Sunday, February 27, 2011

I have a tattoo!

What a week I had last week... and part of the week before. Okay, a few months!

Well, really, it started late last year. I was suffering from, er, enteric type symptoms which were really annoying me, feeling nauseous and just wondering what I’d eaten to give me these symptoms. I mean, honestly, it wasn’t industrial diarrhoea* I was suffering from. This was something more substantial.

After a week or so of suffering this I decided I’d had enough and, as my family doctor was on leave from his practice, I visited a doctor in the local practice. He asked few questions and suggested that I must be stressed, and told me that he would send me to a psychologist if it didn’t settle down. He didn’t ask me for any history or anything! I left thinking he was a tosser and decided to put up with the symptoms because maybe it was just something I'd eaten. After all, I did only find out on December 7 that I'd still have a local job in the new year.

Just before Christmas, when I was very busy at work, one of my teeth seemed to be playing up. I didn’t force myself to go to the dentist, and I just KNEW that if it played up it’d be during the public holidays!

Christmas eve I realised that my cash card was missing so had to order a new one. This is the account that the pay goes into before it is distributed to everything which needs paying each fortnight. This is the account where I can get cash out – with the debit card. Arrgh. I asked the credit union to send the card to the credit union office so I could reset the password. It took two weeks for the card to arrive. They sent it to my home. To add insult to injury the card cost me $15.

While Mum was here I took her to the hospital as she had a bout of diverticulitis. It was on December 27, during the first flood which hit my little town. At the hospital I listened to Mum and the doctor talking about her symptoms... sounded a lot like my psychological stress thing diagnosed by the quack in town. I decided that I should really get my act together and visit my doctor, explain my diagnosis and request a referral to my usual bum-doctor for my long overdue colonoscopy. Lucky me! The doctor wasn’t back until the middle of January....

Then there was the Toowoomba and Grantham flash flood, and the next day the rest of the valley flooded and with that flooding we had ten days off from work (which was closed) Fortunately we have “special leave” to cover something like this so didn’t lose any pay. (And people urged me to leave my employer? What, do you think I am crazy??) But my doctor’s appointment, with my GP of the last, oh, six years or so, had to be postponed.

Back to work and in early February my credit card decided to stop working. Strip and chip wouldn’t read. That was a nightmare, trying to make sure I had enough money to pay things with my debit card! And there was a cashflow problem then, too.

Finally I managed to see the dentist in the second week of February. I needed to have a tooth out, it wasn’t able to be saved. Like the one I had out about four years ago it was root filled and dead, brittle and decayed under the top filling. That week was the week for the colonoscopy, too. 10 Feb. And it was also the day I was due to see my cardiologist, 12 months almost to the day since I’d had the second unsuccessful ablation. Postponed the cardiologist (can’t tell you how excited I was to drink draino to front up ready for the bum-cam episode, I’d rather see the cardiologist!). I arranged to see the dentist the following Friday to give me the weekend to get over the extraction, the last one was awful and I had a dry socket so wanted to be prepared.

10 Feb 11 While being prepared for the colonoscopy I had an apprentice doctor jabbing me in the arm. Lots of bruising, but he gave up eventually – I know they have to practise on someone so I was OK with it. And it didn’t hurt, really! (The other docs and nurses were distracting me at the time, but the one watching the apprentice jab me did seem to be wincing a bit...) I asked about my thought of bringing a DVD so that I could have a recording of the show – the only one on my TV with no shit in it... they had a chuckle but the bum doctor said that he didn’t think they had the facilities to DVD record the procedure. Ah well.

Then suddenly it was over. I come out of anaesthetic rather well I think. Just want to wake up and in this case eat. The cuppa was good, the sandwiches were great! Not stale at all. The doc saw me before I could have the sandwiches and told me that there was a couple of polyps and a “thickened wall”, which should be further investigated so that we could be sure there was nothing sinister there. The polyp was inflamed but that may be the diverticular symptoms causing that. Pathology due back the following week.

My sore tooth was really giving me trouble. Not aching, but just tender and painful, sometimes eating was impossible. Even brushing the surface of the tooth beside the one to be extracted was painful, I could feel the brush on the top of the tooth, on the filling.

I went to work on the Monday and because the tooth had been playing up so much organised for the extraction to be moved forward to Tuesday when I could get into the dentist (Monday was Valentine’s day, and I received nothing.)

The appointment with the dentist on Tuesday was for 8:30am. First he filled the tooth beside the one to be extracted (I asked him to specifically do this as I didn’t want to be in that seat any longer than necessary after the extraction), then he extracted the tooth beside it. The filled one had deep decay. The filling took from 8:30 to 9, the extraction another hour, with drilling and crunching of breaking tooth. The description on the bill was “surgical extraction with some bone” $245 thank you very much. The filling was another $180 odd. All up about $417, the health fund paid $204. I wasn’t impressed. It took too long and was much too uncomfortable. I hate the dentist, no offence to dentists, but it all freaks me out.

A prescription for antibiotics and strong painkillers was given to me. I looked at the painkillers but didn’t register, just took them, two every six hours which was the dose limit. I took them for two days. They had 30mg in each of codeine. A big mistake with the diverticular symptoms. I was crook for the rest of the week.

