16 October 2009
15 October 2009
06 October 2009
14 September 2009
26 August 2009
22 July 2009
30 June 2009
I decided to wait until today to send this out so I could report any results, if any. Unfortunately, the headache is definitely no better. In fact, it is worse today than it was yesterday. Since the pain frequently increases/decreases, there is no way to know if the increased pain is related to the injections or not. I have no idea how long it is supposed to take for the injections to work, so I dn't know if these are a failure or not.
That's all I know right now.
15 June 2009
First, I may be allergic to something in the home, like dust mites or something like that. So, I'm going to try taking Claritin every day for a couple weeks. If it's an allergy-related headache, I should notice a difference.
If that has no good result, he will try some trigger-point injections. Apparently, this involves injecting small amounts of a lidocaine and saline solution into various muscular trigger-points around my head. He said many headaches are alleviated this way and they can be repeated fairly often, if necessary.
The other thing that he suggested was Botox injections. No, not for my face! (Like I'd really care about wrinkles at this time). He said there's no explanation as to why it works, but injections of small amounts of Botox in areas around the head have worked miracles for many people with headaches. The problem is most insurers don't cover the procedure and Botox is expensive.
The plan is:
- Try Claritin for 2 weeks to see if there's a noticeable change in the headache. I have an appointment in 2 weeks to follow up with that. If it's working, I'll stock up on Claritin!
- If Claritin doesn't work, I'll try the lidocaine/saline injection thing. (Hmmm, lidocaine is a numbing agent......will my brain go numb? And how would we tell?) :-)
- If that doesn't work, we'll find out if my insurance will cover the Botox thing and go on from there. They'll also let me know how much the Botox would cost if the insurance doesn't cover it.
Meanwhile, I'll have my eyes checked again, just to make sure there hasn't been some kind of massive change. Since the headache is around all the time, even when I'm sleeping and when I wake up (no glasses for hours), we don't think this could be a cause, but it could maybe be making it somewhat worse. It's time to get them checked again, anyway.
So, no miracle cure, but at least there's a possibility of getting rid of the pain if it's not some type of home-related allergy. Sounds better than trying another long list of drugs, anyway.
08 June 2009
I've continued trying various dosages of the Indomethacin and Gabapentin. They help but don't eradicate the headache pain. I take the Indomethacin at night, so if it makes me sleep it's not an issue. I take the Gabapentin a couple times during the day. It tends to make me somewhat dizzy, but usually it's not awful.
June 15th I'll be seeing a physiatrist. A physiatrist is an expert in diagnosing and treating pain...sounds like my kind of guy! A friend who works in health care suggested getting an orthopedist to check for spinal problems. When I called my ortho's office, they said I needed to see a physiatrist rather than an ortho. Thankfully, there's one in practice at the same medical group. So, spent time on the phone getting everything set up. I then got to go online and fill out the new patient info, medication info, and health history. Much better than filling it all out by hand in the doctor's office!
I know I haven't been doing many updates, but there just hasn't been much of a change. Trial & error on the meds just takes a while. Headache's been bad enough that I haven't gone to the last couple of Wizards matches. I knew I wouldn't be able to handle it. :-(
No other news here. Still working out financing for possible purchase of home across the street. Should have an answer very soon and then we can start working on the price. :-) Sure hope it works out...moving across the street would be much simpler than moving anywhere else. The (foreclosed) home in which we're living has not sold and we just want to get out of here.
20 May 2009
[And, yes, I was taking the Indomethacin with meals - if it had been just stomach issues I would have stayed on it.]
So, went to the neurologist again today. The Indomethacin does seem to have eliminated the frequent stabbing-type pain, as those have not returned. The main headache is now, for lack of a better word, fuzzier. The pain's there and so intense some days I can't follow a conversation. However, it's as if someone ground off the rough edges of the pain so it's hurts in a different way
We're now going to try taking a much lower dose of the Indomethacin (1/6 what I had taken before) and add in another drug, Gabapentin (generic for Neurontin). Neurontin has been shown to be effective for nerve pain, so I'm going to take Indomethacin at night and Neurontin in the morning and see what happens.
I have not ruled out going to Mayo Clinic, but would rather work with my current doctors until we hit a complete dead end. It seems like it's taking so long, but trying a drug to see if it works is just time-consuming and there's not much I can do to speed up the process.
That's all for now. After driving and interacting with others, the headache is getting worse again. I'll catch up with y'all later.
28 April 2009
I started taking the Indomethacin last Thursday evening. By Friday afternoon that headache was 99% gone! Yay! I felt sooooo good. Bobby even told me to quit smiling, he wasn't used to it. However, by Saturday I had a headache again. It was nowhere near the intensity it had been before and the stabbing sensations were gone.
The headache has been slowly increasing in intensity, but it's much more localized and the stabbing feelings have not returned. However, the main problem has been some severe stomach upset, nausea and tiredness. I'll sleep for 12 hours, then be ready to go to sleep again a few hours later. It felt like a flu virus or something similar. However, in re-reading the info sheet that came with the medicine, I noticed that these symptoms were listed in the area for "If you have any of these symptoms, stop taking the NSAID and call your healthcare provider." So, I will NOT be taking the Indomethacin for the next couple of days. If the stomach issues and tiredness go away, then they were related to the drug. If they don't, then I managed to pick up a virus or something. I have not been running a fever. In fact, the highest my temp has been is 98.2 - most of the time my temp has been below 98, which is relatively normal for me.
So, I'm preparing for a return of massive headache pain, but hoping for a lack of stomach pains/sleepiness/nausea in the next couple of days. I really just don't feel very well right now.
I'll update when I have some kind of answer.
23 April 2009
If the drug does NOT work, he said we will treat it as an "atypical migraine" and see if it responds. I have no idea what that would be. I take it one step at a time.
What we do if it works but I'm allergic to it is anyone's guess. Naprosyn gave me terrible hives and it is the only drug to which I am allergic as far as I know. None of the other NSAIDs I've taken have caused any allergic reaction.
I looked up a little bit about this Sjaastad headache thing and it appears to also be called a "hemicrania continua" (some guy named Sjaastad was the first to write about it so his name is stuck on it). The description of it is about 90% dead on with what I'm experiencing, but descriptions of other diseases/syndromes have also been 90% dead on only to be ruled out. At this point, I definitely do not get my hopes up.
I dropped off the prescription at the drug store on my way home from my appointment. An hour later we went and picked up the pills (large pretty blue ones!) on our way to the Wizards v Red Bull NY soccer match. Sure is convenient that the drug store is right on our way to almost everywhere.
