Winter months? I’m jamming a dagger into your leg. Playing Nickelback music much? Bitch please, I will Lieutenant Dan you.

 

I don’t know. I just need to get through next Thursday. This helps?

Maybe?

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Migraines, Deviated Septums and Lack of Sleep…Oh my!

By M Davies   /     Apr 03, 2015  /     30 Day @Neilbytes Blogging Challenge, Medical Issues  /     1 Comment

I’ve been under the care of the neurologist since last September for my recurring migraines.  I’m actually experiencing one right now…joy!  It feels like it could be sinus related, but it also could be the fact that I’ve been up since 1:30am and I’m too tired to think.  I let the prescribed medicine figure it out for me so I don’t have to.  I’m on a pina colada of medication which I take at the onset of the headache.  Somedays, when I get one, I get these weird eye flash things that render me blind.  My only option when this happens is to close my eyes and wait until it passes.  What does it look like?  Well, like this…

 

Scintillating_scotoma_interpretation

 

 

Flashy flashy flashy flashy.  According to Wikipedia, this phenomenon is called  “scintillating scotoma”.  Usually, when I see one of these bad boys pop into my field of vision, I know that a migraine is imminent.  There’s nothing I can do but try to head it off with a pass with the medication.  Although there’s nothing I can take that will stop the eye flashes specifically.  It is possible to get the migraines without the flashes.  There’s no rhyme or reason as to why the flashes appear sometimes and other times do not.  Luckily, my current migraine had no eye flash associated with it.  Just pain.

 

In doing all of the tests required by my doctors, I found out that I have a deviated septum which may or may not be causing me to snore like a water buffalo and wake myself up throughout the night.  The snoring may also be coming from sleep apnea.  There’s only one way to know for sure…a sleep study…which is what I’ll be doing on Monday.  During.  The.  Day.  It was the quickest appointment they could get me in for and to assist with the day sleeping, they are drugging me up with 2 Ambien.  Swell.  I’ve never been for one of these type of tests before, but I’m told it’s harmless, its just very difficult to sleep with the amount of machines and wires they hook up to you.  (And during the day)

 

The deviated septum and/or sleep apnea is affecting the quality of my sleep.  The lack of quality sleep is causing the migraines.  Everything is supposedly related.

 

I’m not sure what the next steps will be after the tests, but from a few friends I learned that getting a CPAP may be an option.  What’s a CPAP?  An ugly ass mask that forces your airways open so you don’t snore and wake up throughout the night.  It’s not sexy.

 

Would you want to sleep next to this?

 

CPAP-Mask

 

It’s enough to frighten small children away.

 

We’ll see what happens, but for now, I’m going to lay down in a dark room with my Amerge and Naproxen Sodium.  Weeeee.

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I passed (out)

By M Davies   /     Oct 03, 2012  /     Medical Issues  /     1 Comment

I got back not too long ago from my testing at the Geisinger Heart Hospital.  Gesinger’s tag line is “Redefining Boundaries”.  They certainly redefined the boundary between consciousness and unconsciousness for me, so I guess this means that the test and tagline are both a huge raging success.  If you want to call it that.

 

This test was easily one of the worst experiences of my life and I’ve had some pretty bad ones.

 

The test started out ok, after all of the devices were connected.  I was hooked up to a pulse ox monitor, a blood pressure cuff, an IV, and an EKG machine.  The IV and the blood pressure cuff were on the same arm.  Every time the blood pressure cuff went off it would squeeze the IV which would make me want to crawl out of my skin.  I hate needles and I hate IVs, the thought of one being put in my arm and then squeezed to death made me want to vomit alone test notwithstanding.  Next, I was raised from a vertical laying down position to a 70 degree angle.  I thought to myself, “This is it?  I can do this. No problem.”  And there wasn’t a problem except for my stomach growling.  They made me fast 4 hours prior to the start of the test so I was hungry and thirsty.  Then about 15 minutes in.  That’s when all hell broke loose.  I started feeling like death.

