Medical mystery but with plenty of clues

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infinite
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 7/11/2009 11:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello,
I really wish I had searched for a site like this a long time ago. I will try to be as accurate with past issues and current symptoms, in the hopes that someone here has had the same.
 
I broke my back at 17 and had a fusion done at 18 at the L5 level. Roughly 6 years after that I blew out some discs. As my Dr. was attempting to inject the dye for whatever test that requires, 1 of the 36 attempts to get in around the fusion bone mass gave me a staph infection in my spinal column. It makes it very difficult now to tell a medical professional what my pain is on a scale of 1 to 10, because until they finally got the infection and excess fluids drained I cannot imagine ever being in more pain than I was for nearly a month in the hospital.  Around a year after that I was in an auto accident where ultimately it was discovered that I had broke a couple of vertebrae in my neck, so that was fused too.
 
Fast forward to early April of this year. I started having extreme chest and abdominal pains. I was admitted to the hospital in late April after a bad bloody stool and in office tests confirmed blood in there and in the urine. During this stay I had x-rays and CAT scans, along with upper and lower scopes performed. All tests results were normal. Since then, I have had ultrasounds on most of my organs, a HIDA scan, continued urine testing and the capper for the internal tests, the one up the front of a guy - I don't recommend that one guys...
 
So, every one of these tests have returned normal. The clinic that did the up the front scope suggested I go see my back Dr. because they have seen pain radiate into the abdomen from back issues. So, I find my original Dr. has now retired but the practice has grown, and make an appointment to see one of the other Dr's. He has obviously read up on my history, and sends me to their x-ray lab where I have at least 15 more pics taken. After reviewing them, he orders a MRI of the back from the chest down. Once the results were returned, he said every disc from the mid back down is either diseased or "bad", and orders a nerve block at the L5 level. 
 
Yeah for me. I explained to the (different) Dr. that performed the block that I had a lot of bone mass build up at that level and told her about all the fun when they tried to inject dye. She gave one crack at injectiing it around the bone then decided to go at it through the tailbone - I don't recommend that either...
 
Anyway, around this same time my primary had refered me to a pain management clinic and the appointment there was a week after the nerve block was attempted. I say attempted because now not only did my abdomen still hurt but now my lower back and lower hurt a lot too. I have to say that I was very impressed with the visit to the pain clinic though. After a few get to know me questions with the nurse, I met with a PA that is going to make a fantastic Dr. After interacting with me about all that has gone on and then performing a bit of a physical, she stated she thought we were dealing with at least two separate issues. One of course being the back and the other being the intercostal nerves. She suggested we do an intercostal nerve block, and the Dr that I guess the appointment was actually made with (lol) agreed. So, she put me on a table, I laid on my side, she poked around until I jerked in pain, then she injected at those points.
 
A day or 2 later I woke up and felt pretty darned good. My spirits were improving and I was doing well. At least for a few weeks. about 2 1/2 weeks afterwards, I started regressing, slowly but eventually to the level where I was prior to the injections. I had another appointment already scheduled with them, so I just dealt with it until the appointment. The PA that I thought walked on water was at another office that day so I got to meet with the actual Dr. this time. Again, it was a pleasant appointment and he listened to me and answered all my questions. Problem is, he admitted he didn't know what was wrong, wanted to refer me to another Dr., and that he would try another set of intercostal blocks, but we could not keep doing this every 4 weeks.
 
Well, he went right along the ribcage and in the spots where I said I was hurting, instead of finding the hotspots like the PA did, and those injections never helped. When I called back to ask for the referal he had mentioned, he refered me to a GI specialist!  I questioned his nurse and made sure they had all the records of all the cameras that were put in me and returned as normal, and she checked again with him but he wouldnt waiver.
 
So, anyway, I contacted the Dr that did the upper and lower GI's in April and 1st order was to get blood drawn for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  After researching this I was a bit livid because I do not have one symptom or sign of IBS. The initial visit with pain manage ment and the physical therapist they sent me to all kinda made me feel this was a nerve issue, and originated from somewhere in my back. But, I have to go see this GI Dr. next week, cause that is what was refered and I don't want to mess with the insurance company. 
 
