Lions, tigers, and bears, OH MY!

I know, I know, I’m a bad girl. I haven’t been using LJ much lately. It gets all my twitter entries, but that’s about it. I have a desire to write.. but then I get frustrated and never do. Feel free to smack me, throw things at me, whatever you deem necessary. 😉

Let’s see. What’s been up in my world? Lots of doctor’s appointments, mostly. Literally at least 1 a week, since the first full week of April. Ten (11, but really 10 “real” appointments) doctor/dentist visits total … so far. I still have more to come before May ends! Some were pre-planned/good visits. Like my 3 appointments to get the Supartz injections in my knees. One was a total waste of time – the gyn appt I already detailed here (password protected). Four of them were with my heart doctor, as was the “extra” appointment I mentioned. The remaining two appointments were with the dentist – one a pre-planned cleaning, the other an emergency appointment. Upcoming appointments include follow-ups with the knee doctor and the dentist.

The knee appointments weren’t too bad. Three weeks in a row of going in to get an injection in both knees. The shots can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to cause noticable improvement, so I’m not expecting much yet. Right now, my knees aren’t causing much pain, but they are pretty crackly. The left one especially likes to go snap, crackle, and pop on me. They also feel unsteady, like they could just bend backwards at any moment. I’m hoping this passes pretty quickly, and the injections start to take effect.

The heart doctor – well, as I’ve mentioned before, I have extra heart beats. Due to being unemployed at the time, I wasn’t able to have my annual heart ultrasound done last year. I called up and made an appointment to have the ultrasound – even specifically stated I needed an ultrasound. I go for my appointment to find out that it’s only an office visit. Grr. The doctor decided he wanted me to wear a holter monitor again, to see how my PVCs were doing. So I had to go back a week later to have my ultrasound done, and to have the holter wires attached. The ultrasound looked good – the “mild leakiness” of my mitral valve from my first ultrasound 2 years ago has decreased – it’s only “trace” leakage now. That’s a good thing. The heart walls are slightly thick – mine are at a 1.0, and .9 is typically the high-end of thickness for women. But, that thickness hadn’t changed at all in the last two years, so that’s also a good thing. After my ultrasound, I had the holter attached, and had to endure 24 hours of unbelievable itchiness from those danged adhesive pads. Thankfully, nothing incredibly insane happened this time while I was wearing the monitor! My “extra” appointment was the next day – I just had to drive up to the doctor’s office the next day during lunch to have the wires removed and turn in the holter monitor.

A week later I had to go in to get the results of my holter – this time around I had @ 17,000 extra heart beats. (The first time I had the holter, it was over 14,601 extra beats.) He gave me another type of medication, since the only thing the first one did was make me fall asleep. I was on that medication for @ two weeks, until I had my follow-up appointment on last Thursday. I started w/1 week on a half dosage, and then 1 week on the prescribed dosage. After a week, I was supposed to double that again. (And keep doing that a few times, till I was taking about 4x the dosage on the bottle.) This medication doesn’t make me drowsy, but it does make me incredibly dizzy. Dizzy enough that I was starting to be afraid of driving. I mentioned this to him, multiple times during the appointment, but he wants me to just stay on the meds, and try to increase the dosage again. As dizzy as I’ve been, I don’t see this working out well. It was only a minor dizzy on the half dose, but was pretty nasty on the full dose, more vertigo than just disequilibrium. The doctor seemed to dismiss that the dizziness was related to the meds, even though it states right on the prescription bottle “may cause dizziness”. I do have Ménière’s disease, though, so there IS the tiny possibility of it being a very highly coincidentally timed Ménière’s attack. I doubt it, though, since I don’t have any of the other symptoms I typically get during an attack. But, to be sure, I’ve decided to stop the medication for now, and let it work it’s way completely out of my system. Once the dizzy spells have ceased, I’ll make attempt #2 at taking the meds. If I end up dizzy all over again, then it is definitely related to the meds and we’ll have to try a different med, again. I go back to see him in 3 months to follow up on how I’m doing with the meds.