I took my first dose at the stadium. It does not work instantaneously, I did discover that much. And the headache's bad enough to where I could not stay in the stadium for the entire match. Way too much noise and stimuli for me to handle. I went and laid down in the car about the 65th minute. For those who don't know, there are 90 minutes in a match. At least my boys in blue won 1-0...by they played like shite. Oh, well. A win is a win and we'll take it.
I'll let y'all know how this drug works. Fingers crossed and prayers going for me, please!
22 April 2009
While taking the Prednisone, it seemed the headaches were slightly less severe, but it was such a slight difference I think it was more hope than actuality. Darn.
As for the Topamax, it may eventually have been able to help me. However, by the time I was up to 4 pills/night (total of 200 mg), the side effects were too much too take. I was so loopy that I almost felt drunk (without the fun of tequila!) and had an even more difficult time concentrating on such hard items as, um, sitcoms or conversations with Bobby. So, Bobby and I made a decision to wean me back off the Topamax. At 3 pills/night the side effects are manageable, but they don't seem to stop the headache, so what's the point?
As for the headache, the base pain level (the constant pain that's always there) is moved up from a level 5/6 to a 6/7. What used to be occasional stabbing points of pain have now evolved into the feeling of 4-legged animals (ranging from goats to Clydesdales to elephants) tap-dancing on my head without any prior notice. And, yes, they are wearing the metal taps on their feet. All four of their feet. And sometimes they are not dancing solo. And they are definitely not light on their feet.
So, I'm going back to the neurologist tomorrow (Thursday). I want to go over everything with him and see if there are some other tests/procedures we can try or even if it might be beneficial to redo some now that it's been a few months. I will let y'all know what we figure out.
Oh, I did act like a somewhat normal human being over the weekend. We did have a couple people over for a "test run" of Soccer Saturday for the first time in a long time. It went ok, though I did have to basically check out of the conversation after a fairly short time, and there was no way I could actually keep up with the 2 or 3 games on the televisions at the same time. That ability is definitely beyond me at this point in time. Oh, well.
15 April 2009
The full report will, of course, be sent to my doctor, but I can't imagine it's going to contain much more information than what I was told. And, wonder of wonders, I had the mammogram, ultrasound and results all in under an hour! I had forgotten there were actually some medical things that got answered that quickly!
I started taking the Prednisone yesterday and upped the dosage of Topamax, too. No change yet. I'll keep y'all informed of any changes. Changes or not, I'll be calling my doctor next week to let him know what's going on and to determine our next step, per his directions.
After all the headache discussion, there was actually a second part to my doctor visit Tuesday. Joy of joys, on Sunday night, I had noticed I had a rather large lump in my left breast. Oh, goody. It's on the underside, just above the underwire area in my bra, in an area where I would notice it if it had been there very long, even without my regular breast exams. My first thought was, "Great. Something else to deal with." My next thought was, "Oh, geez, I'm gonna have to get a mammogram. I hate those things." I missed getting mine last year, so I knew that was definitely going to be the first step once I told my doctor.
Anyway, sure enough, my doctor checked the lump and said it felt glandular and told me to get a mammogram and an ultrasound to find out what's going on. He's fairly certain it's some kind of cyst, so we're going to go with his 30+ years of experience/intuition while awaiting the results. The mammogram and ultrasound are scheduled for noon on Wednesday, so at least I'll have answers quickly on this one. I know I'll get yelled at for not telling people about this, but I really don't think it's going to be anything to cause concern.
14 April 2009
I went to see my doctor today. We're going to see if Prednisone helps with the headaches as the one thing that's been consistent throughout all the tests are two indicators of some type of inflammation in my system. Unfortunately, we don't know where the inflammation is, though I did give the doctor a laugh.
Doctor: "There's definitely some type of inflammation in your system."
Me; "That's it! I'm not fat, I'm inflamed!!!!"
Doctor: [laughing too hard to respond]
So, started on the Prednisone this afternoon and should know by Thursday if it is going to help.
Also, the Topamax has not been helping, even at 2 pills/night. He told me to try 3 pills/night and 4 pills/night starting on Saturday if it's still not working (and the Prednisone isn't working, either, by that time). It's another of those trial-and-error things.
At least the depression is back under control since I've returned to my normal dosage of Zoloft. Life is much better on this dosage!
Many people have been offering suggestions to me and I discussed a couple of them with my doctor. The first one we discussed was the usefulness of me visiting a chiropractor. My doctor shook his head so hard I thought it was going to fly off his neck! He explained that, in reality, any GOOD chiropractor would listen to my entire health history and then refuse to do anything (too many unknowns along with the "knowns"). He said the problem would come when a chiropractor did not really pay attention to my health history or did not ask all the proper questions and/or follow up on the answers. So, I will not be going to a chiropractor any time in the near future.
I then asked about going to the Mayo Clinic. My doctor said, "I hate to bring up the practical issues, but would your insurance cover it?" When I explained that I would verify coverage before going, he stated that it might be worth the trip. However, he would like to discover if there's a way to find out if they would accept the results of all the MRIs/CT scans already done rather than redo all those expensive tests. New additional tests would make sense, obviously. He said that the doctors there are really good, but just because you hear all these wonderful stories does not mean every single person who goes to the Mayo Clinic is able to find answers. I would need to be prepared to come away with no more answers than I have now. If I decide to go, he would be willing to help me with whatever I would need. I think I will hold off on that decision for now.
The headaches have been really bad the last week or so. I really hope the Prednisone helps. I've felt like there's an elephant standing on my head most of the time recently and there have been times when a horse has kicked me just under that elephant's foot. I am sleeping pretty well most nights now, though I am still awakened by the headache frequently during the night...I rarely go to bed before 1:30 a.m., though.
No other news from here. Hope everyone is doing well!
08 April 2009
I'm still waiting to see if the Topamax helps with the headache. I'll be upping the dosage tonight.
Thanks for all the prayers and good thoughts....keep 'em up!
07 April 2009
Topamax may or may not be helping yet. The headache was really bad the last few days, but it is less awful today. I also experienced some of Topamax's side effects (dizziness, lightheadedness) yesterday. However, the headache's intensity changes frequently and I've been dizzy before, so I am not sure it is all due to Topamax. Another day or so at this dose and if I don't see concrete changes, I'll increase the dosage and hope for the best.