The major symptoms are a knotting, wrenching type pain in my lower right abdomen and also directly under my lower ribcage on the right side. The pain level ranges from a constant, dull , let you know it is there type pain to excruciating, eye-watering type of pain. I also have pain radiating up the side of my ribcage to my armpit. The chest pain is pretty much non-existent now. I have been on a plethora of meds along the way, but right now am only on Lyrica and Wellbutrin. I cut out the pain meds after the first intercostal block, though I often wish I had them now.
 
Well, thank you to those that read this, and I truly hope that I can find someone that has had similar experience here that could help me find a cause for all of this. The worst part is the way it has absolutely changed my life and lifestyle. That is the hardest part.  Even with all the back issues I am a pretty active guy. I liked long walks, golfing, and doing vehicle maintenance. I have to drive an hour to pick up my kids every other week, and that has been miserable. I also have been seeing a gal that lives an hour the other way, but I don't feel like going out or going to see her anymore. I pretty much have an I don't care attitude. That is not like me either. And it is pretty much tearing apart the relationship. I can type these words and understand them, but, I don't care - help me out, please!

kttn251977
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 554
   Posted 7/12/2009 6:00 AM (GMT -7)   
hi, welcome to the HW forum. you sure do have a lot going on. none of us are drs, so don't expect a diagnosis. at best someone may have the same symtpoms and chime in. i just wanted to say hello and welcome. i have had several injections/nerve blocks and mine at best would last a month. try not to overdue it, your body is telling you to slow down. at least until you have a diagnosis. maybe ask your pm dr about the nerve questions and why you weren't referred to a neurologist? good luck and keep us posted.
RX's: Oxycontin 80mg 2x's daily; Dilaudid 8 mgs 5x day; Zanaflex 4mg 3x's daily; Lyrica 100mg 3x's daily (pain & fibro.); Phenergan 25mg (as needed/nausea); Reglan 10 mg. (30 minutes before meal/nausea); Cymbalta 60mg 2x's daily (pain from fibro); Ambien CR (bedtime); Prilosec 30mg. & Senokot (as needed).
"The most critical choice you'll ever make is the one you make about what you're going to do with this. The past is over. The future hasn't happened yet. The only time is now."
- Dr. Phil


LLPLUV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 1158
   Posted 7/12/2009 7:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I also want to welcome you to HW forums. We are all here to help support you in any way you need.

Ok now onto you post. Have the doctors checked your kidneys? I mean really really checked them? The pain your describing I feel all day long and everyday. Only difference is my left side also hurts for both kidneys are effected. I also have back issues and they thought in the beginning that it was from my back. I have had 9 nerve blocks the last one was last Monday. I only get about a month or two relief but I'm happy for any relief so I continue with the blocks until new technology comes out to control pain.

All this could be coming from your back or the kidneys the pains seem to mingle anyhow. You already had a full GI workup..humm..I dont see where this doctor is going with your treatment..

I hope you find advice and possible solutions. Please stay with us and others will be along shortly with what they think

Laurie
Kidney Diseases and Disorders
              Moderator
 
39 yr young female with,
Chronic Kidney Stones, PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease), Chronic Kidney Failure, Severe Hypertension, Urological RSD

Also CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) and Sleep Apnea

Hopefully NO MORE........ I think I have it all


Draka
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 7/12/2009 7:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Gosh.... I am so sorry for what you are going through.... that's an awful amount of things to deal with...