As I stated before, the last 2 appointments were with the dentist. The first one was just my 6-month cleaning, so it was no biggie. I also knew it would set up more appointments, but that didn’t happen at the time. On May 2nd, while eating lunch, I took a bite of my Subway sandwich, and the top left cuspid flared with pain. But, the sandwich was extremely cold, and it felt like more than just the one tooth hurt – so I dismissed it as biting into an almost icy cold chunk of meat. That happened once more while I ate, and that was it. No more pain … for a few days. At work on the 5th, I was snacking on some honey nut Cheerios. I bit down on one, and BOOM! Intense pain flared in that tooth again. While Cheerios are crunchy, they aren’t particularily hard, so I knew it was the tooth starting to act up. But it only hurt that once, for just a few minutes. I figured it’d be okay, and I could call the dentist later in the week or something. Wrong. After work, mom & I had pizza for dinner. I took my first bite, and intense pain blossomed in my mouth. The kind of pain that literally has you howling – loudly. After the pain settled, I attempted a second bite (just to test it) and ended up screaming loudly in pain again. I tried to take it, and attempted to eat without using that side of my mouth, but it didn’t work well at all.

After leaving a voicemail for my dentist, I ended up running off to Walmart to get some severe pain Orajel. Mom went with me, and found this stuff called Temparin to use as well. (I have holes in both of my upper cuspids, so we figured if I could fill it, I could maybe be in less pain until I could get into the dentist.) It hurt like Hades to put the Temparin in because the tooth was so freaking sensitive to any kind of pressure, but once it was in, and combined with the Orajel (and a hydracodone ma gave me), I was able to get the pain under control to where I was even able to eat and drink. The next morning, after the hydracodone wore off, the pain was barely controlled with the Orajel. Lucky for me, though, my dentist was able to get me in before lunch time. Two hours and a root canal later, I was back to work. The tooth had become abscessed, hence all the extreme pain. They didn’t do a 100% complete root canal – after drilling out the diseased part of the tooth and injecting it with meds, they decided to leave it open, and they will seal it when I come back in to get the crown. That way, if the infection doesn’t go away, they don’t have to do a lot more work to get in and work on it. So, I have my temporary crown for now, and go back in another 2 weeks to get the permanent one. I’m going to schedule the appointment for my other cuspid then — I don’t want to risk that getting to the same super pain point before I have the needed root canal on it, too.

So, yes. As I said, that’s pretty much been my life the last month & half – doctors and dentists, oh my!

Why do some doctors have to be so impossible?

I had Friday off work, so I had scheduled a couple of doctor appointments – one for my knees, the other for my female problems with a brand new doc. (Don’t worry, I’ll cut tag when I get to that part.) Both doctors are located in the professional suite at the local hospital — in fact they’re at opposite ends of the hall from each other. So getting from one office to another would be nice and easy, as long as the first appointment didn’t go over. First appointment was at 10AM, the second at 11:45AM, but they wanted me there by 11:15AM since I’m a new patient.

My knee doctor appointment was to get the first in a series of 3 shots to each knee. Since mom & I weren’t sure how my knees would react to the shots, she volunteered to drive me to the hospital and drop me off, then come back up there at 12:15PM to pick me up. That way, if my knees DID decide to seize up (like they have in the past with the steroid injections), I wouldn’t have to worry about attempting to drive. And, she wasn’t stuck all day at the hospital with me, waiting. She might have to wait for me a little to finish up with the second doctor, but we figured it wouldn’t be too terribly long (especially since it was close to when they break for lunch!).

We left so that I would get there about 15 minutes before my appointment with the knee doc. That left me time to run down the hall and drop off my new patient questionnaire with the other doc, and still make it to the knee doc right on time. I walked into the knee doc’s office with 2 other families. This made me a little paranoid that my timing would be off and I’d be late for the second appointment, but I didn’t need to worry. I got in there, had a brief wait, then it was back to an exam room where I waited a little more. After a quick examination of my knees, it was time for the shots. The ones I’m getting now, as I said, are in a series of 3 per knee, and I’m getting both knees done at the same time. The brand of injections is Supartz, not Euflexxa as I thought it was going to be – but either way, they accomplish the same thing of replacing the synovial fluid that is lacking in my joints. After both shots were administered, I paid and headed down the hall to the little lobby area near the elevators. It was only 10:45AM, so I still had 30 minutes until my next appointment. I was pleased that my planning the two appointments so close together didn’t backfire in my face! haha.

