Saturday, October 29, 2016

In Any Given Second (When Health Care Betrays You)

I knew we could be in big trouble just a few days ago when my wife shrieked in pain as she lifted something. Her thumbs were swallow up like the giant rubber gag ones I had as a kid. Her problem was arthritis. Her thumbs were red and sore.

It was a terrifying realization.

Why so?

I have arthritis as well, had it for years. My hands have become distorted from its ravages. The index finger on my right hand is frozen into a permanent point, except the tip turns down The bottle finger on my left refuses to march in line with the other fingers and I no longer can make a fist with either hand.

As a result I have great difficulty opening jars, writing, using tools and I am constantly dropping things. My hands gradually get worse each day, although medication I take has slowed the progress of the disease and taken away most of the pain.

Because the Rheumatologist helped me so much, I sent my wife to see him expecting the same results.But he couldn't help, other than offer some external salve and send her for X-rays. He did not want to give her further medication because she is on so much all ready. I deeply respect this doctor for this. He cares.

It occurred to me how difficult life could become if we both lost the use of our hands or at least found ourselves highly restricted by frozen joints and extreme pain. This sudden realization of our fragility was further drilled into my mind by recent health issues. My mind flashed back to the evening in August when I could not raise myself up from my bed. I could not do what we could call a sit up. I couldn't get into a sitting position to get off the bed and stand. Instead I rolled onto the floor where I was stuck face down and unable to do a push up. It was the most helpless feeling. We will come back to what caused it later.

I turned 75 this past June. My age didn't bother me. I had all ready planned to outlive my father, who died at age 94; in fact, I began to think in terms of 100. It was May, I was still 74 and feeling fit. Oh, I knew I wasn't as physically strong as in my youth or middle years, for that matter. I struggled unloading 40 pound bags of cat litter and carrying them up or down our steps, but I could still do that. Besides, I was beginning to regain muscle strength through my workouts. I did exercises at home and three times a week I went to the Senior Center Gym and worked out on the equipment. I also walked five miles or more every morning. I had been doing this for years.

It was on one of these morning walks that the "thing" happened in a blink of an eye or tick of the
clock or whatever cliche you wish to use for sudden and fast. I had gone about a third of my route and was walking down the path around the big meadow to the front of the park, when my thighs felt weird and my legs didn't want to do what legs should do. My lower limbs were short of splayed out and boy was my pace slower. I considered pushing beyond my situation, though better of it and simply made it best I could to my car. Later I noticed the same strange, weak sensation also existed in my forearms.

It was ironic, in a way, because one week earlier I was in for my trip-yearly physical and had one of the best results I ever had. I was a pretty healthy individual.

I had a couple doctors appointment coming up, Rheumatologist and Urologist. I decided to see what they might say before calling my Primary. They said everything was copacetic with me, so I called me Primary and went in to see him.

Now I had some spring allergy sniffles, get them every year, so when I saw the Doc I mentioned this first. He immediately sent out a prescription for an antibiotic.

I know I cover some of this before, but I am pretty angry about this. Health Care is supposed to care for your health, not inflict disease upon you. A week after taking the antibiotic I was septic with Clostridium Difficile, or C. Diff for short, a really nasty affliction that I was told almost killed me.

I am stuck now with this monster inside me, which may break out at any time and for which there is no cure or prevention. I had two hospital stays totally 9 days and a third bout without hospitalization. It is infectious, so the family have to be cautious not to join me in this misery. It interrupted the diagnosis of whatever effected my legs and arms. It has made my son and his wife somewhat fearful to allow me close to my grandson. The medication I am taking causes some change in my taste, so even what foods I can eat often taste bad.

Of course, it brings my mortality to mind. What if's haunt me. I still have no answer for my leg and arm weakness, even after numerous tests and seeing an alphabet soup of specialists. It is now 5 months and I have no answer. So you think, what if it is the beginning of a debilitating condition. How will we survive if both my wife and I have inabilities to do normal daily routines?

I have been afflicted by my doctor and have lost trust in him and the medical industry in general. Plus we, despite insurance, have had our saving deflated and our credit cards inflated by medical bills. (My wife had a knee replacement earlier in the year.

 I put my faith in God, but He knows I have little for the medical profession.

If you want to read how doctor's can prove a danger, like giant germs, read:

My Day as Angelina Jolie & The Saga Continues by Slugmama

1 comment:

  1. I dislike doctors and hospitals intensely. It is business first (money) then the patient. There are three types of doctors; 1. a doctor 2. a good doctor 3 a talented doctor. Not everyone graduates at the top of his class. Remember this, you know your body better than anyone and you are entitled to a second, third and fourth opinion. That being said, it is important that you like your doctor AND more important, he/she likes you.