Another day, another trip to the hospital. At least it’s something I WANT to do this time, but I will be gone most of the day. Sorry about that!
I was supposed to be at the hospital yesterday, but they got my tests mixed up, so it got canceled. The same tests, this time properly ordered, will be rescheduled next week.
It all has to do with veins and dye infusions.
I don’t have any veins.
Well, that’s not exactly true. I have lots of them, but they are all tiny and thready. Getting blood out of me is tricky (trickery?). I have often suggested I bring my own knife and slice off a piece of finger like I do at home. Just give me a vegetable to cut and I’ll produce gallons of blood.
Whenever I do that (which used to be often), there was blood absolutely EVERYWHERE. For some reason, the hospital never agrees. As I said: getting blood out is just a bit of trickery (and some nurses really have a magic touch for finding a viable vein) — a medical magic trick.
Getting a substance (any substance) into me is a nightmare. I have defeated two hospitals who could not find a usable vein and wound up infusing into my throat. Which, while not terribly painful, is really ICKY in every meaning of the word. And it looks ugly, too.
In both cases, it was that or die so I couldn’t argue the point … but this is a test. The reason they need veins is so they can put dye in me to make the test results sharper.
They should get Topaz’ new AI Sharpen filter. It’s amazingly effective and then, they could skip the dye and still have sharp results.
Regardless, I’m not going through the “hunt the body for a viable vein” experience again. Been there, done it, didn’t like it. We’re not doing hands, feet, or throat, sorry. If that’s the choice, whatever is wrong with me will just have to stay wrong.
For the past few weeks, there’s almost no part of me that doesn’t hurt and last night I woke up crying because I hurt so much I didn’t know what to do. So of course, called the doctor as soon as he was open and said: “I cannot go on like this.”
More drugs are not an answer I would have to take a LOT more drugs and I’m already thoroughly drugged. I have to find a way to make my life less painful. I want to be able to walk. Even if it’s not a hike, just walk more or less normally for short stretches. Not such a big thing one might think.
So cortisone shots it is. For now.
I know the shots are not a cure. What’s wrong with me (entire spine riddled with arthritis) is painful, but not lethal. It won’t kill me. It might make me wish it would and it will linger on, getting worse as the years roll by. Not a pretty thought.
I remember being 30 years younger, living on Beacon Hill in Boston and hauling 40 pounds of groceries up the long hill to our apartment. Realizing my legs were like iron. I was muscled. Between hauling heavy bags up long hills, horseback riding, and walking everywhere in Boston because if you moved the car you might never find another legal parking space, I was in great shape.
The shoulder is an offshoot of horseback accidents. When you are riding, one of the things you learn is if you fall, hang on to the reins. If you don’t, your horse is going home. It’s a long, long walk in your riding boots back to the stable. It’s entirely possible you don’t even know the way back since as often as not if you are riding alone, the horse was your GPS.
I should have taken care of it 50 years ago, but I didn’t.
I also have a left knee without an anterior Crucis ligament due to a bad fall — as well as the shoulder which could have easily been repaired when I was 25, but can’t be fixed now.
I waited too long. Like I did with my hands. Nine years ago they could have fixed the arthritic spurs but today, they can’t. It has advanced too far and I’m too old.
I yearn for those days when I had muscles in places I didn’t know you could have muscles.
I don’t have long-term answers. Cortisone shots a few times a year with some luck will help keep me moving. Nothing will repair the damage. There’s no surgery anyone is willing to do that will fix it. It has degenerated too far and the previous surgery caused as much damage as it supposedly fixed.
Right now, though, I’m glad enough that there’s even a respite — even if it’s just for a few weeks.
Long term? I am still working on that one.