I'm back. I think. At least until the Valium runs out, that is. It's going to take me ages to catch up on everyone's blogs, so let me apologize right now, up front, for being slow, as I still have a lot going on. I'm not even going to attempt to catch up on Old Knudsen. Is he getting paid per post, or what?
So, the update.... Never mind that; I have won a Major Award! Not bad for someone who has thrown herself dramatically upon death's door (or at least the floor mat in front of the automatic doors at the ER), not to mention that I have only been blogging for part of 2006.
All right, so really, the update. Doctors suck. Okay, maybe not your doctor, but my doctor. You may remember her cruel visage from a previous post. Dr. Cruella De Vil is now officially on my list. You know, "I have a little list, they never will be missed..." Don't pretend to be shocked; you know that you have a list, too. It's just that I will admit to it. I have been working on refining my amazing mental powers, and I am fairly sure that any day now, her head will explode in flames. In the meantime, I am contenting myself with looking at her picture in the Medical Group's website, while making crab-pincer-like movements with my fingers, and muttering "I'm pinching your head, I'm pinching your head!" Yes, "Kids in the Hall" was a bad influence on me. I have no idea how this woman got a medical degree, or why she bothers to pretend to be a doctor, since she refuses to see patients. Namely me. The rest of the patients can fuck off and die. Of course, if they are under Dr. De Vil's "care," they probably will, and soon.
I ended up, twice, in the ER at Loma Linda Hospital, which is a world-class (and mildly famous) Medical Center and University. I cannot possible praise them enough. They are wonderful, wonderful people, with cutting-edge technology, which is put to use on you immediately. This is truly an amazing thing, because as a societal parasite, I usually have to wait weeks and weeks to get tests of any kind ordered for me. I was seen by one of the top doctors there, who also teaches at the University, has a MS in Clinical Psychology on top of being an MD, and who is, in my humble opinion, a fucking genius. It was this doctor who suspected that I have lupus. He asked me a whole bunch of weird, seemingly unrelated questions, and told me to get thee to a rheumatologist.
Now, I have been tested for lupus before. I have always been sickly, and I was tested back in the day when I was 11 or 12. The results came back as "Borderline; Inconclusive." It was suggested that I have follow-ups twice a year. My parents, who had no health insurance at this time, and had gone in to debt to take me to a specialist, decided to pay the mortgage instead. Apparently in the intervening decades, the criteria for diagnosing lupus have changed. All these little weird symptoms that I had just put up with for years may actually be inter-related, and part of one illness. For my part, it would be a relief to get a definitive diagnosis at this point, even if it is of a major illness. I have had major illnesses all my life. Putting them all under one umbrella for possible treatment would not be a bad thing.
And so we came back to Dr. Cruella De Vil. After my ER visits, I was advised to follow up with my regular doctor. You know, the one that can't be arsed seeing me. So I did. I came in with my laundry list all ready. The ER doctor had put me on Valium (as a muscle relaxant and pain reliever) and Prednisone (to reduce muscle and joint inflammation). He recommended that I be continued on a maintenance dosage of each, and please tell my regular doctor. I did, and my doctor immediately told me to fuck off. Well, not in those exact words, but the general feeling was definitely there. "Valium" apparently sent up smoke signals in her puny, dinosaur-like brain, and so therefore I must be some kind of a drug addict.
As if. I can't even have any of the good stuff, as I am allergic to opiates and opiate derivatives. Dr. De Vil and I had a discussion about this. She then proceeded to dismiss any possibility of me having any type of pain ("Why haven't you come in to see me about it?" Um, gee, maybe because you won't see me?), and then gave me a prescription for some type of pain reliever that I had never heard of before. I had a hard time looking it up on the Internet when I got home from the appointment, as she had misspelled it on the prescription.
The drug was called "Ultram," (not "Ultran," which is what she had written) and I'm damn glad I was suspicious and looked it up, because IT'S A FUCKING OPIATE. That's right, I could easily have taken it and gone in to anaphylactic shock, and promptly carked it. Not only that, but it is contraindicated with 5 other medications that I'm on, all of which Dr. De Vil also knows about. It is also more addictive than Valium. What the fuck? If I can find out all this on the Internet in less than five minutes, why can't she?
She also refused to give me a referral to a rheumatologist, as she is not aware of any of the newer criteria for diagnosing lupus, and therefore thinks that there is no possibility that I have it. She then proceeded to slag off ER doctors as "knowing nothing" and "only there to patch people up, not diagnose." I said "That's funny, the very prestigious doctor I saw at the ER said most General Practitioners like yourself wouldn't recognize a non-classic case of lupus. How many lupus cases have you handled?" Dr. De Vil gave me A Look, and replied, "Three or four, thank you."
I give up. I am switching doctors, as this one is hazardous to my health.
I have soooooo much more to catch all of you up on, and so many blogs to look at, but it will have to wait until a bit later. The Nestling Sparrow is recovering from having a stomach bug, and I still have loads of barfed on sheets, clothing, and towels to wash.
Such is the life of glamour of a blogger who has won a Major Award. Try not to be too envious.