 

Imagine being strapped to a table and feeling like you are going to die.  You are sweaty, your hearing gets very faint.  You feel like you are outside of your body.  Your vision gets all sparkly, you want to lay down and close your eyes and hope for death.  You beg the nurses to let you lay down and start freaking out because you are sure death is near, but the nurses refuse because that is what the test is all about.  So yeah, I was freaking out.  I had a panic attack and shortly thereafter I passed out.  I do not recall passing out.  The nurses said I was out for a few seconds.  They took their readings and allowed the IV to do its magic and returned the table to the laying/vertical position.  It was horrifying.  I was shaking and crying after I woke up.

 

They somehow determined that the fainting was vasovagal syncope.  I don’t want to sound mean or rude because the nurses and doctors involved were absolutely great, but… I already knew this.  This is not news.  A few years ago, I was having Owen tested for allergies in the other hospital’s lab.  I was helping the lab techs hold Owen down and I must have locked my legs into a position that stopped blood flow.  I went down like a ton of bricks.  He survived the bloodwork fine, me on the other hand, I was being wheeled to the ER before I even knew what the hell happened.  Dr. Litchtman (the one from the commercials) diagnosed me with vasovagal syncope and send me on my way after she did all of the tests. My whole thing with why I went for this test was….why do I feel like I’m going to faint ALL of the time any more.  Once in a while I can handle, but all of the time is not good.  Ugh.  I don’t know.  I guess they are going to read my tests and get back to me.  In the meantime, I have a fun little holter monitor that I’m wearing for the next 24 hours.

 

This holter monitor thing is a pain in the keyster. It’s constantly hooked to me and I can’t shower with it on.  I have this little thing that has to hook to my belt or stay in my pocket that saves all of the readings.  It’s cumbersome and annoying.  Now I know how it must feel to have one of those IFB things that all of the reporters use.  I also have a journal to record times and descriptions if anything weird happens.  I also have to write down if I’ve had anything caffeinated to drink.

 

I think I’m going to try to get some rest, I’m feeling pretty wiped after this whole ordeal today.

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Test Day

By M Davies   /     Oct 03, 2012  /     Medical Issues, Misc/Crap  /     3 Comments

I’m about to leave to go for my Tilt Table Test.  I get fitted with a Holter Monitor later this afternoon.  I’ve had to fast for 4 hours.  I’m nervous, tired, hungry and most importantly, not pleasant to be around at this point.  Sorry world.  I’ll post an update as soon as I have more information.

 

I’m also planning some BlogCon posts, its just I haven’t been home much since … well…. I actually can’t remember…maybe last week some time?  I’m looking forward to having time off this week, you have no idea.  I have to collect my thoughts about the event and post them.  I’m getting there.  Bare with me peoples.

 

Wish me luck, or whatever.

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Something is technically wrong

By M Davies   /     Sep 18, 2012  /     Medical Issues  /     0 Comment

I’ve been having these dizzy spells lately and I don’t know why.  I am sure if “dizzy spells” is even the right way to describe it.  Sometimes the room spins, sometimes it doesn’t.  Most of the time I get a head rush and feel like I’m going to pass out.  I wouldn’t even care so much about being dizzy or practically wanting to faint, except now it happens when I drive.  I’ve had 3 separate lightheaded/on the verge of fainting spells while driving.  Two at night and one during the day.

 

I’ve had several episodes of vasovagal syncope throughout my life and I know what the signs are.  Lightheadedness, feeling warm, feeling disconnected from surroundings, etc.  This is what it feel like.  Like I’m going to die.  In most of the episodes I have experienced with fainting in the past, it usually happens due to getting blood drawn or my body overheating.  I am not doing any of those things when these symptoms come over me.  I’m doing normal things, like driving, standing up and walking and then sitting back down again.

