I wish I could tell you there is no post this week because I have been hiking in the Rockies and enjoying the flare of golden aspens before winter comes. Or because I have been scuba diving in the South Pacific. Or because I have been traveling the world sampling exotic cuisines and learning about diverse cultures.
However, the reality is I am just sick and tired this week and feel too crappy to write a post.
The reality is that I don’t have the energy to leave the house, and I’m currently on a very restrictive diet that my allergist has assigned to help us determine my food allergies.
A friend, and fellow vet, sent me this video clip illustrating how crappy 2016 has been and it got me thinking…
So far, this year, I have seen the following medical specialists:
- several PCMs
- an orthopedic surgeon
- several anesthesiologists & a CNA
- an occupational therapist
- a physical therapist
- a neurologist
- an allergist
- a dermatologist
- several radiologists
- an optometrist
- the NP who administers Botox shots
- a PA in the VA wrist clinic
- and various medical assistants (LPNs etc.)
I have had numerous diagnostic medical procedures:
- an EMG/CNS
- 2 MRI/arthrograms (elbow & wrist)
- 1 cerebral MRI
- numerous x-rays (elbow & wrist)
- a cardiac ultrasound (echocardiogram)
- 2 allergy skin tests (skin prick and injection)
- numerous blood draws
- a 24-hour urine collection analysis
And I have had the following treatments:
- 2 steroid injections (finger and elbow)
- quarterly medical Botox injections
- occupational therapy
- physical therapy
- 1 orthopedic surgery, comprising of both arthroscopic and open reduction procedures, with another potential surgery pending
- 1 cancelled surgery, which has finally been re-scheduled
Once again, I am tired to the bone. It has been a long year, filled with poor health and weekly medical appointments, new medications with complicated regimens, numerous corrections of Tricare billing errors, and several rejected requests for therapeutic medical devices. This is also the year I discovered that I have multiple allergies (I didn’t know I had any), and these allergies require that I make significant diet and lifestyle changes.
On the bright side, I *do* finally feel that I am getting better quality of care. I am slowly building a team of competent medical specialists to diagnose and treat my health issues. I am learning how to get rid of the incompetent ones. Spousal Unit and I are learning how to navigate the treacherous Tricare healthcare system more effectively. I am getting diagnoses that explain my symptoms, and I am getting treatment to reduce my symptoms and hopefully address the underlying causes.
I tell myself to frame the situation positively. Instead of telling myself I am broken, I tell myself I am healing. Both are true. But I choose to focus on a positive future, rather than a negative one. I believe this will help me get better.
2016 has been a crappy year, full of debilitating health problems.
But I am healing.