After killing time, I headed to the other doctor’s office. There was only one other person waiting, so that was encouraging. I figured that they had wanted me there early to fill out paperwork – the stuff that I’d already filled out and dropped off that morning. So if I had to wait another 30 minutes before going back because my paperwork was already done, I was cool with that. I had my book and settled in to wait. Well, I ended up getting called back early – probably about 11:20-ish. I went through all the normal pre-visit questions with the nurse as she went over my files, took my pulse and BP and all that fun stuff.

Quick aside – I forgot to mention that my heart doesn’t beat right before she took my pulse. It completely freaked her out at first that it was beating fast, then stopping, then starting again. Haha. She had to attempt to take it a second time, but the funky beats do make it difficult to take a 10 or 30 second pulse and multiply it out to a minute. *giggles*

Anyway, we get all that stuff, and she leaves the room, saying the doctor will be with me shortly. Since I’m in there so early, and the doctor is apparently already on her way, I decide to text mom and tell her to go ahead and come up a little early, maybe shoot for getting there @ 12 instead of 12:15. About 5 minutes later, the nurse comes back in and asks if the front desk had informed me that the doctor was doing a c-section that morning (no, they hadn’t), and to let me know that the surgery was running a little late, but the doctor would be down as soon as possible. The surgery part of the hospital is just a 5 minute walk from the professional offices, so no biggie. I was not annoyed that I’d have to wait a little more – but I was annoyed that I hadn’t been told that earlier, since I’d just told mom to come up earlier. I texted her again — she’d already left. Crap. Oh well, she said she’d still come up and wait.

So we wait – me in the exam room, mom out in the waiting room. And we wait. And we wait. Again, I’m not upset that I have to wait. If there an issue with the surgery, that’s much more important than me. I understand that. I had my book, so I just settled in and read. At one point, the nurse popped her head in to let me know that the doctor was done with surgery, and was rushing back to the office and would be in to see me shortly. It’s a bit after noon, so I’ve been waiting for about an hour at this point. I texted mom and let her know they told me the doctor would be in to see me shortly. The nurse came back in a few minutes later, and we determined that they had misplaced the medical records I had brought up at the beginning of the week. About 10 minutes later, she pops in again to let me know they finally found them.

I’m now expecting the doctor to be in at any time, since they told me she’d be there. But I sit there and wait. And wait. And wait. I start getting a little grumpy. (I later find out from mom that they took back another family while I was back there waiting. We believe the doc went and saw them FIRST, before coming in to see me. Even though my appointment was earlier than theirs.) Finally, around 1PM, I start texting mom, telling her if she wants to go get something to eat, it’s okay. She doesn’t have to wait on me to be done. At 1:07PM, mom finally agrees. The text she sent me said “Am going to get lunch. Nurse said she [doc] would be with you for about an hour.” I texted her back a minute later saying I still hadn’t seen the doc yet, so it’s fine for her to go eat. I get a response from mom at 1:10, saying “she told me she was on her way in to see you”. Right as I receive & am reading the text, the doctor walks in.

So, now it’s 1:10 PM, (Yes, the time is important) and I’m finally seeing the doctor. And this is where I’ll go ahead and cut-tag the entry, since it’s all about personal things & female issues. Female-related issues behind this cut tag! Be warned!!!!

Ramblings

It’s been 7 years today since my dad passed away. Sometimes, it feels like it’s been a lot longer. Other times – it feels like it was very recent. Lately, it’s been feeling very recent. In remembrance, I want to link to a post I made later that year – scans of a letter about my dad that we received in a Christmas card.

I am currently filling out some new patient paperwork for my ob/gyn appointment on Friday. There is a section listed as “Contraception: Which method do you use to prevent pregancy?” One of the choices I can pick from is “Female partner.” Now, yes, I know how biology works and all, and that 2 women can’t knock each other up. I just wasn’t aware that having a female partner was a FORM of contraception — like something you can pick up at the pharmacy counter. *giggles*

I have a dental appointment tomorrow – just a cleaning. But it’ll set up another long series of dental appointments. I have to have work done on both of my upper cuspids, as well as a molar or two. Ugh. Friday, in addition to my gyno appt, I have the first in a series of Euflexxa shots in my knees. I’ll have to get those the next 3 weeks in a row. I hope they don’t hurt too bad.

I’m .. rambly tonight, but I don’t have anything to ramble about. Not really.