Warning - this is a long blog. It has been a while....
Saturday, April 14, 2018
I noticed that it has been over a month since my last blog. During this time period, I've experienced lots of very extreme emotions due to things that are going on in my life. We are still in the process of settling into our new house. Since I'm still on the injured reserve list, hubby has had to do all of the unpacking. We still have so many boxes everywhere!
Right in the middle of unpacking, we got a notice that we are going to be audited by the IRS. Say what??? Why, we'll never know but since we have so much other stress right now, our CPA (who was irritated at the IRS fishing expedition) will be handling it on our behalf. If there is a major issue, and I can't imagine that, we have a tax attorney who will step in. Our CPA already spoke to the agent and what was scheduled to be a four hour interview has suddenly become one hour. We have all the documentation necessary, all organized by date for both years. Her whole demeanor changed when she talked to our CPA. I can't imagine what the agent was talking about because I looked at the tax forms and they were all straightforward. Like we really needed more stress.
Three weeks ago, I had a follow up appointment with the neurosurgeon, who treated me in the hospital after my fall in January. My primary care physician didn't like the amount of pain I was having and said I needed to be seen. Before my appointment, I did some x-rays at the imaging place of neurosurgeon's choice and then I was seen later that day. The good news was that The doctor said I could take off my back brace and continue with home physical therapy. He told me that I was pretty much healed. However, the doctor wanted me to have two MRIs and an additional set of x-rays.
Flash forward to Thursday, April 12th. This time I had the MRIs and x-rays done at the place of my choice. I had the CDs containing the tests and anxiously awaited my appointment. When the neurosurgeon entered the examining room he said hello and then proceeded to ask me where my backbrace was. He said he wondered why I wasn't wearing it. I reminded him that he had told me three weeks before that I was pretty much healed and didn't need it. His response was, "I did?" Okay, now I was getting confused. He said that the new tests indicate that the vertebrae break wasn't totally healed and that a back brace should be worn - especially away from the house. Then he poked and prodded and asked the same questions he asked last time. Apparently, he didn't recall that conversation. By then, I was getting very irritated. I calmly answered all of his questions. I wondered if he would even make a note of them. Then, I turned the tables and brought out a list of questions of my own.
This is the part when I got so upset that I started to cry. Yes my bone strength is in the normal range but no it still isn't in a range where any kind of surgery would be successful. I asked how to improve my bone strength and he told me to discuss it with my primary care doctor. I asked if I can drive and got a huge NO! He said I would have to be assessed by someone who is authorized to do it. In my current condition, I don't qualify. WHAT??? I asked him what is causing my falls - the answer was I don't know. You need to have some tests done. I asked if I can do Silver Sneakers from a chair - the answer was no. I am to continue with home therapy under the care of a physical therapist. Then he said I don't want you to walk without a walker. He pointed to my two wheel walker and asked if that is what I've been using all this time. I told him yes, that Medicare only covers one walker every five years. He told me that I need a rolling walker with a seat and locking brakes. He said he'd be happy to have someone come into the room and fit me with one. At this point I was frustrated, emotionally crushed and starting to get very angry. I told him no thank you. I started to cry and the doctor realized what his detached attitude had done to me. He belatedly made an attempt to be human. He told me he had just the guy for me to see. I asked if he knew of anyone closer to my house since I can't drive. He just ignored me and told me that this guy wasn't too far from the neurosurgery office and might be able to run the appropriate tests including a driving assessment. He didn't hear anything I said. I was crying when he left the room. I got my things together grabbed a Kleenex and went out to the hall. The doctor happened to be there and asked me to go back into the room because we weren't finished yet. All I could think of is, "What now?"
The neurosurgery assistant came into the room and asked if I was okay. I wanted to say "Sure. I'm always okay when I'm crying." Duh! Instead, I just said "No!" In her cheerful voice she told me not to worry, they would get me all fixed up with the help of this other doctor. Right. She said she would send orders over and have the other doctor call me, next week, to make an appointment. Apparently the neurosurgeon thinks that I might have some sort of neuropathy in my left hand and both legs. But, the other doctor can run tests to see what the problem is. My attitude is, "whatever." I'm so done. I'm overwhelmed. I just want to leave.
My husband was in the waiting room and became anxious with just one look at my face. We got out to the car and I explained what had happened. I was furious, frustrated and emotionally crushed. Hubby was furious too. He asked me what I want to do and I said, "I want to kick this idiot to the curb!" I will find another neurologist to see and who can run tests. We high fived, started the car and headed home. Hubby was shocked at the doctor's change of how he was going to handle my issues. It was a total 180 degree change from three weeks ago.
I returned home just in time to meet my physical therapist. She wanted to hear what the neurosurgeon had to say. She got upset as she listened. Together, we came up with a plan to see an alternative neurologist, located much closer to our house. She has heard good things about him and hopes he will be able to help me. I already have an appointment for this coming week. We'll see what happens. With all of the restrictions placed on me, my spirits have been sadly lagging. It is time to work on the way I'm looking at things and take back as much control as possible! I can do this!
I've decided to embrace the new rolling walker that I ordered. Along with the walker, I ordered brightly patterned seat and back rest covers. I can change them to match my moods and outfits. I also ordered a cup holder. The walker is dark red. Yes, the accessories cost bit but if it helps me crawl out of my crushing despair, it is worth every penny I have spent. I've also ordered several books to read for those times I'm required to lay flat on my back. I also plan to have some highlights put in my hair and to wear some makeup when I go out. My object is to surround myself with positive people and tend to my own needs - specifically my emotional needs and physical needs. I also called my primary care physician. I left him a message telling him what is going on with my spine. His office called me back and they have placed me on a waiting list for cancellations. I still will keep my current appointment with labs scheduled for May. I think I've done fairly well since Thursday afternoon, don't you? I still woke up on the verge of tears this morning but today was better than yesterday, which was better than Thursday. I will prevail!