I cannot offer advice or help..... just here to say "welcome" and lend an ear to listen....

infinite
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 7/12/2009 8:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Good morning to all, and thank you for the replies so far. I wanted to answer a few of the questions posed here. First of all, I understand there are not Dr's here and I apologize if I worded things to make it seem like that is what i was after. I really wanted to find a forum with other people that understand what it is like to be in pain and to help with the frustrations of not knowing why. To kttn's question about the referral, when I was questioning the nurse aboutwhy a GI Dr. I asked her to ask him about going to a neurologist. He didn't seem to think a neurologist would help, and insisted on me seeing the GI. To Lauries question about the kidneys, I am not sure what else could possibly be done to check them. I know they did all the blood work and the urologist checked both kidneys when he did the up the front scope. I feel the exact same as far as not knowing where we are going with this...I feel like a pin ball getting bounced from one Dr to the next.

Thanks to you all again for the welcomes and well wishes. I feel guilty about ever complaining about what is ailing me because I know there are those much worse off than I. Reading through a lot of the posts during yet another sleepless night last night, I see that there are a lot of varying degrees and areas of the body affected in the individuals here, yet it is a very welcoming and helpful community.

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 7/12/2009 10:16 AM (GMT -7)   
 
     Dear Infinite,
 
    Good Morning! My name is Dani. It is very nice to meet you.  :-)   I am very glad you found The Healing Well Community, even better the Chronic Pain forum... were cooler than the other rooms
  smilewinkgrin   I do hope you decide to stick around. We would love to get to know you better.  :-)
 
     I am sorry you are having to travel all over the place each week. I would be very tired and frustraited in you shoes. I don't really understand why you would be sent to .. doctor s for your #2 function.  You symptoms dont "sound" like the folks with issues there. It is common, however, to have issues with #2 originationg from some types of oral pain medicines. Atleast from what Ive noticed. But, I too, am new here......
 
     I feel guilty about ever complaining about what is ailing me because I know there are those much worse off than I.
 
     I hear this alot. I want you to understand something. All of our level 10 are the same, in that, they are the most extreme signals our bady has ever recieved. In other words, we are all equal when it come to pain. *huggs*  Welcome *huggs* stick around, think you ll like it alot here.
 
*huggs*
dani
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,  
And sorry I could not travel both  
And be one traveler, long I stood


Tirzah
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2279
   Posted 7/12/2009 11:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Infinite,
I wanted to share 2 thoughts with you.
First of all, when I was on Wellbutrin, it really upset my stomach at lot, so I suppose that is possibly contributing.
Second, I think it is good you are going to the GI. It is important that the PM feels that any disease has been ruled out. I think that is pretty standard b/c determining what is actually causing the pain apparently is not as easy as it would seem. My neurologist & PM put me through a bunch of tests before he started treating me. As for the injections, I think they are always a bit hit-or-miss. Even with the same person doing them every time, the results are not always equal. But I would think the same as you that it was promising that you got good relief from the injections. Unfortunately, he is right that you can't get them every month without causing long-term damage. I'm not sure what other services he offers, but maybe Radio Frequency Nerve Ablation would be an option for you. That's what I ended up having for my low back pain (I had pain at the iliac crest (those bones that stick out of your pelvis -- I always called them hip bones, but my doc says that's not the right term) and in my groin area. The RF was at L5 & S1 and got rid of the minor pain in my low back & the severe referred pain at the iliac crests & my groin & some of the pain going down my right leg.
Not all PM's do RF procedures & you may not be a candidate, but maybe it's something to keep in the back of your mind. Hopefully after the bloodwork comes back & your PM sees that you are being a good patient he will be willing to discuss more options with you.

blessings,
Frances
Moderator -- Depression Forum


infinite
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 7/12/2009 1:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello to Dani and Frances, and thank you for you warm welcomes. I am kind of a miserable guy, so I hope you feel the same way in the coming weeks, Dani! Anyway, to follow up on what you said, I don't understand right now why the GI visit this week either. I started on the Wellbutrin well after the abdomen symptoms started, so while I don't discount your feelings Frances, I do not think it relates to my symptoms. Of the many possible signs and symptoms of IBS, the #2 factor as you put it, is not an issue either, aside from the bouts I hve had twice as I mentioned above. And that was just blood, not any of the #2 issues one might experience.

