Thursday, June 16, 2011
This is copied from a note I posted on FB, so if you're a friend of mine on FB, this is the same thing. FYI - Tom is my partner.
OK, so I promised not to update anything here or anywhere else until Tom sent an email to his family, but that's already gone out, so, here goes........
Tom had an appointment with his GP on Monday afternoon. The doc does think he has some tendonitis in his right shoulder, but that's not causing the majority of his pain. He ruled out any rotator cuff injuries, and thinks it's probably a pinched nerve. Had him keep up with the meds that were prescribed @ the ER on Sunday (Perc, muscle relaxer, motrin) and to schedule an MRI and CT scan. We got home and attempted to schedule the MRI locally, but the earliest appointment was Thursday afternoon (um NO). After a few phone calls back and forth, we made an appointment for Tuesday afternoon in Fairfax. (can you say "rush hour"???). Then Potomac Hospital called - they said they "found something on the chest xray" that they didn't get in before they discharged him on Sunday (WHAT?????????) and that his doctor should see it. Tom: Can you send it to him? Potomac Hospital Records: No, because he didn't order it. T: But he's my GP, and the ER doc wants him to see it. PHR: still no - we don't have his fax number (!!!!!!). After some finagling, (and me about to break nasty with PHR on the phone!) - they sent the XRay to his GP.
The pain was worsening for Tom - his scripts called for taking 1 of each every 4 hours, but by 2-3 hours, the pain was getting excruciating again (think 7-8 with spasms to 10 on the pain scale of 10). He woke up at 3:30 Tuesday morning, took "one, one and one" - ie one of each pill. By 4:30, he saw absolutely NO relief, and took 2 more pain pills and 2 more motrin. By 5AM, that wasn't working either, so I gave him an ultimatum - I drive you in to ER, or I call an ambulance. He chose me driving (I can be a forceful witch when I have to be!). Fortunately, they weren't really busy (thank GOD), so we only had to wait 30 minutes to get a room for him. We had a really great night nurse, Michele, who advocated for Tom's pain - she got him some valium and dilaudin, which again, gave him SOME relief. While we were there, they did the CAT scan (fine). They discharged us with scripts for valium, diazapam, and something else, as well as meds to help if he was feeling queasy or nauseous. We got out of there just in time for me to be able to get him settled at home, get the scripts filled, then get him again and go heading up to fairfax for the MRI.
Did I mention that in the middle of all of this, I've seemed to have caught cold? I guess it was because I was dressed for "outside" on Sunday when we went to the ER (shorts and tank top) - but it is FREEZING in the ER - the nurses all wear hoodies! So, now I'm coughing up a storm (hacking up a lung, as my friend Michelle likes to say). Robitussing is now my friend!
We got the MRI done got the CD of the MRI and headed on our merry way home. Thankfully, traffic wasn't as bad as I expected, and we made it home in decent time.
Wednesday morning, I went in to work for a bit - I hadn't been there but for a few minutes Monday, and not since - caught up on a few things while Tom was to call his GP to get an appointment to have the MRI results read. They said they had to call him once they got the report from the MRI center. We argued that "We have the CD they gave us" - but apparently they needed something else. No call at all from anyone on Wednesday, just Tom writhing in pain. The pain is getting steadily worse - he's having to take the meds every 2.5-3 hours instead of the 4 hours prescribed.
Thursday (today, as of this writing) - still no call from the GP - so Tom called them - they still hadn't gotten the report from the MRI center. I again offered to bring our CD over to them, but that wasn't what they wanted to hear. Weird thing, tho - they asked "So, where did you get this done at, again?" ----- I about LOST it at that point - HELLO!!!?!?!?!?!!? YOU are the ones that GAVE US THIS INFORMATION, HOW in BLAZES could you NOT KNOW WHO YOU RECOMMENDED?!?!?!?!?!!? (insert injured mamma-bear attitude)
So, in the meantime, I took my son, Eric, to his 7 day post-op appointment. He's actually doing pretty good, even though the site looks kinda nasty - but still good for only 7 days post-surgery! He still can't put ANY weight on the leg, but is supposed to start exercising the knee as much as he can (small movements to start, but working to bigger ones as pain allows). He has a big contusion on his calf - doc says from all the blood during the surgery - apply heat to it to help it dissipate. We stopped @ WalMart on the way home for him to get a heating pad, another reusable ice pack, as well as some groceries. He got to drive/ride one of the little carts that they have - quite the experience! If you really want to see what it looks like, I tagged myself in one of his pictures - probably not good to look at if you're squeamish - I had to sit down a few times in the exam room - it was a bit much for me.
Got home from that, and Tom and Lauren are GONE from the house - PANIC!!!!!! Fortunately, they left a walkie talkie on the DR table - unfortunately, I don't know how to use it! They were only out for a little walk inthe neighborhood - WHEW! When they got home, I got the walkie talkie lesson, so I'm able to use it now.
FINALLY the doctors office called this afternoon, and the nurse said "Well, I can see why you're in pain!" ARGH!!! Diagnosis - Pinched Nerve in the neck with Disc protrusion - see the Neuro surgeon - first available appointment - June 28 (for those of you playing the home game, that's 12 days from now). Also, pinched nerve inthe shoulder with tendonitis, possible labral abnormality - see the orthopaedic specialist - first appointment available - July 7 - (21 days away). Are you FREAKING KIDDING??????? I'm hoping they can find something else earlier, this is CRAZY!!!!! In the meantime, Tom will be OUT of pain meds at 3AM tomorrow mornig, and his followup with his GP isn't till tomorrow afternoon. I made it clear in NO uncertain terms that I would take him to the ER again if need be - I WILL NOT see my family suffer like this!!!! (oh, there goes that bad momma-bear attitude again!)
I do have to say that the nurses that took care of Tom when he was at Potomac were VERY nice, very professional, and definitely advocated for him. Thanks especially to Michelle and Jenn (you will never read this, but I know who you are).
geez.... I'm liking TriCare Prime better already.... Sorry honey.... :-)