Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The sigh heard 'round the world.

Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.

Oh, wait. Were you possibly interested in what happened at the special specialist today? Is THAT why you're here? Well, I'm not telling you. So there! =P

Okay, maybe I'll tell you a little about what happened. Then again, when have I been able to tell just part of a story?

Last night, I prepared for the worst. Not only did I pack a bag on the chance that I'd be sent right to the hospital to be admitted, but I also shaved my arms. "Ummm...Rob? Why did you shave your arms?" I'll tell you why. Y'see, the testosterone fairy was a wee bit generous when it came to my arms, and I've come to know that removing an IV is infinitely more painful than having one put in.

But there's another, far more superstitious reason for doing these things. Every time I've feared a hospital stay, I've packed a bag and shaved my arms. The result is that I'm not admitted to a hospital at all. I now believe that if I were to leave my arms in "gorilla form" and not pack a bag would land me in the ER, waiting for a room to open up on some floor above me.

Becky and I were up bright and early to make the trip to this specialist, and I'm actually glad we left earlier than we went to the wrong place first. We went to the main hospital instead of the orthopedic clinic.

The visit started with a bit of fun. A form had been sent to me in the mail. On it were various columns to list my medications. I'm accustomed to listing my meds, including the dosages. But this form asked WHY I was taking each med, and to describe what it looked like. So I started with my long acting insulin, Lantus. Reason taken? "Fun." Shape and color? "Rhomboid and plaid." (Shhh! I know plaid isn't a color.) When I listed my Zoloft, I put my reason for taking it as, "Stops me from killing myself." I followed this with Xanax and its reason, "Stops me from killing others." =P

The nurse got a kick out of my answers. I explained that I was under enough stress with this whole thing, and that I was going to take my frustrations out on something. Better it be a silly form than the staff, right?

The nurse was followed by a rather attractive PA. I was most amused when she came in, pointed to my right foot, and asked, "We're seeing you for this foot?" I should have said, "Nah. That foot's fine. It's my shrinking left foot that has me worried." Instead, I just said, "Good guess." Then I almost immediately jumped into my fears of what's been going on, and how I'd prepared myself for a possible extended stay in the hospital. She stated that such a thing wasn't probable, to which I replied, right in front of Becky, mind you, "You might be very attractive, but I'm not buying it!"

Why the PA came in at all was beyond me. She looked at the foot, we had a bit of brief banter, and then I was hustled off for even more x-rays. The doctor wanted weight-bearing pictures to see if the bones were aligned.

In short order, the vaunted specialist arrived, and was ALMOST sure of his diagnosis. Apparently, there is a vast difference between Charcot-Marie-Tooth's disease and Charcot arthropathy. All of this time, I thought I had the former, and it's the specialist's opinion that it's the latter. And if you looked at those links, there's a BIG difference between them and their respective treatments.

But before we went on, I expressed my great concern over the possibility of osteomyelitis. It seemed rather foolish, to me, anyway, that I MIGHT have it, yet no one was doing anything about it. Well, the doc was almost sure there was no reason for concern, but was willing to do something about the stress that possible infection generated in me. He's ordered a radiology test in which my blood is infused with a radioactive substance that will head right for infection by using my own white blood cells. I'll be handling that one ASAP.

Meanwhile, it was time for treatment, which is a full-contact cast. I wear this for two weeks and hope that the immobilization of the foot helps to reduce the swelling. Then I go back to have a new cast put on. And so it will go, until the doc says all is as well as it can be...and then he'll fit me for a brace that will hopefully help me avoid further damage to the foot.

So there it is. That's about all I have, with the exception of some humor with my father afterward, but that'll have to wait. This whole thing's been emotionally draining, and I need sleep.

Be well, all, and DFTBA!

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