It will be nice on the other hand to actually meet the GI Dr., as I only faintly remmeber him introducing himself as they were injecting the anesthesia (Hi, I am Dr. So-and-So, nice to meet you, we will be.... zzz zzz). I will totally agree with you Frances that the injections are a hit-or-miss procedure. I was feeling better, like in the 4 to 5 pain scale range instead of the 6 to 9 range. The pain management (I take it that is what you folks refer to as PM here?) Dr. als prescribed physical therapy, of which the best part is the electric stimulation, and the worst part is the stretching exercises. I will keep your suggestion in mind though, because I have a feeling that I am going to be pin balling back to the PM and/or back Dr's eventually.

The main thing I want is hope. My friends and family reach out and ask often what they can do to help and I tell them they are doing it right there - a simple note helps a lot. A good conversation with a medical professional also helps, and as I have read out here from a number of individuals, there is a lack of that out there. I appreciate your final comment Dani... the sinking feeling as issues drag out, and the feelings that I know I get that no one believes you since there isnt a bone sticking out somewhere, those are what I am here to hear about and share.

White Beard
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3609
   Posted 7/12/2009 4:11 PM (GMT -7)   
infinite
Have they done a thorough check of your Thorasic disc? You know I have had the injections in my intercostals and along the rib line and it did little for me. I have problems with my thorasic disc T 12 is herniated and I have bone spurs at T7/8 on one side and T8/9 on the other! Not to mention problems at T3. Anyway the thing is these disc can cause some of the abdomenal pain and discomfort you describe. There are so many things that can cause it! It sounds like your Doctor is just trying to rule some of these things out, which although you might question the validity of it, it really is a good thing to do! I do hope they can find the cause of your pain and discomfort, but in the mean time I am glad you found us here at this forum. Hang in there infinite, your not alone in this, we are all here to try and help and support you!
Goodl Luck to You

White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
I'm Retired USAF, went back to school and became an RN, and now am on full disalbility!--Degenerative Disc (affecting mostly the thorasic disc but all levels involved), C6/7 laminectomy/diskectomy& fusion, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications: Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV


skeye
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 7/12/2009 4:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi infinite,

Welcome to the CP board of HW! While I can't relate to your symptoms, I do understand what you are going through. It is unbelievably frustrating not to have a diagnosis! I too often refer to myself as a ping-pong ball, because I am constantly being bounced back & forth from doctor to doctor. Not a week goes by that I don't have multiple doctors appointments! Most of mine are well over an hour away, which makes them hard to fit in, since I am both working & in school. I'm just so worn out from it. The pain is bad enough, but being constantly shuffled back & forth, with no answers, and nothing that helps...it is exhausting!

I'm glad that you found this forum. It'll help you to feel not so alone!

Skeye

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 7/12/2009 5:22 PM (GMT -7)   
 
 
     Dear Infinite,
 
      the feelings that I know I get that no one believes you since there isnt a bone sticking out somewhere,
 
    I hear you there! I get odd looks all the time. Until recently, literally. I was treated same way for a very very long time.  smhair    Like we "want" to be there. 
 
 " No No really! I WANT to be in a small confined spaces with multiple strangers and machienes that cost more than my home. So much more exciting than...."
 
".... Of course were still friends after the bill arrives...."
 
scool   
*huggs*
dani
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,  
And sorry I could not travel both  
And be one traveler, long I stood


infinite
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 7/12/2009 9:40 PM (GMT -7)   
First of all, I can see why there was a thread dedicated to how you were doing White Beard - you are wise with your advice. When I visited with the Dr. he had the x-rays and MRI focus on those areas, and I have had CAT scans of that area with all of the GI testing that has been done. I really do not know what else could be done, and when the Dr. ordered the spinal block I think it was a reach on his part. I wish my original back Dr. would come out of retirement!