The stress of all this is really getting to both Bobby and me. There are things we would like to do, but we do not want to spend the $$ until we know what is going on with my disability. So, we're just staying home and eating at home a lot. This wouldn't be so bad if I was able to cook, but when the headache's bad or I'm really dizzy, I do not trust myself in the kitchen. Bobby's been great, cooking what he can, but his repertoire is even more limited than mine! Kind of ironic, we sit around watching all these cooking shows on television, eating our bagged/boxed/frozen/prepared meals. ;-) It gives us a laugh, anyway!
Once I have an answer from insurance or some medical breakthrough, I will let y'all know.
06 April 2009
01 April 2009
- The endocrinologist wanted me to wean off Zoloft and try Pristiq, thinking Zoloft may be causing symptoms. However, I am having difficulty slowing/stopping Zoloft. I mean, I take an anti-depressant for a reason! My attitude, appetite and sleep were all being affected, not to mention the bouts of crying (including in my doctor's office today).
- I've had CT scans of my head, chest, abdomen and pelvis. I've had an MRI of my head, as well. The only abnormal findings were that my spleen and left adrenal gland were both slightly enlarged. All tests have shown that there is nothing inherently "wrong" with these organs. I am to have another CT scan in 6 months to make sure the adrenal gland is not getting any larger, but it is most likely just some kind of fatty deposit on the gland.
- I have had all kinds of blood and urine tests. Everything which has been tested has come back "normal" - and we all know I am NOT normal. :-)
- The headache has been practically non-stop since early December and I have not worked since December 5. No drug I have tried has done anything to lessen the headache pain. Sometimes it is drastically affected by noise levels or over stimulation, but other days the intensity does not change no matter what is happening around me.
- My short-term disability ended March 19. No decision has been made by the insurance company regarding my long-term disability claim. I officially have no job now and only the approval of my long-term claim will allow me to continue my health insurance at the same amount I had been paying. Otherwise, I have no insurance after April (unless I use COBRA and pay the entire amount). [Note: 3 boxes containing the personal contents of my cubicle/desk were delivered on Monday, so the "not working" is very real.] This, of course, will make it nearly impossible for Bobby and I to pay monthly bills. We're ok for April, but beyond that it is hard to say.
Now, here is what happened at the doctor's office today:
- Due to the very obvious emotional and physical effects of reducing the Zoloft dose, the doctor said not to try and make a switch right now. He said the odds of Zoloft causing problems after this amount of time were pretty slim and were definitely outweighed by the negative consequences of trying to switch anti-depressant types at this time. So, I'm going to work my way back up to my regular Zoloft dose. This should definitely help my coping abilities.
- My doctor agreed with the plan to have the adrenal gland checked in a few months. Since all the other tests are normal, he does not think there is a reason to pursue anything else at this time.
- My doctor also reassured me that he believes this is a real, physical problem for me. It is not psychological or something else. He has been my doctor for a long time and knows that if I have pain, it is real. He told that if I feel lost/hopeless or like I am losing my mind, to remember that I am not imagining all this.
- He wants me to try taking Topomax to help with the headache. However, he wants me to check with the neurologist first to make sure there is no contraindication about the drug. Topomax is an anti-seizure drug, but has also shown to help with headache pain. I have the prescription, along with a card to make it only $5/month prescription (otherwise it is a lot more). Once I hear back from the neurologist, I will get it filled.
- The nurse had told me when I got there that the disability forms/medical records had been faxed to the insurance company. However, when I told the doctor a decision had not yet been made, he took me to his office and called the insurance company. There was no indication in their file that the fax had been received. They asked if the doctor could send the fax again. This time, use a different fax number and break the fax down into several smaller faxes (it was 35 or so pages). The insurance rep said that, once the records are received, it should only be a day or two for a decision. My doctor asked if calling/checking on Friday would be appropriate. He was told that was reasonable. So, the nurse was re-faxing the paperwork when I left and the doctor told me to check the status Friday and to call and let him know if there was no decision yet. He will call the insurance company again, if need be. Now, I just have to hope it is approved! It will pay me 60% of my salary as well as continue my eligibility to some benefits for up to 30 months (which I hope I do not need). Then, once this issue is resolved, I'll just need to find a new job. No problem, right?
The endocrinologist's nurse just called with my latest blood test result. Once again, I'm "normal"! This was the estrogen level check to see if, perhaps, I was entering menopause. Apparently I'm not. Gee, does that mean I'm NOT as old I feel right now?
Thank you to all of you for your thoughts, prayers and offers of assistance. They are all appreciated. Please continue to keep me in your prayers...they're all I have right now. I don't currently have plans for more tests, but once the depression is stabilized again, I'll work with my doctor to figure out what else can be done.
30 March 2009
Still waiting for return call from endocrinologist about estrogen level blood test.
I'm also going to go see my primary doctor sometime this week and go over all this stuff with him. Perhaps he/I/we can figure out something to do/check/test if we look at everything all at once.
I'm almost out of ideas. Note the "almost" - I have come up with another possibility while searching desperately for answers on the Internet. [By the way, it's hard to do complicated research when you can only keep at it for 15 - 20 minutes at a time! I end up having to take breaks more often than I can do heavy research. Oh, well.]
Still waiting for an answer as to whether or not I am going to receive long-term disability payments. Sure hope so, otherwise it's going to be difficult to pay for anything with no money. My case status is still officially "pending" at The Hartford.
23 March 2009
Another day, another non-answer.
The free cortisol in the urine test was well within normal range. Cushing's can be cyclical, but the doctor did not seem concerned about an adrenal problem at this point. He said the lobular appearance of the adrenal gland, based on the size, is just a lumpy bit of fat. There's no reason to do anything about it unless it grows to larger than 4 cm (it's 1 cm now). At that point, ,it would need to be removed. I'm to get the abdominal CT scan done again in 6 months to see if it has changed in size.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we're once again at square one in finding out what's causing all these symptoms. This time, we're going to test some theories on two different fronts.
The majority of my symptoms could be explained by the onset of menopause. I had blood drawn for a test to check my estrogen level. (I could have sworn I had this test way back in November or December, but I'm not sure). If it's low, then I go on estrogen replacement stuff. (If these results come back normal, I'll probably talk with the doctor about doing another cortisol test).