 

I’ve been to the doctor three times since this has started.  I have a Geisinger doctor who really seems to be a sadist.  The first time I went with the complaint of dizzyness he told me to wait a month and if it was still happening, come back and maybe he’ll do something.  A month?  Are you kidding me?  After having another dizzy spell last Saturday morning combined with the two spells when I was driving in the last week, I called the telenurse who told me not to go to the ER (I was seriously considering going there) and to call my doctor and try to make a Saturday appointment.  I did, and got an appointment for 11:15.  In the event that I needed blood work, I stopped for Breakfast at McD’s.  I’m not a breakfast person, but I do love the breakfast burritos.  I also got a large orange juice.  In my past experiences, If I drink a large sugary drink such as OJ or Gatorade, I do better with blood work.

 

I ended up getting an order for blood work, but not for that day.  I had to make an appointment the following week.  I did get an EKG from the doctor on duty.  It came back abnormal and was sent to a cardiologist for review.  Props to the weekend doctor on duty for actually giving a damn about my condition.

 

I called and made an appointment for Monday morning for the blood work and to follow up with my normal doctor.  The blood work (4 different tests) all came back with normal results.  I repeated the EKG, again, the results came back abnormal again.  I also had very low blood pressure – 94 over whatever.  The doctor then requested I go for a bunch of follow up tests including a tilt table test and getting fitted with a holter heart monitor.  However, the doctor told me “do not drive until this gets resolved”.  I’m not really sure what that means.  2 weeks ago, he told me to wait and see for a month.  Now he doesn’t want me driving for another month until the tests are performed which is October 3rd, btw.  This is not possible.  I have school, events to plan, kids to get on the bus, work to commute to and I live in the sticks.  It’s not like I can just hitch a bus or a cab to where I need to go.

 

I don’t know what is wrong with me, but something isn’t quite right.  I think my body is broken.

 

Anyway, I’d appreciate some good karma thrown my way if you have any you can share.

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Why god? Why?

By M Davies   /     Apr 02, 2012  /     Medical Issues, The WTF File  /     0 Comment

Remember my dental fiasco over the summer?  Welp.  If you don't, head on over and read the post and I'll wait here until you come back.

……

Glad to see you're back.  Yeah, that tooth is infected….AGAIN.  Driving home after the Scranton Story Slam on Saturday night, I noticed that the left side of my mouth was extremely sore.  The pain reminded me of having a clenched jaw or grinding your teeth.  I didn't think it was a cavity or anything like that.  I immediately started to wonder if I should have Doc Hollywood paged to see if I could get some pain medications.  Something did not feel right.  I decided to take some Advil when I got home (it was 11:00ish when I got back to Sweet Valley) and hoped that it would clear up overnight. 

The Advil did absolutely nothing for the pain and it was more intense the next morning.  I decided that I better not fuck around with it, and had the dentist paged.  He prescribed me Tylenol 3 (with codeine) and Amoxicillin.  I am allergic to sulfa drugs (Bactrim) so I can't have any of the stronger antibiotics or I can get really sick.  Rich went and picked up the medications for me at CVS after they were called in… and I took them, but I was still feeling pretty sore.  Chewing was a problem, so the only thing I ate yesterday was soup. 

The dentist's office called me this morning and asked if I could come in for 2:30.  I checked with my boss who was ok with it, so I planned to leave around noonish.  A few minutes later, the dentist told me that something earlier opened up and they wanted to know if I could leave right then.  I checked with my boss again and he said no problem.  I left and took everything with me…I wasn't sure if I'd be back or not.  In the car, I raced up the Larksville Mountain and headed over to Trucksville.  The dentist took me back right away and started to do some X-Rays.  I gagged like 3 times because that's what I do and then I nearly barfed.

Of the 3 X-Rays he was able to take, nothing appeared out of the ordinary.  I tried to show him where the pain was coming from.  It is along the bottom left gum in the vicinity of where my root canal happened over the summer.  It wasn't necessarily the tooth itself, but the gum.  He sanded down my tooth thinking that my bite was off.  The adjustment did feel slightly better, but there was still pain.  And then that was it.  He lifted me back up from the chair and told me I needed to go to a specialist.  He referred me to (what I'm guessing) one of his other buddy dentists in Forty Fort.  I was referred for 2:30pm and they were nice enough to make a cleaning appointment for Friday the 13th.  LUCKY ME.

