Tag Archive | health

Today’s installment of “As the stomach churns” the TMI medical drama – Edited with update

I spent yesterday at Huntington Hospital’s Imaging center to get a ct scan of my intestines. So not fun. When I got there the very nice person at the reception desk handed me 3 450ml bottles marked with times 20 minutes apart of a barium solution. This is not a cocktail I can recommend. It was warm and thick and with the slight fruit flavour of a market that has let the melons go bad, It tasted like warm snot, in other words, totally gross. I got into the ct scanner where they went to hook up an IV of iodine dye. The vein on the right arm collapsed after they started. What I heard was “Uh oh, it’s blue.” Note to all nurses: never say “uh oh” during a procedure, luckily I had an idea what had happened and just said, “did the vein collapse?” because your mind starts screaming when it hears, “uh oh”.

She called the tech in and he put it in and that worked. I always tell them I have rolling veins and to use the pediatric set up and they never listen.

Then I got to spend 15 minutes sliding in and out of the machine being told breathe/don’t breathe. I’m glad it was feet first and not head first because after having 10 MRIs those damn tubes make me claustrophobic. Tomorrow I have to go have a blood test to see if I can start the Metformin again. You can’t take it and the dye or your kidneys could fail.

My doctor called with the results last night. The good news is there is nothing they can see that is causing the problem. My intestines and my pancreas are in good shape for someone my age, but they did find some other stuff. I have two cysts in my kidneys that he said were no big deal but they found spots on my lower lungs and two spots near my bladder.

What does all that mean? I get to have a full lung ct scan, oh joy! more barium cocktails and I may have to have an MRI of my nether regions to find out what the spots near the bladder are, but on a funny note those may be the ovaries they lost during my hysterectomy since I never had endometriosis which he thought it could be. When they did my emergency hysterectomy, I had fibroids wrapped around my bladder on the edge of gangrene. They had to take my intestines out and clean off the fibroids, They had to take my cervix and a lot of other stuff and my fibroids had swallowed my ovaries. He thinks they may have gone on a voyage when everything was removed and are now near my bladder since they had to resituate that when they cleaned it off.

All that means I may have a date with my nemesis the MRI machine and another trip to the ct scanner and or ultrasound. He is having another radiologist read the lung part again. But I had Valley fever back at camp in the 70s and it may be from that


The kitten greeted me on the top of the stairs when I got home and was looking at me questioningly. I told her I’d been at the vets and she cuddled my side and purred. I was sick all afternoon and she slept on my chests in between bathroom visits.


Look a matching set of pretty colours

The visual portion of today’s soap opera


Update, My PCP just called and is ordering the CT scan of the chest and the MRI of my nether regions. After a year of having to wait for each test, all of a sudden things are moving awfully fast.

TMI – more fun medical drama

I get to have another kind of RotoRootering. I’m so excited…NOT! I have to have an enterographic ct scan which seems to involve being shot full of dye according to my doctor and then having my small intestines smile for the camera. I haven’t had a ct scan since I rolled my car three times in 1996 so he said the effects of that are gone. I didn’t know they hung around for so long but I guess they do. And since the brain and my intestines are fairly far apart we should be okay. Hopefully it’s feet first.

So I may not need a nightlight not that I ever use one, for that night. Now I just have to wait for the authorization and we schedule it.

I like to use the phrase “I get to” rather than I have to because my mind is about to melt from all these procedures and no answer. It’s a way to try to stay positive. The doctor called me an enigma since we’ve ruled everything out already and I still have symptoms. I spent most of yesterday running to the can instead of working. I keep telling my boss I need to set up a laptop in the disabled stall of the bathroom. What fun.

More medical drama – sigh…

I have to get a new PCP (primary care physician) because the old one I had just broken in was in a car accident and retired. She was younger than me. So I had a new appt with the one that is supposed to replace her. I need to find another one.

I don’t know if she was stupid or prejudiced for some reason or what but I filed a complaint. She asked me once if I drank and I said “no”. A little while later she asked me again. She was so busy asking questions she obviously wasn’t listening but she asked me again if I drank. Then I got mad. I think she may have asked again but by then I was so mad I couldn’t hear.

Then because I have worked in healthcare insurance for over 30 years and we now have access online to our patient record including any notes they make during the visit, I went online to look at my record and I find she has written I “deny” using alcohol. For the record I do not drink. I haven’t had more than a few swallows of anything alcoholic in over 40 years and when I did it was for cough medicine because I’m allergic to codeine. I haven’t drunk anything really since a day in college when a bunch of us upstanding ASB officers at my college were having a birthday celebration and someone dared me to chug a bunch of white wine. That was fine until about 4 hours later when I started vomiting massive amounts of blood. Kind of takes the fun out of it and I have been the designated driver ever since. As I have gotten older being around people who get drunk has become even less fun because I tolerate stupidity less and less and drunk people get stupid very quickly.

