Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another invasive procedure & Health Care

Hey guys. I'm so sorry I've been lagging and haven't posted for a week. I can't even begin to tell you how difficult this week has been. The pain I experienced on Monday was worse than BEFORE I had my gallbladder removed, and it didn't get much better for the rest of the week. However, there is good news.

I had my follow up appointment with the pain management doctor on Wednesday, and I have a Celiac Plexus Block scheduled for Tuesday. IF this works, it will be a new lease on life for me, and I cannot wait.

Let me be clear, though, for anyone reading the link I provided. I DO NOT HAVE CANCER!!! That is just one of the most common reasons for using this procedure. What I have is... well, there's a bit of a disagreement about that.

I believe I have left over "sludge", aka bile and other "stuff" from when I had my gall bladder removed on Jan 30 of this year, but the FOUR doctors I have seen before the pain management doctor seem to disagree and keep telling me "it's probably a pulled muscle in the lumbar area". That's all fine and dandy, EXCEPT the pain I have is the EXACT SAME, STEREOTYPICAL GALLBLADDER PAIN which presents under my ribs on the right side and radiates straight to the back under my right shoulder blade. How can that be a pulled muscle for over a year? And, that isn't my lumbar area.

I've had all the tests, except the one that will verify this FOR SURE, but no gastro-interologist will do it, because of the posibility of pancreatitis. Of course, I probably have that now after having to wait so long without anything being done. In addition, all of the research I've done shows that the CTs, MRCPs, blood tests, ultrasounds, liver enzyme tests and all the other tests the docs throw at you and rely on so heavily don't necessarily mean a thing. This stuff isn't always detected through the "conventional" tests, and there are people who have lived with this for years on end. I've found people who have lived with it anywhere from 5 years upwards of 18+ years. I can't even imagine... it's only been 3 1/2 months for me, and I feel like my entire life has been turned upside down.

In telling my story to an old friend I hadn't seen in about 10 years, I found out he had also been through the same thing. He had all the test, was told all the same things, pushed away by all the specialists and ONLY after his FIFTH ER visit, after the dr noticed the whites of eyes being jaundiced did someone actually take action. Sure enough, he had the "left overs", and it took a short laproscopic procedure to go in and remove it. Besides the liver and pancreatic damage that is healing, he feels fine, but NO ONE would listen to him, and apparently, this is a VERY common thing.

So, although I consider myself blessed, in MANY WAYS, I find it horrifying that in a country like the US that boasts about how great our privatized health care is, we have to go through this. I have private insurance, and I actually had TWO up until I lost my job, WITH AN INSURANCE COMPANY, due to this "illness", yet I have to keep paying doctors to not listen to me. One of them I actually didn't see after I had an endo & colonoscopy with abnormal results at the time of scope. And when I called her THREE DAYS IN A ROW due to pain, I NEVER heard from her. Then, when her office called me to tell me the biopsies were OK, but "something inaudible" they did make an appointment for me that day. I wound up curled up in the exam room in the fetal position for two hours without anyone ever checking on me, and when I got the energy to ask when the doctor would be in, they couldn't tell me and acted as if I were crazy for even asking. Needless to say, I was a bit upset, told them so, left, and I NEVER saw the doctor, and have yet to get an apology, but apparently that's how her office "works". I'm still waiting for a bill, so I can send her one, as well... for MY TIME, just to see how she likes it. (hahaha)

What was I saying? Ahhhhh, yes. The wonderful privatized health care we have. Don't get me wrong. I do realize how it could be MUCH MUCH MUCH worse, but WHY don't we strive for the BEST???

More to come on Better Health Care later....

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