Basically what I was told was that there is 1 disc that is good from the chest down, and it was somewhere in the thoracic area. A factor I didn't throw in there, and a major reason I am very hard on myself, is that I have been a smoker most of my life. I quit again in April, ironically right around the time this all started. I have done some research, and I found out that all I was doing every time I "un-quit" was further damaging my already messed up back. Of all the decisions entirely in my control over the last half of my life, I definitely regret those to start smoking again the most. I am very happy now that I am over 3 months along, but I also realize that while I will improve any heart and lung damage over time, there is no natural way to improve what I have done to my back. But, knowledge is power, so if I ever think things will be solved by picking that habit up again, I will certainly have this thought bearing down.

Thank you for the welcome, skeye. I can certainly understand the having to make trips for these different Dr's. When I was early on in this I dreaded the trips to appointments that were an hour away because I knew I would be in misery upon returning home. And that was when i was taking prescibed pain meds. THe pain meds never did anything more than make me not care about the pain for an hour or two, all the while making me a bumbling idiot at work.

And, thank you again for your follow up Dani. That was the hardest line to type so far because it really hits upon my biggest problem (well, aside from the pain...). I hate that feeling that you get when you explain what you are dealing with, and you get that blank stare back like "umm, ok, sure". i always love it how nurses will ask you how you are doing today as you try to keep up with them as they walk you to the room - like, well, I would be doing a lot better if I didn't have to be here today...

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13451
   Posted 7/13/2009 9:09 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Infinte,

I too would like to welcome you to Healing Well. I am so glad you found us, however, we always hate to see one more person come along with chronic pain. Its amazing how many us of there are out there. By coming here you have people to talk to, people that can relate to what you are saying. Communication and understanding are one of the many things lacking in treating CP. Most people give you the cross eyed look when you mention CP. Many of us can talk to family and friends about our pain and many like me do not talk to them about it. I chose to stop a long time ago, I know I was sick of hearing it and I also know they were too, lol.  

The losses we have because of CP is unbelievable in the eyes of alot of people. Many of us lose our jobs because we cannot do the work, so then we feel the financial hardship, the changes we have to make in our lives because of financial constraints, then we lose our self worth because we do not think we are holding up our end of the stick, we lose friends (true friends stick by you-aquaintances leave you), depression grabs ahold of you, the what-ifs jump in, the unknowns makes you feel nuts at times, we grieve for our losses, some of us need professional help to learn to deal with everything, trying to figure out to make a new life and learn to adjust. The list goes on and on.

Finding good intelligent drs is a big problem with CP. Some of our PM drs have limited knowledge treating CP patients, most of those guys were anesthesiologist to start with. Some only want to do injections and procedures, others will do that and rx pain medication.

You have been thru so much, I am at a loss as to what they could possibly test you for now! Like Frances I have had to R/F done at L5-S1 and the facet joint done at that level, I had the cervical area done too, have had more trigger point injections than you can imagine. All of this is temporary and not a fix. It will be interesting to see what the GI dr has to say. He may be surprised to see you in his office. My thoughts are to get off the Wellbutrin and try one of the newer antidepressants  and after seeing the GI go back to the PM dr and talk about putting you on a long acting pain medication with a short acting for BT pain.

I hope you will hang out here with us, you know the old saying misery loves company,lol. I do not think you will find a better group of people to offer support, tips & info, or just sharing things with than right here. Take care and keep us posted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              


Straydog/Susie
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & decreased circulation in both legs. Swveral other health issues just not enough roo to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 16 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 7/13/2009 10:57 AM (GMT -7)   
 
 
Dear Infinite,
 
     Good afternoon *huggs* Hope your able to get around a little better today.
 
 i always love it how nurses will ask you how you are doing today as you try to keep up
with them as they walk you to the room - like, well, I would be doing a lot better if I didn't have to be here today...
 
     I used to have "chatty" nurses. Now they are all very quiet. Everywhere I go. Stare alot too. Now all they say is "are you okay?"
 "do you need help to walk?"  "Your so young.."
 