Back to the doctor the next day to about the bum doctor’s report. The polyp was insignificant, no pathology to report, probably just inflamed due to the diverticulitis. The thickened wall needs further investigation so the GP sent me for a CT scan which I organised locally for Friday that week. The GP said that my recent blood tests (in January) didn’t show anything untoward, the cholesterol was fine everything was good.

I was pretty crook that week, even went to work again on Thursday but was chased away by workmates.

18 FEB 11 The CT scan has shown a few things, but I am fine about it as I have an appointment to see my GP on the Monday to sort out how to manage the diverticular thingy and see what else needs investigation which has come up in the CT scan – my liver is fine. My kidney has a few tiny cysts, I have a fibroid uterus (I knew about that), there’s scarring (knew about that, too), and there’s some calcification – oh-oh, I don’t think that’s good. (I read the results, I’m entitled, they’re mine!)

On Monday I phone the GPs surgery to make sure he’s not running behind, and they’ve been trying to phone meal day as he’s had a family health emergency and won’t be in all week.... Ok, now I’m feeling a bit set upon. What to do about the symptoms, to ease them if I can’t stop them entirely?

Meanwhile, the tooth is not settling down, every morning I wake and it’s swollen. Then in the evening it swells again. It’s driving me nuts. By the following Monday it’s itching and still swollen and it’s been a week on Tuesday since the extraction and filling. On Thursday last week a work colleague told me that it should have settled down by then. Back to the dentist on Friday afternoon.
25 FEB 11 Emergency root canal therapy. I have calcified, narrow roots and she can only do the one which is infected in the tooth which was filled just before the extraction. Cha-CHING $175. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve been told that I may have to be sent to an endodontist – I don’t think so, they charge like wounded bulls. I’m sure one of the experienced dentists in the practice I visit can take care of the other roots which were too narrow to work on. More torture for my teeth! Did I tell you I hate the dentist.

I was quite cross and angry about the whole thing, especially paying $180 odd for the previous filling just over a week before – a waste. The root was badly infected and muck came out when she filed it.... ick. I burst into tears after the RCT as I’d had enough of all the health dramas going on, the money for them and the other bills-up-yhe-wazoo, and the ride on is in being repaired and I found out it’s going to be $300 parts (busted wheel and spindle and some other stuff on the cutting deck), and 2-3 hours labour at $80/hr. Bugger me, I only get about $28/hr! And I have a trade (typist).

Oh, the tattoo? Well, I’m not sure what it says. It may be a picture of “Foo”, with “I was here” under it, or as suggested by a friend “Need more light”. The same wag suggested that it probably has the “PACO” trade mark, and I should demand a refund! Have a look and see if you can see it.(warning, although a very clean image, may be TMI!).

*industrial diarrhoea = work gives you the shits

GP visit today. Another blood test to check cancer markers, just to be safe (both the bum doctor and the CT doctor haven't committed to anything so GP is being cautious), an ultrasound of the enlarged ovary (didn't tell you about that, wasn't in the summary), and another CT in three months to see if the swelling in the bowel has changed. If it's got bigger or the bloodtests show any markers, I'll have to have a laparoscopy... Lucky me.
I'm hoping not. The doctor is impressed with all my illnesses etc that I'm pretty positive and not fearful (HA! Nerves of steel... bowels of water, but that could be the diverticular thingy happenin'.)
Oh, and GP had a good laugh at the tattoo story. He thinks "Need more light" is the best one.


Merilyn said...

You poor girl you really have had a run.
First thing you do is look at your menu, no nuts of any sort, no seeds, e.g. tomato, strawberries, and that includes jam, passion fruit, cucumbers, and so on, and oh yes remember that Figs have tiny seeds.Water is good, but don't overdo it.
Looked up various sites, but the best bet was to get advice from the doctor as I have the same problem. Have been doing ok by knocking out most of those things.
Strangely enough have also lost weight since cutting out most of those items.

bruce said...

Hang in there!

kae said...

Hi Merilyn
The latest is that nuts etc don't cause diverticulitis. Mum's spoken with her specialist and he says it's not nuts or seeds.

I've been trying to drink a lot of water. Chemist suggested mintec for the pain and slippery elm, so I'm taking one 750mg tablet of slippery elm a day with food.

Also taking some of that fibresure? which I can stir into water as it dissolves and has no taste.
I will have to be very careful with the codeine.

kae said...

Hi Bruce
Truly, I'm over it all. When I talk about it I just start crying, especially at the dentist. After the dentist I phoned work to let them know I wouldn't be back - and couldn't stop crying again! My work colleague was concerned and asked if I was OK to drive. Such a sweetie!
It's just too much at once at the moment.

Merilyn said...

What do you mean to tell me that I can now eat all my favorite foods [bar the Figs] and it won't hurt me, drat two years of my life I won't get back.
I agree with you about Dentists though.
Kae just take each day as it comes or get a dart board and throw darts into a photo of the person you most dislike, takes out the frustration that way!!!! [Could be a photo of a dentist].

Or a photo of Julia?

Minicapt said...


Robert said...

Isn't that cute!
A new tonsil!

kae said...

LOL and I did LOL!
Yes, it does look like a new tonsil, but it's been tonsillectomised just like the ones further up the alimentary canal!

Hi Mini
Haven't had a chance to look at that yet, connection at home is wayyyyy slow, and too busy at work at the moment.