I headed back home to kill some time in the interim, and headed back out.  I was honestly scared shitless at this point.  The root canal experience was HELL, and that was with a bunch of gas and Novocaine, and I still felt every thing that was going on.  The new dentist, who specializes in only root canals, was extremely nice and caring.  He wanted to know who did my root canal – was it Dr. Asshole or "Jamie".  Jamie?  I didn't feel right calling my dentist by a pet name.  I shook my head and he said "Jamie?".  And feeling backed into a corner about the name, I finally said "Yes, Jaime."  He took 3 more X-Rays (my head is going to glow in the dark tonight!) which were as equally gag-inducing as the last set that were taken at Jamie's office.  The new specialist has an advanced X-Ray machine apparently, and he was able to tell right away that something was not right….and with the root canal tooth like I had thought.

It turns out, there is an abscess beginning to form directly under where the last root canal was.  It's becoming infected.  He tested this by pressing and wiggling my tooth and gums back and forth.  I nearly went through the ceiling.  YEAH OW.  YOU FOUND IT, NOW CUT IT OUT.

After spending nearly 600 dollars on my last root canal, I decided that when I got my new job I would opt for the secondary dental insurance as a back-up to my husband's existing policy.  His insurance kind of sucks and doesn't cover much apparently.  I flashed the two insurance cards like a champ and after their calculations this root canal should cost at most 50 dollars out of pocket.  WINNING.  However….he doesn't have gas in his office.  He numbs up the tooth and surrounding areas and that's it.  When he told me that, I was ready to cry right on the spot.  I barely made it through the last root canal, how am I going to make it through this one.  Can't they knock me out?  Hit me in the head with a rock?  A brick?  I'll even sign a waiver in my own blood that I won't sue.  Just please god, I do not want to be conscience for that again. 

At any rate, the root canal round #2 is scheduled for Wednesday at 11:30am.  Kill me now. 

In the meantime, the new specialist assigned me some super-duper hulk strength steroids.  I'm not really sure what the theory is behind this.  He says that it will help calm the tooth down so that it won't be uncomfortable to work on Wednesday.  I have been reading online about these little pills (six of which I have to take by the end of tonight).  Hooo boy.  I'm in for a fun week.  Side effects include:  Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); bloody, black, or tarry stools; changes in body fat; changes in menstrual period; chest pain; fainting; fever, chills, or sore throat; increased hunger, thirst, or urination; mental or mood changes; muscle pain, weakness, or wasting; seizures; severe nausea or vomiting; slow wound healing; stomach pain; sudden, severe dizziness or headache; swelling of the feet or legs; tendon, bone, or joint pain; thinning of the skin; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual skin sensation; unusual weight gain; vision changes or other eye problems; vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

I'm really excited about the coffee grounds vomit especially.  I guess it is to be expected when you are on a drug that has "meth" in the name.  Methylprednisolone to be exact.  Gesundheit!

I didn't sneeze.  Oh wait, it must be the mental or mood changes kicking in.  The voices in my head are carrying on a conversation.

I headed over to CVS after all of that to pick up my prescription and found out that my husband's health insurance policy was canceled.  What the .. … .. . ???  Apparently, someone at the company decided to conveniently "forget" to send in the check to Blue Cross.  This happened yesterday when he stopped by to pick up the prescriptions that Doc Hollywood a.k.a. "Jamie" called in.  The company assured us that it was taken care of.  Guess what?  It wasn't.  I had to pay double what I normally would for the scripts.  The HR person said that we are able to expense whatever expenses were not picked up by the insurance for the medications.  Gee ya think?  Needless to say I was not pleased, and still am not.  Good thing I wasn't in a major car accident or something and need to be admitted to the hospital. 

"SORRY, Mrs. Davies, I know you are dying, but your insurance card is coming up expired.  We're going to have to wheel you out into the street until this issue gets resolved with the insurance company."

"Over my dead body you will….oh wait…."

There are the voices again.

I guess I should probably lay down and get some rest.  Today sucked. 

 

I'll be posting my Blog Fest recap tomorrow hopefully.  As usual, I'm the last one.

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