 I really hate the last one.  I always wanna say "I forgot my neon sign : PAIN KNOWS NO AGE "

smhair

*huggs*

dani


TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,  
And sorry I could not travel both  
And be one traveler, long I stood


infinite
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 7/14/2009 7:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, friends. Just checking in, and thanks for the follow ups. There are so many stories to read and experiences to share from what is read. While some may not know what you are actually feeling in physical pain, everyone shares in the emotional side of this - and everyone here I have read from understands that. I would consider myself young too in this, Dani, at 36, seeing as how many years some of the lingering small pains have lasted from the initial fusion. The latest star phrases are that 40 is the new 30...well, I am feeling 36 is the new 56 most days (my apologies to those that are more approximate to the age of 56, it is not meant to be derogitory...).

I am a couple of days away from the obligatory visit to the GI Dr. to see what has been determined from the blood draw they wanted. If my intuitions are right, and they are not the right practice for what is causing the misery, then I hope he will have the courtesy to refer me on to a practice that can help.

And straydog, I do appreciate the company :)

JennyBHurts
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 7/14/2009 9:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, and welcome.  A few things stuck out to me when I read your post:
 
1. Your abdominal/ribcage pain improved after the first intercostal nerve block, correct? Even if it was only for a few weeks, it was noticeably improved.  This suggest to me that your abdominal pain is definately related to the intercostal nerves and the other injections didn't work because they were not done in the correct spot. I agree with you that a neurologist might be able to offer you some course of action on dealing with this.
 
2.  You mentioned they were doing a blood test for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  There is no blood test for IBS (I have had it for 20 years, as well as multiple bowel problems).  There is a blood test for Celiac disease but not IBS. So it will be interesting to see what this test says, whatever it is.
 
3. You are experiencing a common problem when one has multiple issues that have symptoms that overlap.  Medical care has become so specialized, so you end up getting passed on from one specialty dept. to the next.  It is so frustrating, to say the least.  The most important thing is to KEEP FIGHTING FOR ANSWERS!  Be your own advocate.  Type a list of your symptoms/tests/medications, etc. and take it with you to every doctor you see. Make sure that they get the whole picture, so they don't get hung up on some random thing (like the blood in the stool that was probably a virus or a hemi).
 
Don't give up!  Like you said, you have a lot of clues.  It's just going to be a matter of time (hopefully sooner rather than later) before somebody puts the pieces together.  Hang in there!
 
Jenny B

Age 36
DX w/ fibro June 2009
DDD & annular tear at L5/S1
endometriosis since age 18, have had 5 surgeries to date
 
Current meds:
OxyContin 30 mgs 3 X day
Dilautid 2 mgs 1-2 X day for breakthrough pain
Elavil 25 mgs
Zoloft 75 mgs
Lunesta 2 mgs
Klonopin .75 mgs
Protonix 40 mgs
Flexeril PRN
Phenergen PRN
 
I am living in the body of an 80 year old......
 


infinite
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 7/15/2009 7:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jenny,
Thanks for your reply. It is going to be interesting to hear what the GI Dr. has to say tomorrow. I hope it is a WTH were you referred here for kind of appointment (lol). Since the appointment is up in my parents area, I am going to get a nice meal out of the deal ;-)

What really gets me the most about the PM place I was at is that the PA was the one that actually succeded with the injections. She took the time to find the points that hurt to the touch and shot them up while the Dr. just went along the ribcage and below it. None of the injections are comfortable, but I would gladly accept the PA doing another round right now...

I had a long conversation with my brother about just the thing you referred to in your 3rd point, that this is a multiple issue thing. As far as your 2nd point, I am just going off of what the nurse told me on the phone - I was surprised too. Especially with all the blood, urine, and other stuff they extracted from me when I was in the hospital and numerous visits to offices since then, I wondered why they didnt run that test (if there is one) previously.

I will hopefully have something better than a "I still feel like crap and Dr's suck" attitude to post tomorrow. Thanks for being here...
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