The majority of my symptoms could also be explained as a possible side effect of my anti-depressant (Zoloft). Even though I've been on it for about 10 years, it could potentially be the culprit. I know that right after I started taking it I had night sweats, but it was only for a couple of weeks and then it went away. So, we're going to try another drug (Pristiq). Unfortunately, this will be a 4-5 week process. I have to wean off the Zoloft over the next couple of weeks, then start taking the Pristiq. I then would have to take Pristiq for 3 weeks or so to find out if it's working. The doctor said Pristiq works in essentially the same way, but is "cleaner" than Zoloft. Makes sense, since Pristiq is a much newer drug than Zoloft. I have 3 weeks worth of samples to test it out. He also gave me a prescription for it. If I try it and like it, I get the prescription filled. If it doesn't work or there's some other problem, then I just go back on the Zoloft. In addition to the samples, he also gave me a card to save money on my prescription co-pay if I do get it filled. I'm sure there's no generic for this drug yet, so I'll have to pay a much higher co-pay than I do currently. I figure it's worth a try. I know Bobby will let me know if there's a problem with the new drug. (Apparently I'm rather irritable, snappish and no fun when the anti-depressant isn't working!)
So, I'm back in the wait-and-see mode. I'll call his office next Monday if they haven't gotten back to me yet about the blood test results on the estrogen level.
As for how I'm doing, I'd have to say so-so. I am so tired of not having an answer, along with waiting to find out if my long-term disability insurance claim is being accepted, along with trying to figure out if we need to move next month. Good thing I'm on blood pressure meds....I'm sure it'd be soaring otherwise! I'd love to back to work, but when I try anything mentally taxing, I can't handle it. The fact that my sleep is all messed up really doesn't help anything. Sadly, I'm even getting used to very little or a whole lot of sleep, with rare nights of somewhat normal sleep. All of it's interrupted by headache pain, anyway.
I'd love to spend time with my friends and family, but it's difficult to make plans when I may end up with a headache so intense I can't do anything. Trust me, if there's anything someone can do for me, I'll let you know. Otherwise, I'll just stay holed up in the house. I did go to the Wizards season opener on Saturday, with earplugs. I love the drums, but my headache does not. (Oh, yeah, along with the usual drums from The Cauldron, the Marching Cobras were the half-time entertainment! Even more drums.) With the earplugs, it cut down most of the extreme noises, allowing me to concentrate on the game. Of course, even that type of concentration is affected. I lost track of the ball/player multiple times, but it was still better than watching it on television.
18 March 2009
No other information. Just hanging out and hanging on, sometimes by the tip of my nails. Headache's the same. Of course. If I wait until I'm tired and take the Ambien, I do sleep longer and a little more deeply (though I still wake up during the night). However, if I take it and just crawl in bed, it doesn't seem to help me fall asleep at all.
If/when I have more info, I'll pass it on.
13 March 2009
Nothing is going on. I haven't heard from any doctors. We have no idea what's going on with the foreclosure on this house. I feel like I'm treading water and barely keeping my head above water at this point. So many things I need to do, but I rarely can keep at anything longer than a few minutes at a time. I'm just totally frustrated. Over the last week, I've begun crying at random moments. I'm sure it's just the stress (and messed up sleeping pattern), but I'm tired of it. Bobby's not real fond of it, either. I just want an answer or answers or even a good guess at this point.
That's all I can handle for now. If I hear anything, I'll let you know.
12 March 2009
11 March 2009
He doesn't see anything that suggests any type of malignancy or tumor, and the enlarged spleen may or may not mean something. He'll call me by Monday afternoon, after he's spoken with the endo guy and they've mapped out a game plan.
So, in a holding pattern again. When I know the plan, I'll clue y'all in.
It's difficult to complete the paperwork when you don't even have a diagnosis, let alone an estimated "return to work date." Not to mention they want information on all the doctors seen for this condition, and only give you room to list one! Needless to say, I had an extensive attachment.
I'll try to update again after my appointment this afternoon.
10 March 2009
Meanwhile, I've started the 24-hour collection of urine. I'll take it to the lab tomorrow.
I am definitely not in a sociable mood today. The headache pain is very focused and very intense. I just wanted to get this note out to let people know I may not be responding to email or phone messages today. I have paperwork to complete that will require all my concentration in order to finish. Then I need to have my doctor finish the paperwork so I can get it turned in at work.
No, I'm not exactly feeling perky. I'm feeling desperate. I want an answer about something!
09 March 2009
Info from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ (National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health:
The test is used to evaluate for increased or decreased cortisol production.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone released from the adrenal gland in response to ACTH, a hormone from the anterior pituitary gland in the brain. Cortisol levels rise and fall during the day. Highest levels occur at about 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and lowest levels at about midnight.
Cortisol affects many different body systems. It plays a role in:
- Circulatory system
- Immune system
- Metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and protein
- Nervous system
- Stress responses
Different diseases, such as Cushing's disease and Addison's disease, can lead to either too much or too little production of cortisol. Urinary free cortisol measurements can help to diagnose these conditions.
Urinary free cortisol is a measurement of the cortisol in the urine that is not attached to other substances. Free cortisol represents the active form of the hormone. The urine measurement directly reflects the blood level of cortisol.I'll start collecting urine tomorrow morning, finish Wednesday morning and turn it into the lab that same day. I go back to the endocrinologist on 23 March to get results and determine our next move.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday I still have the appointment with the hematologist regarding the spleen. Though an enlarged spleen may be associated with Cushing's, the endocrinologist recommended I keep the appointment in case it is unrelated.
Yes, I still have a headache. No, it doesn't go away. The Ambien seems to be helping me sleep, but not as well as it did that first night. I'm going to try taking it earlier tonight rather than at bedtime.
Good thing I'm already on antidepressants...going through all this is enough to make you clinically depressed! It's hard to be cheerful and "normal" when the pain never stops and you can't find a cause. Add to that the stress of long-term disability paperwork and the possibility of moving due to the landlady's foreclosure, and it begins to sound like a movie on Lifetime or something. Only not as much fun to watch.
Please keep those prayers going!
08 March 2009
06 March 2009
I just got home from the appointment to go over my "normal" test results. The neurologist does not think there's anything neurologically related going on, but he wants to find out what IS going on. I mentioned the research I'd done on Cushing's Disease/Syndrome and how my symptoms seemed to fit the profile. He rolled back in his chair and looked at me and said, "Well, you've got the round face that's usual with Cushing's. Let's send you to an endocrinologist to get that checked out." So, I have an appointment with an endocrinologist on Monday afternoon. (He's in the same medical group as the neurologist).
In addition, he's still a bit concerned about the splenomegaly (I've decided that's my word for the day) - the enlarged spleen. He wants me to go see a specialist. Amazingly enough, I have an appointment with him next Wednesday afternoon! (Same health care system, but not same medical group). I'll be taking copies of all the MRIs/CTs with me with me.
It looks like I will at least feel like I'm getting something accomplished next week! Keep sending out those good thoughts & prayers! Maybe I've finally found that yellow brick road of answers...
