Sunday, July 20, 2008

Doctor Doctor, Give Me The News ....

..... I've got a bad case (Robert Palmer)

Unfortunately, I've also got a bad case of being addicted things which are Bad For Me.

Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, meat and potatoes, pasta, did I mention that I can't abide fruits and vegetables?

Also extreme sports such as motorcycle riding (terminated when I couldn't find a decent mechanic to maintain my 1200cc Yamaha Venture, so I gave it to my nephew-in-law), and USPSA Practical Shooting Competition, etc.

The point is, I've been a Bad Geek for most of my life, and it is finally catching up with me.

Last month I noticed an 'odd sensation' in my upper leg / groin area, which seemed to be a 'bubbling' feeling in my femoral artery. It was a tingling sensation, which seemed to be timed precisely with my heartbeat.

Saturday, last weekend, this sensation (no, it was not titillating) was so pronounced that I spent much of the day 'listening' to the non-aural sensation. Finally, around 5pm, I decided that this was Not Good and I hied myself to the emergency room of the local hospital.

"Doctor Dan", the ER man, asked my what my greatest fear was. I replied that I suspected either a congestion, leading to a heart attack, or an aneurysm; either of which could render me hors de combat by the morning.

Doctor Dan performed a physical examination and announced that I exhibited no signs of congestion of the femoral artery, and that an aneurysm would have resulted in several secondary symptoms which I had not demonstrated. He then referred me to a Doctor Foley in a medical clinic associated with the hospital.

My appointment with Dr. Foley is for 1:30 Monday Afternoon, and I anticipate that the Good Doctor will recommend several life-style changes, which I will be reluctant to establish.

There is a guilt-trip just waiting to happen to me, and I find myself willy-nilly preparing myself to Just Say No.

Depending on the ability of The Good Doctor to terrify me (I've managed to frighten myself to a considerable degree over the past ten days), I may have some interesting news to share this week about my medical condition.

FWIW, SWMBO has been dealing with the unfortunate circumstances having to do with a case of Walking Pneumonia which has inflicted itself upon her for the past several months. She is lethargic, has no energy and little stamina, and is required by her Doctor (Dr. Cho) to take an oxygen bottle with her everywhere she goes.

She was subjected to a Bronscopy and Biopsy last Tuesday, and they almost "lost her on the table" during the biopsy. While they were attempting to scrape samples from the infected portion of her lungs, she went into a coughing fit due to bleeding at the site.

They discontinued the procedure (running a tube through her nose into her lungs), and have since decided that they collected an insufficient amount of diagnostic material. In the next couple of weeks, they will attempt to biopsy her lungs surgically. This involves a surgical incision through her chest wall, after which they will insert a fiber-optic tube and surgical micro-instruments to collect samples of the infected area of her lung.

SWMBO is bearing up under this frightening expectation as well as she can, and I have my own medical concerns. We both have appointments Monday afternoon, and it's difficult to tell whether we can both participate in each others diagnostic appointments.

Things are becoming more interesting here in Geekistan, medically speaking.

We'll keep you informed.

Note to Nancy (both of you): yes, SWMBO did receive your (Nancy A: get-well card) and (Nancy B: flowers). Thank you both for your support.
UPDATE: 21-JUL-2008

Well, my doctor's appointment today was a slow curve. Interview, physical exam, and I go into the clinic Friday for an Ultra-Sound. This doctor can't find anything wrong with my circulation, and the complete lack of other symptoms eliminates a lot of other possibilities. If they can't find anything on the Ultra-Sound, they'll put me in for an MRI. This seems like a soft tissue rather than a bone problem, so Xrays are a third possibility. The doctor is going on vacation next week, so you can see how worried he is.

SWMBO had a consultation today with her doctor, the surgeon. They decided to opt for a 'needle insertion' biopsy rather than the chest-wall incision, and this is much less invasive. If they still can't get a good biopsy sample, then they still have the other option.

She's feeling positive about it, and so am I.

Thanks to the fine folks who wrote and called with their support. I didn't mean to sound alarmist about all of this, but I'm not accustomed to requiring medical attention and SWMBO and I are both ready for a solution to her issues. We just want her to feel like her usual bouyant, energetic self.

You realize, of course, that this means I have to start loading up ammunition for when we can both get back to our normal three-matches-a-month regimen of competition. Even when I can go to the range, it's just not the same thing going by myself.

No comments: