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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spinning Again

Remember "round and round she goes -- Where she stops, nobody
knows"? Well, the roulette is spinning again, and I don't know
if it will ever stop.

In regards to a medical diagnosis, I recently ask, "Could it be,
really?" The answer is, no. It's not.

I had two clinic appointments yesterday. At 10:00, I saw Dr. D.
At 11:45, I had an appointment with Dr. E. Then I went to the
lab for blood tests.

Dr. D. is, ironically, the vitamin d specialist. He works for
the rheumatology department. My interpreter for this
appointment went to Dr. E.'s office. This was a problem since
the two doctors don't even work in the same city. So I had no
interpreter for that appointment. I had to rely on my mother,
and I missed most of what was going on.

Dr. D. thinks the vitamin d deficiency is a symptom, not a
cause. If vitamin d was the answer, I'd be having bone pain.
My pain is clearly trigger point muscle and tendon pain. Just to
be sure, he did a blood test. The results came back fast and
normal. It isn't bone pain.

He still believes that vitamin d replacement may help me feel a
little better. So I will be starting on supplements soon. In
the meantime, we are still looking for a proper diagnosis.
(sigh)

Based on my symptoms, DR. D. thinks I have Fibromyalgia. He
says this is related to poor sleep. He wants to do a sleep study
and try to get me on better sleep medication. He feels that the
pain will decrease if I could increase the quality of my sleep.

I left Dr. D.'s office feeling disappointed and dejected. It's
like losing hope all over again. For some reason, Fibromyalgia
seems like a scary way to go. I know many people who have the
disease. Some of them do okay. But it still terrifies me.

We headed to Dr. E's office for my next appointment. He's the
orthopedic and upper extremity expert. He did my elbow surgery
last year and has been following up on my new problems.

Dr. E. doesn't agree that I have Fibromyalgia. He could feel
swelling in my shoulders and elbow. He thinks it's Bursitis.

A bursa is a liquid filled sac like thing that prevents friction
between bones and muscles or tendons. You find them in places
that move, like shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. Bursitis
results when bursa gets inflamed. This can often be caused by
repetitive stress trauma.

I'm not sure about this diagnosis, or the other one, for that
matter. One point for Fibromyalgia is that certain spots hurt
more when you apply pressure. That is a top symptom. Plus, I
am always tired. But I don't have headaches much and no trouble
with my menstrual periods.

The swelling in my shoulders and elbow does point to Bursitis.
But that might be from all the exercise I've been doing in OT and
at home. The pain is not just in my rotor cuffs. It extends
down my upper back and around the traps muscle and under my arm
pits. Dr. E. said that does happen with Bursitis.

He gave me three Cortisone shots. First came my right elbow.
I've had shots in a different tendon in that elbow. With this
location, however, he can only do one shot. If it doesn't work,
I may need surgery. Repeated shots would be too risky.

The shot was complicated by a nasty scratch on that elbow. I
don't know if it was a reaction to the steroid patchers or a
badly placed bug bite. It itched horribly. I have poor itch
control, and I scratched the area raw.

Dr. E. had to use an alcohol wipe to clean the scab away before
he could do the shot. It burned so bad that I yelped and pulled
my arm away. I have received many shots over the past few years.
I know better than to move like that in front of an approaching
needled. I was lucky not to get hurt.

The elbow shot was rough, but I've had them there before and knew
what to expect. This was my first time getting one in my
shoulder. IT HURT LIKE HELL! He said it's so bad because it
goes into the bone. I screamed and started to cry. After the
second one, I was sweating and dizzy and thought I might pass
out.

My reward? One more needle. I had to go to the lab for a blood
test. Both Dr. D. and my genetic doctor wanted to do some new
blood tests. I was so worn out and sore when it was all over. I
really hurt from the shots and the usual pain.

The roulette just keeps on going. It's spinning, spinning
spinning... Will it ever stop?

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