By the way, since I once again did not sleep at all last night, Bobby told me to get some sleeping pills. I mentioned this to the doctor and he gave me a prescription for Ambien. Maybe I'll get some sleep tonight??? Oddly, I don't feel totally functional but I don't feel sleepy either. This typing thing has been a challenge, though! Mr. Delete & Ms. Backspace are getting a workout on this.
On the landlady's foreclosure & our rental predicament, she was supposed to be getting info to me about a possible lease-option to buy deal with some lender. A lady from the lender called & left a message the other night, but did not call me back later like she said she would. I have not heard from the lender or my landlady since. This could get interesting!
I also have a nice stack of forms to fill out for my long-term disability. Short-term disability leave is up in 10 days and there's a whole new set of forms to fill out for long-term disability. Thank God I've been carrying the Salary Continuance Insurance. I don't think it's full pay (60%, I think??), but it's a whole lot better than nothing! As long as I continue to pay my share of the premium, my health insurance will remain in effect, also. If worst comes to worst, the SCI would actually continue until I turned 67, though I think it's adjusted if I were to get Social Security Disability at some point. Let's just hope I don't have to worry about that. I really don't want to do all that paperwork!
At least I'm feeling slightly less hopeless today. I'll update whenever I have more info.
Love to all!
05 March 2009
Well, I got the blood/urine test results a little while ago. Unfortunately, all results were "within normal range" according to the nurse. I have an appointment tomorrow (Friday) morning to go over the results and, I assume, figure out what to do next.
I got the birthday present I wanted - test results. Too bad I'm normal (though I'm sure most of you would dispute that finding!)...I was hoping we'd finally start getting some kind of firm idea which path to take. It's rather like getting the exact thing you wanted, but in the wrong color.
I'll send/post information after my appointment tomorrow. Please keep those prayers going.
04 March 2009
Meanwhile, no news from the doctor yet. I called and left a couple messages yesterday, but no response. Odd, they were as eager as I was to get the results. It sounded like they were extremely busy yesterday, so my fingers are crossed I'll hear from them this morning. The stress from waiting is not exactly helping my headache, that's for sure!
Nothing else right now. Hopefully I'll be posting results soon!
03 March 2009
No call from the neurologist. I'll be calling them this afternoon.
Since I mentioned Cushing's in yesterday's entry, someone searching "Cushing's" was directed to my blog. Turns out she has a blog about her family's journey with Cushings - both her children and her husband have the disease. It's interesting reading, but I kept tearing up as some of the descriptions of symptoms/problems are exactly what I've experienced. If I don't get a diagnosis of Cushing's Disease/Syndrome, I will be completely amazed. If you're interested, her blog is at http://judcol.blogspot.com/ and she has links to lots of other blogs. (If you want to get a chronological read, make sure you go to the archive links on the right-hand side and go back to the beginning). I haven't read all of it yet (the whole concentration problem), but I'll be reading more on a regular basis.
Again, any news will be shared. Love to all!
02 March 2009
Meanwhile, on the foreclosure front, we're basically in limbo. According to the person at the lenders' attorney, the process takes at least 3 months in Kansas, and frequently longer. So, we don't have to move immediately, anyway.
I also received an email from my landlady, asking if we'd be interested in purchasing. Apparently, she has been in touch with some company that would offer us some type of lease-to-own. I'm waiting for more information on that. Depending on cost/terms, that could be an option for us.
I'll let you know when I get test results!
27 February 2009
As for my health, I still haven't heard anything. The headache has been very bad the last few days. It's not any better now, and it's only going to get worse as we work our way through this foreclosure stuff.
I'll update when I know more. Love to all!
25 February 2009
When I showed up at the lab, I mentioned that the test was being redone due to an error by the lab. The lab tech looked up the records and discovered (and admitted!) that it was her error with the previous test. While another tech was drawing my blood for the CBC & CMP, I heard her on the phone explaining (I guess to billing) that there had been an error previously. The insurance company shouldn't be getting billed for the new urine test. One bright spot of sunshine, anyway!
So, it's back to waiting for a phone call from the neurologist or his nurse when they get the results. I'm going to assume that's going to be at least a couple of days. I sure wish there was some kind of fast forward ability when waiting for results!
I spoke with the HR people at work. My FMLA-protected leave ended yesterday, so I now am no longer guaranteed my job when I get this resolved. Personally, unless it's months longer, I think I'll be ok. My short-term (full pay) disability pay from the company ends the middle of March, at which time I would go on long-term disability. I believe that's where the Salary Continuance Insurance I have would kick in...I don't remember all the details, but I believe it's not 100% pay, but at least it won't be no pay. They're sending me the information so I can get all the paperwork done and submitted on time if I need it. I'm hoping I wouldn't need it for long, if at all. Of course, that's assuming we have a definitive diagnosis by next week, and get it fixed/removed/medicated/whatever fairly soon after that. Not only do I want to get rid of this headache and inability to concentrate, I want to go to work! Potentially eliminating some of my other (perhaps related) health problems would also be nice.
Keep your fingers crossed and the prayers going that a real answer will be found soon.
23 February 2009
Guess what!!!! The lab did the incorrect test on the urine, so it has to be done again. Joy. Collecting pee for 24 hours is so thrilling, after all. They should have run a test for metanephrines, but instead ran a more common test with a similar name. This happened even though someone at the lab had actually spoken to the neurologist's nurse - and the nurse had SPELLED metanephrines for the lab order! Unbelievable. Let's just say that both the doctor and I were decidedly unhappy about this. So, I'll start the collection tomorrow morning and drop it off on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the radiologist's report on the CT scan indicates my spleen is "moderately enlarged" but gives no actual measurements. It also states the left adrenal gland is "slightly enlarged" and lobular (I think that was the word) in appearance. When the doctor told me that the spleen drains into the liver, I mentioned the slightly elevated bilirubin levels in the blood test done a few months ago. He indicated that the spleen problem and bilirubin levels could potentially be linked. That test was done in November. He ordered another CBC (Complete Blood Count) test to get current levels of all the usual stuff in the blood. He also ordered a Complete Metabolic Profile (CMP) blood test. This test could indicate potential liver problems, among other things.
When I drop off the urine on Wednesday I'll have the blood drawn while at the lab. Then I get to wait for them to call with the results. Hopefully, the CORRECT tests will be completed.
Now, I wasn't too sure what all these tests/terms were so I did some research. The high points are below. All of this info is from www.labtestsonline.org which gives much more detail about a lot of these terms, if you're interested. The comments in italics are mine.
