Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Saga of the Elbow Continues...

Monday, April 13, 2009

7:00am: I got up feeling pretty good and ready to go to work. My elbow looked a lot better after elevating it all night.

7:20am: I got out of the shower, my elbow was red, swollen, and looked worse than ever. I make the executive decision to telecommute so that I can elevate my arm and use my laptop simultaneously. This was a very good decision.

9:00am: Call the Cancer Center to ensure that I actually get to see the doctor on this particular day. At this point I'm pretty concerned and ready for some answers about my stupid elbow. They reschedule my already scheduled blood work appointment for later in the day so I can get it all out of the way at once.

2:30pm: Arrive at the Cancer Center for blood work, pic line cleaning and bandage change, and doctor follow up for my elbow.

2:45pm: My oncologist sees me, gives me great news about my progress after JUST 1 WEEK of chemo and then takes a look at my elbow. Much to my disappointment, he is not quite sure what it is either. It is one of three things he decides...infection, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout? Gout? Seriously? Has anyone had gout in like the last 100 years?

3:15pm: I head to the infusion room for blood work and now, for a uric acid test which will apparently tell me whether I have gout. Neat.

4:00pm: Leave the Cancer Center with new dressings on my pic line, blood work done with all of it looking normal, and still no answers about what the HELL is wrong with my freaking elbow. Elbow? Seriously? ELBOW? Also, I leave with ANOTHER new prescription!!! Shocker.

***Let me take this opportunity to, it is not the elbow on the same arm as the pic line. That is EVERYONE'S first question.

7:00pm: Take my three new medications, plus the brand new anti-inflammatory just prescribed, as instructed by my oncologist. I am told that I should finish out the 10 days of antibiotics and hope for the best. Not the answer I was looking for, but neither the nurses nor the doctor seemed that concerned, so apparently, I need to calm down.

Note: I am still taking my temperature frequently and monitoring the elbow closely. I mean, frankly, if I'm not going to take control of my own health care by being an informed and conscientious patient, then who is? I urge everyone to trust your health professionals, but a healthy level of skepticism and concern is not to be sneezed at! Second opinions are the gold standard. Inquisitiveness and curiosity as a patient are your currency! Take care of yourselves.

Just for fun, here's a picture of the rig I've concocted at work to keep my elbow elevated and still be able to do my job. Is it silly? Yes. Do people laugh when they see me? Absolutely. Do I care? No way. I'm freaking brilliant for coming up with this at all! Props should also be given to my coworker, Cheyne, for lending me the white thing that my keyboard is sitting on. This was taken Tuesday, April 14, when I went back to work. Enjoy!

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