Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I'm pretty sure I don't have cerebral palsy, YAY!

Here I sit, stuck.  Playing Taylor's "It's enough to be moving on..." in alternation with "Pancho and Lefty" by my dear, dear Townes Van Zandt.  I confess to an interlude by one of Dylan's worst.  Nope, not gonna admit which one.  Take a guess, why doncha?

Blue?  Clinically depressed?  I can tell you that in the second case, one gives a royal damn about the label.

Yesterday was spent freaking out a nurse practitioner who then called in my least favorite physician in the world, so that they could "upcode" my visit, I'm sure, to some ungodly ka-ching ka-ching cost that my Obamacare-inspired PCIP insurance coverage will pay without blinking a governmental eye.

He creeped up behind me, addressed me, as a vet might announce himself to a mildly feral kitten -- which is when I was able to add something to my list of why I don't like him:  He sounds like a girl pretending to be a boy who is sensitive and therefore, in his coiffed world, immediately likeable.

All he wants to do, he girl-whispers, is listen to my lungs and heart.  Ten seconds, tops.  The NP feels better,  now that he is of the opinion that I am not dying on the premises.  The entire ten seconds, he has his free hand pushing down on my left shoulder.  Wait! Isn't there something wrong in my presentation?  Right!  Now I remember!  I don't have a freaking left shoulder anymore, so that ten seconds was excruciating and I used it to explain my heart rate of 124.

"Oh, I am so sorry," s/he almost lisps, as s/he pats me on the freaking same spot.  He doesn't know that I know that he wears what must be a very elaborate hair piece.  I'm saving that for the day I really need it.

He's the PainManagement Dood, last highlighted in this blog, I believe, with this post, "The Cash Cow Blues."

You unsympathetic types out there are sniffing, muttering, "Well, why don't you just change doctors?" Well, welcome to the War on Drugs.  I am at the stage of CRPS (and, I reckon, chronic osteomyelitis) where pharmacological management is all that's left.  "Quality of life is what matters now," is how the NP neatly put it yesterday.

I found two great pain management practices and neither would take me on because I was solely managed by medication and would not require (nor allow) "procedures."  That's code word, usually, for sympathetic block upon sympathetic block, which I have done, and done, and done, to no avail.  So it's chichi toupéed pain management dood or no one.

But I like this new NP.  She thinks I'm reasonable.

Did I tell you that they drug tested me last visit?  And ushered me into a non-accessible to the wheelchaired-in-extreme-pain restroom for the Big Pee?  It was a riot.  I dropped the cup several times on the floor, praying that no one had sprinkled their cocaine on those questionable spots.

Great news:  "We found nothing in your tox screen except what we expected to find." Yay!  She reminds me that they do this every three months.  I tell her that's interesting, because that was my first drug test in 10 years.  She said, "I wondered how you were going to get along in that bathroom." I cracked my crack joke and she did not smile.

Anyway, we took one drug away, and added another that is very similar but less likely to make me suddenly bleed out, and, as I said, we established that using these more dangerous drugs is okay because everyone and their third cousins are in agreement that I have no more treatment options and that the goal, now, as approved by all the half-step-siblings, is "quality of life."  Unbelievably, these people actually shorten it to QOL.  Seems like an obscenity.

The reason the NP thought I was dying in her office?  Hypoglycemia.  Another side effect of the drug we eliminated.  Also possibly due to taking insulin and forgetting to eat.  So Fred was running down to the pharmacy to buy candy and I was raiding the treat jar they keep at the office check-out counter.  I couldn't explain myself, so I am sure the new employee on the other side of the desk thought me, at least, ill-mannered, as I grabbed one piece of hard candy after another.  Then she watches as Fred lopes in, breathless, and throws a chocolate bar at me and lobs over an orange juice.  She did great.  Smiled politely, as if being blitzkrieged by sugar fanatics was all in a day's work.  As soon as I could speak, I mumbled "blood sugar," and she added a nod to her smile.

Of course, now I realize that she was on the phone the whole time, having an earpiece 'n all.

I have treated myself to two things, even though I am also doing a Practice Lent.  I broke my café presse several weeks ago and have been living on coffee dripdripdripped through a Melitta filter.  Here's my thinking.  I am wasting coffee, as I require it very strong and the drip method needs a hunka-hunka coffee to make that happen.  So... ha!  Discover Card had its way with me.  They've made it possible to link your Bonus Points/$ to Amazon.  And that amount paid for my new La Cafetière café presse.  The goal now is not to break this one.

The second thing?  Nothing spectacular -- but we've found a brand of muesli that we like a lot, that is sold in bulk at Amazon, on the cheap, and is delivered to the front door.

Carbon footprint?  What carbon footprint?

If you knew me, if you knew me NOW, you'd be asking, "Hey, prof, what has got you so nervous that you're mired in all this minutia?" Well, smarty-panted Reader, I am to see the neurologist tomorrow, the famed hawaiin-shirted, always-sandled neurologist, who sometimes cries.  If he cries tomorrow, I am going to slug him right in the nose.

On this day of Small Anecdote, another one to bolster your faith in the medical system:  The nurse who called me this morning about tomorrow's neuro appointment said the good doctor needed to know if I thought my spasming was due to my cerebral palsy.

So my greatest joy thus far, and which shall buoy me through every suicidal moment of this day, was my immediate and assertive (not aggressive) response:  "I'm pretty sure I don't have cerebral palsy!"

Yay, me!

(Please excuse me, all of you who DO have cerebral palsy.  I'm classless, tasteless.)

She called back about 5 minutes later to apologize profusely, emphasizing that the doctor did, indeed, know whom I was as well as my "disease processes."  Her voice sounded all red and insecure.  I felt like saying they could diagnose me with leprosy, I don't care, so long as they treat the CRPS dystonia along the way.

"It's enough to be movin' on..."  Muesli, anyone?  How about a cuppa joe?


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