- Urine metanephrine testing is primarily used to help detect and rule out pheochromocytomas in symptomatic patients. It may also be ordered to help monitor the effectiveness of treatment when a pheochromocytoma is discovered and removed and to monitor for recurrence.
- Pheochromocytoma: Tumor that causes excess production of epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine and usually occurs in one or both of the adrenal glands but may also occur elsewhere in the abdomen. (This is a further check for adrenal problems, indicated by the slightly enlarged left adrenal gland seen on the CT).
- Urine metanephrines are ordered when a doctor either suspects that a patient has a pheochromocytoma or wants to rule out the possibility. He may order it when a patient has persistent or recurring hypertension along with symptoms such as headaches, sweating, flushing, and rapid heart rate. (I have all these symptoms).
- While metanephrine testing can help detect and diagnose pheochromocytomas, it cannot tell the doctor how big the tumor is, where it is, how many tumors are present, or whether or not the tumor(s) are benign – although most are. Even small tumors can produce large amounts of catecholamines.
- The CMP is a frequently ordered panel that gives your doctor important information about the current status of your kidneys, liver, and electrolyte and acid/base balance as well as of your blood sugar and blood proteins. Abnormal results, and especially combinations of abnormal results, can indicate a problem that needs to be addressed. (This is another check for adrenal gland problems).
19 February 2009
No more info here. Hope everyone's staying warm and healthy!
17 February 2009
16 February 2009
I hope everyone had a happy Valentine's weekend. Bobby and I enjoyed a nice quiet weekend at home. Of course, it had to be fairly quiet as the headache was pretty bad, and still is. It is covering a smaller area, but is much more intense. I sure hope the latest tests lead to a diagnosis....and that the diagnosis leads to a way to alleviate the pain.
I am just so very tired of the headache and the inability to routinely do the things I enjoy.
There is absolutely nothing exciting going on here. I sincerely hope everyone is happy and healthy out there!
15 February 2009
13 February 2009
No big plans or anything. Just the trip to drop off the pee and I'll be back home.
Right now, the headache is present, but it's not as painful as yesterday. I just hope it stays that way.
If/when I hear anything, I'll pass it on!
12 February 2009
11 February 2009
Well, I'm all done with the CT scan and it only took 1 hour longer than it should have! Last night, I drank a bottle of the barium-banana drink as instructed. When I got to the hospital for the test, they questioned the abdomen/chest CT, as they normally would include the pelvis with the abdomen. They called my doctor and were told to do the scan as they would normally proceed. So.....that meant I needed to drink another barium-banana drink and then WAIT for an hour for it to get through my system. Oh, goody.
So, I drank another bottle of the stuff and sat around and suffered through Regis & Kelly on the tv in the waiting room. Finally, they came and got me for the scan. Hallelujah!
As we're walking to the room, the lab tech says that the person doing the CT scan is very picky - she'll want me to drink more of the barium-banana stuff. Yup, she was right. After they got the IV in place, I got to drink some more stuff. Thankfully, I didn't have to drink another whole bottle, just about half of one. That way, there was more of the barium in the upper part of my system during the CT scan.
So, they ran me back and forth through the machine, then injected a dye into the IV so they could get a scan with the contrast dye. The dye isn't really a problem, except that when it moves through the bloodstream, you get a sensation like you need to urinate. Very weird feeling, but it doesn't last very long. So, back & forth I went again, and we were all done.
Headache, of course, was with me throughout. It really didn't like Regis' voice, either. I stopped and got some breakfast on the way home, as I was starving! (Did I mention I couldn't eat anything after midnight?) The barium-banana stuff was not suitable substitute for breakfast, that's for sure!
Oh....and the barium-banana stuff may make me have loose white bowel movements today as my system eliminates it. At least I have something to look forward to!
On my way out of the hospital, I went by the lab to pick up the jug for the 24-hour urine collection I need to do so they can do the test for the stuff the adrenal glands secretes. I'll start that tomorrow, then take it to the lab on Friday. That will be fun, don't you think? And I get to store it in the fridge - - -even better! (Bobby - don't drink from the orange pitcher.......)
So, all my excitement for the day is done. US-Mexico World Cup Qualifier game is on tonight, so my evening's excitement is scheduled, too.
10 February 2009
Did anyone else feel like your home was going to blow away last night? It was awfully windy and noisy last night. Just all kinds of odd, loud sounds late in the night...as if my head didn't already hurt! I thought I'd wake up this morning in Munchkinland or something.
No other activity here. I'll let y'all know if anything exciting happens.
09 February 2009
However, after asking me to clarify some of my responses to the health questions, he said that he was wondering if most/all of my health problems could be related to some sort of problem with the adrenal gland! He said it's rare, but something going wrong with the adrenal gland could cause:
High blood pressure
Flushing (of the face)
Oh my God! Could it really be that all this stuff I've been dealing with (some of them for years) could all boil down to one problem?!?! Well, we're going to find out. I go back and see him in 2 weeks. Between now and then I'll have a CT scan of my chest & abdomen and some kind of 24-hour urine collection test to check for adrenaline levels. Right now, I'm going to do some research about the adrenal gland to educate myself. At least I feel like this neurologist cares about what's causing the pain. Much better feeling than the first one.
Please pray that an answer is discovered from these tests.
08 February 2009
Headache's still intense and I'm also lightheaded again. Sure am glad I'm seeing a new doctor tomorrow!
07 February 2009
06 February 2009
Yup, I'm actually wearing red while I sit around the house. At least I can participate in something!
Normal (for me) sleep last night, thank God. Headache hasn't changed much since yesterday except to center the most pain right between my eyes. Great.
No other things of importance (or even non-importance) have happened to me. SSDD
I'm just patiently waiting for my appointment with the new neurologist.
05 February 2009
Nothing else has gone on here. Just the same ol' routine. It sounds like the weather's going to be nice for a couple days, so we may be able to open doors/windows and enjoy it for a bit. Odd for February, but I'm not complaining! Near 70 degrees for the next few days. Of course, it's going to get cold again after that. Can't have everything.
If I think of anything amazing to tell, I'll be back. Ciao!
04 February 2009
The headache was TERRIBLE yesterday. I was literally curled up in the fetal position in the recliner when Bobby got home. I was whiny and gripy, but he made me some dinner and brought it to me. After I ate, I fell into a sound sleep in my chair for several hours and woke up in pain, but not quite as grouchy.
So far, the headache isn't as bad today, but since I've been up such a short time, it's hard to judge. I just hope it doesn't get as bad as yesterday - I hate those days.
Nothing else going on here. I'm off to eat. Bye!