It probably doesn’t help that I was raised in a mostly Scottish family that was a teatotaling bunch of Presbyterians. The church was dry as a bone. My grandmother joined to Christian Temperance Union in 1895 at the age of 5 before they left Canada. And she never touched another drop and she was 86 when she died. My parents only had wine because everyone is allergic to codeine and Mom found that 2 sips of wine helped when you had a cough and couldn’t have cough medicine. This created a problem when my little sister had a bad cough and mom forced her to drink two swallows. My sister had a fit and several months later when Mom got a cough she found that the wine was so old it had turned to vinegar. My sister is 51 and hasn’t had a drop of wine since.

There seem to be two kinds of Scots that I know. Ones that drink and can drink a lot and those that refuse to touch it and even though I no longer am a Presbyterian I don’t think drinking is a fun and harmless activity and I like not pickling my brain.

The fact that she used the word “deny” to me implies she did not believe me. I was a Worker’s Comp Hearing Rep for many years and when the word “deny” is used in court or a deposition it means there is doubt about what the person says and it can’t be verified. Since my A1C test was normal, I would think that would be evidence that I do not drink. Alcohol is a sugar and diabetics really shouldn’t drink. If I had been drinking my A1C would have been elevated and it was lower. (A1C tests what your sugar levels have averaged over 3 months.)

I got voicemails from 2 different people last night from my IPA (physicians group) wanting to talk about my complaint. This should be interesting.


Just got a call from the Lead Physician, weird title that. He wanted to hear my side of the story and he agreed that asking 3 times if I drank was a bit out of line, so we’ll see what happens but I still think I need a different PCP

I’m proud to have been one of the contributors about lesbian health issues


Last year I did a series of interviews and other presentations about the challenges a lesbian can face in trying to obtain competent care from healthcare workers. Including some of the whoppers some idiot doctors have confronted me with such as, yes, I’m sure I’m not pregnant. An argument I had with an idiot Middle Eastern doctor in the ER who insisted I could be pregnant and not know it. Uh no! While my partner and the gay x-ray tech howled with laughter.

Addicting Info – Walmart Pharmacist Refuses To Fill Prescription For Miscarriage Patient Citing ‘Conscience Clause’



This is a real problem because a lot of drugs have off label uses. Birth control can be used to control fibroids as well as curtail unwanted pregnancies.

I run into this constantly. My work sends out a health tip brochure every few months based on your prescriptions. I take a drug at low does that used to be prescribed for depression at much higher doses. I take it for closed brain trauma and migraine prevention. I keep getting hints on controlling my depression  because I take this drug. I talked to my pharmicist about it and she said it isn’t prescribed for depression any more. It’s mostly for CBI and for nerve pain now but it is still reported as a depression drug.

It also gets reported to the MIB. In case you didn’t know there is a bureau similar to a credit bureau that tracks your prescriptions not by your diagnosis but by what you are assumed to be taking it for. Any employer or insurance provider has access to this MIB, medical information bureau and it is off wrong because of off label drug use and you can be refused insurance or a job because of a disease you may not have and you will never know it.

So some pharmacist deciding not to provide care can and is way off base by assuming you have a certain disease.


Maybe TMI Adventures in the Alimentary system – If you have been following the saga…

I have now had a colonoscopy, an endoscopy, an ultrasound, a celiac test, and as of this morning another blood test and I have the implements for an Arts and Crafts project the next time my colon kicks into action. That should be fun, NOT! They gave me a huge paper bag filled with implements and tubes to fill up. Yeah, that’s a subtle thing to carry across the work floor to the head. That’s worse than trying to hide two extra strength Kotex.

This time we are testing for several kinds of parasites. Where I would have picked up one I have no idea. Every place I’ve been including camp was filled with other people including small children. No one else is sick that I know of and the doctor agreed the chances of a little kid picking up something if it was there are better than even mine.

He also wants me to do a milk challenge but I pointed out this is off one week and on one week and if it’s milk I’d have it all the time since I swill milk with almost every meal if I’m not drinking tea. He did confirm something I’ve always wondered about, people of Scandanavian and Northern European gene pools are rarely really lactose intolerant. Everyone can be if they go off dairy for 6 months but a constant milk drinker no, doesn’t really happen. There is a reason Scandanavia, Minnesota and Wisconsin are covered in cows. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactase_persistence, “Roman authors recorded that the people of northern Europe, particularly Britain and Germany, drank unprocessed milk. This corresponds very closely with modern European distributions of lactose intolerance, where the people of Britain, Germany, and Scandinavia have a high tolerance, and those of southern Europe, especially Italy, have a lower tolerance.”[34]

So Saturday morning I have to drink three glasses of milk, shucky darn. It’s either that or stop dairy entirely and see if it stops. Not doing that, I’d have nothing to eat. We did find out that I have yet another food allergy, I found out I was allergic to soy during the first part of this odyssey so maybe there is another hiding somewhere but I have no clue what it would be.

If I don’t have parasites then the next fun test is an MRI of my small intestine. He did tell me if it’s my small intestine then it will be very difficult to diagnose.

My doctor is one of the best in the area and is a professor at a very respected medical school and one of their hospitals. He knows what he is doing but this is getting really annoying. He told me yesterday that he always trusted what I said because I’m a “straight shooter” and don’t mince words.

This is driving me crackers.

This entry was posted on April 8, 2015, in health and tagged .