Thursday, January 24, 2008

Why You Shouldn't Sleep Through an MRI

Now I realize that most who have had any experience with an MRI will probably laugh at the idea of sleeping in one of those incredibly loud slightly claustrophobic chambers, but I tend to fall asleep. I have had 5 MRIs in the past year and a half, and I have fallen asleep during 3 of them, but usually just that zoned out state of sleep where you aren't really sure if you are asleep or awake. However, last night I took it to a whole new level. I was post call from a nonrestful night in the NICU and my test was in the early evening. I lay down on the MRI table and dutifully put in my earplugs and off I went a short while later into a dream world filled with nail guns and jackhammers, as I was surrounded by that lovely MRi melody that sounds like they are jackhammering your eardrum even with ear plugs. Well, when my dream assailant starting coming at me with the nail gun I awoke with a start and almost jumped off the bed in the middle of one of the MRI sequences, thus necessitating that they repeat it because my movement messed up the pictures, and it was the longest sequence so I got to spend an extra almost 15 mintues with my ears getting jackhammered. So very fun. The MRI tech stated that he thinks I am the first patient to actually enter REM sleep during an MRI. Sleep deprivation will do that to a person.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
ie The continuing saga of my numb foot

I have been trying to come up with a post that explains how I feel about having just completed my first half month stent on service in 15 months, but I don't have the emotional energy right now.

So I am going to continue on with the tale of my numb foot. Yesterday I went to my friendly foot and ankle otho guy for exercise testing to try to determine why my foot goes numb and where the problem is. So, off I went to the ortho clinic in my exercise clothes. He examined me and then we went to the PT gym where I walked on the tread mill until I had symptoms (twice- about 15 and then 10 minutes). Then he examined me and we determined the following things: 1. The bottom of my foot is completely numb, 2. There maybe a vascular component to the top of the foot symptoms, 3- The site where the nerve is bothered is as it exits my poor little scarred inside of my ankle, and let me tell you his tapping on that nerve to confirm that was miserable.

Diagnosis: post radiation tarsal canal pseudo compartment syndrome- Psuedo because that isn't really a compartment except in me where the scarring from my surgeries and radiation has essentially created a compartment.

So where does that leave me

The good: Everyone is now on the same page- both of my treating orthopedic surgeons have reached the same conclusion and the same diagnosis

The bad: Back to PT for me. We are going to try noninvasive ways to break up the scar. So, I get to hang out with Jonathan more

The ugly: Both surgeons also now agree that it is very unlikely that there will be a nonsurgical fix for this. However, no one wants to rush into anything this soon after my radiation.

There you go. That is the state of the foot.

Monday, January 7, 2008

A Dose of Reality

Well, Today was a red letter day in the world of getting in touch with my various orthopedic doctors. As in I talked to both of them. However, the upside is not so happy.

My favorite ortho onc called me back today and listened to my tale of the ever progressive numbness in the foot. At the end she took a long pause and in that measured carefully regulated tone that sends the fear of dread into me she said- (rough quote here) " I am trying not to be pessimistic, but I can't imagine a nonsurgical option to this. I know that isn't what you want to hear." Um- right. I have been clear to everyone that elective surgery isn't likely to happen to poor Lefty again soon, but is this really elective? To answer that I think that you need to understand me which fortunately she does. I don't do well sitting around and going about my business- that is a one way ticket to a place I won't go. I need to be able to count on my evening walks and long hikes when I want them. It is necessary for my sanity! So, if a surgery can fix this then maybe I can deal with that. Remember I am saying maybe. Well, after my 15 minute conversation with her the upshot was that we need objective evidence of if this really is pressure building up in the compartments of the leg and for that I need to have some tests done- Enter foot and ankle guy who called me back about 10 minutes after I emailed him. Yes, he can do this testing. However, first he wants to examine me when I have symptoms, so the next step is to go the ortho office and exercise down the hall until the numbness occurs and then he'll examine me, and then we'll schedule the formal testing. Yikes. More to come....

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

D-day has arrived

14 and a half months after I went out of work on medical leave D-day has finally arrived. Yep, today I returned fully to my clinical work. Of course, only in my world can you be working over 40 hours a week and still be considered part time, but alas it is true. It is just like riding a bike except for the fact that I sit down a lot more than I used to. Nonetheless, it is a major thing. I am back.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

So long 2007
Hello 2008

Arivaderche 2007, Thanks for one heck of a year. I generally think that 2007 wasn't my favorite year, but still I appreciate all you have done for me. I swear that I love that I am healthier than I was at this time last year, but still I am so sad about my physical limitations that won't yet go away. I attacked last year with gusto. Full force ahead because I didn't know what else to do, but now my issues require a more formulated response, and I am tired. Yet still I am thankful to you 2007 you gave me a great insight into life. You gave me a perspective maybe I needed. You gave me the chance to rework a lot of things in my life, and most importantly in a few short weeks you will have given me practically a new house as my remodeling project is almost done. So to you 2007, I say thanks. 2008, to you I say, bring it on. I am ready

Happy New Year Everyone