03 February 2009
The headache's staying pretty intense almost all the time. It's also covering a larger area of my head. It's making it more and more difficult to be nice. Good thing Bobby understands and when I start wincing, he knows it's time to stop conversation for a while. I did manage to do some laundry and a load of dishes yesterday. I also made dinner.....though I was definitely ready to get out of the kitchen when the hamburgers were done. I was sweating and felt not quite light-headed, but like a curtain was slowly being pulled over my mind. My hands were shaking and Bobby made sure I was ok to eat. Less than a week now to the appointment with the new neurologist! Here's hoping I can wait that long and that the pain doesn't keep getting worse.
Well, I better stop now. The headache's already making itself known (like I hadn't noticed). Nothing else going on here.
02 February 2009
My friend, the headache, has been at a higher level of pain since yesterday afternoon. It made it difficult to fall asleep, and then I couldn't stay asleep for any length of time. So, I got up out of bed. I'm hoping I fall asleep in my chair sometime today as I still feel in desperate need of sleep.
At least the football game was good last night....though I didn't listen to most of it (earplugs) because of the crowd noise. There are just certain sounds that just feel like they're echoing inside my head.
Before I go, here's what Punxsutawney Phil predicted (I'm not sure of the spelling, but it's something like that)..............6 more weeks of winter! Yes, the "Inner Circle" out east declared the groundhog saw his shadow. Amazing, since that part of the country was cloudy. :-)
01 February 2009
Slept in a bit, then Bobby and I went to Target to get some Mountain Dew and a game for his Xbox 360 that was $20 off. Good thing we went when we did as there were only 2 of the games left when we got there. Pepsi products were on sale, so we grabbed some as Bobby was really suffering from a lack of caffeine. We then went and had lunch at Olive Garden, so we're both very full right now.
Of course, the headache's still there, I don't really feel all that great and the casual strolling around Target brought on some serious heat...I was just burning up. Oh, well. I feel better now, though I wish the headache would ease up some. I mute the tv when Bobby's not around, but reading the closed captioning only lasts for a bit before the required concentration starts to make the headache worse. Of course, many shows are just as good or better without the sound!
We'll just be hanging out watching the game tonight. Nothing exciting. Have a good day, everyone!
31 January 2009
I don't feel well this morning. It started last night and it's only marginally better now. I'm hungry, but it feels like if I actually eat anything it won't stay down. The headache is still at a pretty high pain level, so I'm sure I'm not very good company. I took a nap late yesterday afternoon, getting up about 7:00 p.m. and was back in bed shortly after 10:00. I slept almost another 9 hours and only got up because I really needed something to drink. I feel almost dehydrated so I'm imbibing in a lot of water.
Nothing else much is going on. Just sitting around. Have a good day, everyone!
30 January 2009
29 January 2009
You know, my doctor had asked my opinion of the first neurologist yesterday when I was talking with him. I told him, "He's nice enough, but he really doesn't seem all that concerned about the pain I'm in." My doctor said that perhaps the neurologist doesn't have good people skills. Well, that may be true, but why does the nurse sound all pissy when I call? I get the feeling that patients really keep her from doing something. What? I don't know.
Here's hoping the new neurologist is able to do more for me. It sucks to be off work, but unable to do much because of the pain. When I went to the doctor's office yesterday, it was only the 2nd time I've driven in 6 weeks or so. Both the trips involved no highways or major traffic, but my head was excruciatingly painful by the time I got home. No way I could drive in traffic or on a highway! So, I'll get myself to nearby locations (new neurologist is just across the highway, by the hospital), but leave the driving to others for longer routes.
Yesterday afternoon, I went by my primary care doctor's office to drop off new disability leave paperwork to be completed. The doctor took me back to one of the rooms to review what was going on. I updated him on the latest wait - for blood test results - and he asked where I had the blood drawn. It was at a lab that's also the lab company they have on site. So, he went and asked the lab tech if she could check on results from my tests. She did what was necessary, discovered the results were complete (as of yesterday), and they actually faxed the results to my primary doctor within minutes. She said they were also faxing the results to the neurologist's office. The doctor looked over the results, said nothing jumped out at him, but that the sed rate was still elevated. ????
I told him that the neurologist's nurse had told me before that the sed rate was complete and it was normal. My doctor said, "No. It's elevated." ????
He explained that the elevated sed rate indicates only that there is some type of inflammation in my system, but does not diagnose anything else. Other tests have to be done to determine the specifics. When I told him that I had received the denial notice for the CT-A based on the fact that the head MRI was "normal" he was amazed. He went back to the MRI report where it very specifically stated that the result was "abnormal" with unknown white areas in the brain tissue and a cyst in the left sinus. I'll be contacting the insurance company today. But why had the neurologist's office submitted paperwork for approval indicating the MRI was normal?????
So, yesterday afternoon I gave the neurologist a chance to look over the blood test results. He never called This morning, I called and when the nurse called me back, she said that the results were not received yet!!! Weird, as I was looking at a copy of the results at the time. I don't know what's going on with the neurologist, but I'm going to find another one. I have lost all faith in this one. At least I can show up with my CT & MRI results, along with 2 rounds of blood tests, for the new doctor!
So, now I have a headache (figurative) to go with the headache (literal) I already have. When I have more information, I'll update everyone.
28 January 2009
So far, I'm evading most of the cold symptoms - lots of fluids are keeping the phlegm moving. I just feel rather washed out and sluggish. Here's hoping that's the worst it gets.
Nothing going on here at all. Being off work isn't much fun when you really can't do anything.
Have a good day, everyone!
27 January 2009
26 January 2009
Meanwhile, the headache is still hanging around. It's now covering a larger area rather than a small localized area, but I seem to be more sensitive to too much activity/noise. I mute the tv most of the time when I'm alone. I also have earplugs I use frequently. Right now, the pain is above my eyes, across the entire forehead and back to my ears.
Nothing else going on here. Have a wonderful week!
25 January 2009
We did leave the house yesterday afternoon, though. We went to eat at Longhorn. We both had the parmesan-crusted steak they've been advertising and it was fantastic! The steaks were covered in a parmesan/garlic mixture....lots of garlic! Garlic lovers that we are, it worked out just great. We went and ate in the middle of the afternoon so it wouldn't be crowded and noisy.
At least the 24 Hours of Daytona are on...at least there's something I can put on the tv that doesn't require sound!
That's it for me.
24 January 2009
Headache pain is staying fairly steady now. Too bad it's at a level that's just this side of intolerable. It also hurts over a larger area more frequently, rather than being kind of a localized pain.
That's all that's happening. Nothing.
23 January 2009
Headache was bad all day yesterday and it seems to have picked up right where it left off. I have the tv on so I can watch news, but it'll probably be turned back off soon. I didn't turn it on at all yesterday and even used earplugs to try and reduce the noise. Hopefully I can leave the earplugs out today, but something tells me that isn't going to happen.
More later, if I hear anything.
22 January 2009
The headache was really intense and more widespread yesterday afternoon and evening. I ended up using earplugs to block noise, which seemed to help keep the headache from worsening. Of course, it made conversation difficult! The pain's not as bad right now, but I've noticed the pain seems to increase steadily throughout the day now. 30mg of that med doesn't seem to make any difference whatsoever.
I'll let y'all know when I hear about the results.
21 January 2009
Last night I had the jitters and my heart was racing like I had drank one of those energy drinks. I have no idea why and it's not going on right now. Maybe that one (1!) Mountain Dew I drank over the course of 12 hours set me off??? I drank nothing but water otherwise.
MLS preseason training started yesterday. Yay! That means the season is just around the corner. Of course, if this headache thing isn't resolved, I don't know how many games I'll go to since the noise level is quite high. Here's hoping that we figure something out. Soon.
Nothing else going on here.
20 January 2009
I went to the lab yesterday and had the blood drawn per the neurologist's orders. The lab claims the doctor will have the result sometime on Wednesday. Meanwhile, I've upped the Nortryptiline to 30mg/day as of last night. We'll see if THAT makes any difference. I'm not holding my breath, though. Not since I woke up with a strong, localized headache pain today, even after plenty of sleep.
I am just so tired of this headache and the inability to concentrate as I did before. I'm getting completely frustrated and irritated/irritable!
Ok, President Obama has signed his Cabinet nominations, so I'm going to go find some food now.
19 January 2009
Ok, doctor update....in the mail when we got home, there was an envelope from the neurologist's office. Inside was a prescription form indicating some blood tests to be done. No letter, note or anything else. I guess I just need to go get the blood drawn at one of the labs around here. For those who are interested, the tests ordered are: Anticardiolipin antibody ANCA, RPR and ESR. I think they're the same tests I had done last month. They're all tests to either rule out specific autoimmune diseases or to confirm them. I'll get that taken care of later today. Meanwhile, the 20mg dose of the new med had no effect this past week. Tonight the dosage goes up to 30mg. Yay.
I have another story to tell about this past weekend, but it's going to have to wait. Headache is getting worse already.
18 January 2009
17 January 2009
The headache didn't lessen overnight like it often does, so I'm starting the day with the headache firmly in place. No real plans for anything except going out for dinner tonight (I think). Just hanging out with family.
If anything exciting happens, I'll be sure to let you know.
16 January 2009
Anyway, I've survived the MLS Superdraft. Barely. We got to St. Louis yesterday and went to the convention center shortly before the doors opened for the draft. Our team owners had insured that the KC Wizards fans would have seats in the first few rows, so that was great! Several other small groups of KCW fans had also shown up, so we had people to talk with. I was doing fine noise-wise until the draft got under way. Then, in addition to video segments which would come on at high volume, the supporters group from St. Louis (they don't have a team, but they're trying to get one in MLS) would begin their chanting/singing. Loudly, as any decent supporters' group should! Then, they had a drum. Normally, I love the fact that supporters' clubs use drums and anything else to make noise. This time, not such a good thing for me. I managed to stay in the room for the duration of the first round, but my head felt like it was going to explode by then. I spent the 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds of the draft in a chair in the space outside the ballroom. A bit noisy, but definitely much more bearable for me.
We went to the hotel and then out to eat (it was REALLY cold walking around downtown St. Louis!). My head still hurt, but it was down to a level where I could function reasonably well.
After we got up this morning, we went back to the convention center to tour all the cool soccer-related stuff in the exhibition hall. There are a lot of really intriguing soccer things out there! We learned some things, saw some old friends and got some trinkets. For an exhibition hall, it wasn't terribly noisy, but after about an hour or so, I had to sit down. My head was beginning to hurt worse gradually and I was feeling a bit weak and woozy. So, I spent most of the rest of the time in the nice comfy chair I located while Bobby looked through the rest of the exhibits. He bought some soccer scarves and we were on our way out.
So, we're now at Bobby's parents' house. I have some pain, but it's lessened considerable since we arrived here. I was able to lay down and nap for about an hour, which helped. We then had a great fried chicken dinner (thanks, Jean!) and then I decided to log on and update this (Jean told me to, too).
I had about as much fun as I could the last couple of days, but the severity of the pain when I was around noise and activity just really brought home how bad the headache is. At home in a more or less controlled environment, there isn't often a big swing in the level of pain. Boy, there sure is a big swing when I'm out in the real world!
Ok. Gotta go now. Dishwasher's going and I'm too close to it here. I'll probably write more tomorrow.
Love to everyone!
15 January 2009
I heard nothing from doctors' offices on Wednesday. At least my cell phone works in STL!
Later. Some time.
14 January 2009
I'm wondering if we'll find out what's causing the headache.
I'm wondering if my doctor's battle with the insurance company will result in my getting a CTA test.
I'm wondering if his battle will also result in the head MRI payment being approved (the bill is over $5000).
I'm wondering what it's like to be able to concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time.
I'm wondering if I'll be able to "hang" at the MLS draft in St. Louis, or if I'll end up having to go to the hotel for some quiet time.
13 January 2009
So, Bobby had taken a 1/2 day off work today (it's slow at work), and we were headed to Target, which is across from my primary care doctor's office. I had Bobby go there and we went inside where I just asked if I could talk to the nurse for a minute. The nurse came out shortly and I informed her of what the neurologist had said (worried about diabetes later in my life) and that the insurance company had denied the authorization for the CTA test. She looked shocked. At that point, I asked if I could go back and use their scale (to find out about that possible mysterious 20 pound loss). She took me on back and while I used the scale (without the 20 pound loss, mind you!) the doctor saw me and came over to ask what was going on with me as he had not yet received a report from the neurologist. I explained what was going on and about the denied CTA test, as well as the fact that the insurance company had denied payment for the head MRI I had done last month. Both he and the nurse looked a bit angry and the doctor told me to get the insurance information to him and he'll call and find out what's going on.
After our outing to Target and a late lunch at Long John Silver's, we came home and I looked up the claim/authorization request numbers and other information and left a message for my primary doctor's nurse.
I still have not heard back from the neurologist about our plan going forward.
Meanwhile, my head still hurts. Fortunately, it hasn't been terrible today.