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IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?
2 August 2012
If there is a doctor in the house, the chance is that I have seen her today. My word have I been doctored up I've been poked, proded, drained, pushed, pulled, and everything but shot--and that's only because I think they forgot to do it.
And it all started with a simple annual exam.
Before I went to the exam, I wanted to be sure I had (finally) done the labs they have been asking me to do for months. Off to the medical offices at 7:15 to give blood and urine. Home at 8:30 (lots of people waiting for tests, so it took forever to be called), got a quick breakfast and went back to the office for my exam.
The doctor was late, so it was nearly 10:30 before I saw her. While I was waiting, I was noticing that this was the first time in years when I could actually tie the lovely gown. In the past their large size was too small for me. But I've lost 40 lbs this year on my butter and ice cream diet, and my blood pressure showed numbers I don't remember seeing ... 111 over something in the 70s. I usually run 130/90+.
The doctor and I talked mostly about my knees and feet and she did some planing (shaving) of the wart-like things on my toes that made it difficult to walk in Europe (along with everything else that made it difficult).
She sent me off to x-ray for the knees and to check the big lump on my leg.
That happened at the lab which is also where you get mammograms and I'm almost due for a mammogram so I decided to have done at the same time. One stop shopping. I waited forEVer, including about 30 minutes in the little cubicle waiting my turn at the squish-a-boob machine. Thank goodness I had my Kindle. Then I got dressed and waited another 15 minutes for the x-ray tech to go to the bathroom and take my x-rays.
She did most of the x-rays with me standing up, but then did some with me sitting. She tried to get me to hold an x-ray plate, and contort my body into something resembling a sitting up fetus minus the amnionic fluid. Totally impossible. My body just is not that flexible any more! She had to get someone to come in and help, a woman who complained she had to risk exposure to the x-rays because I couldn't hold the plate myself. (She said it jokingly, though. I think.)
The doctor had made an appointment for me to see a physical therapist. In Sacramento. At 2 p.m. It was 12:45 when I left the x-ray department. I did not have enough gas to get to Sacramento, my cell phone needed to be charged and the charger was at home, and I didn't want to drive an hour without my iTouch, so made a flying stop home, picked up the iTouch and the charger, got gas and headed to Sacramento.
I was wondering if I were going to get lunch at all, but arrived with about 15 minutes to spare, so went to the nearest fast food place, Del Taco and ordered the first thing I saw. Turned out it was tacos with...french fries??? Weird combo. I also ordered a "medium diet coke," and didn't realize it was the size of a small bucket. Good lord--what is the LARGE size?
I tried to finish lunch in the hospital parking lot, but had to leave the coke in the car, in the hot sun (it was about 100 degrees)...and as it turned out, I was in the office for such a short period of time, the coke was still cold and still had ice in it when I got back.
The physical therapist was the same one who treated me after the bike accident in 2003, which started this whole knee business in the first place. She greeted me with a grimace and said she had just looked at my x-rays and my knees "didn't look good at all." Turns out I have degenerative joint disease (fancy word for arthritis) and almost no cartilage, which is why it has been hurting so much, since the knee cap is rubbing directly on the bone.
I am also considered a high risk patient for knee replacement, so the plan is to work on doing stretching exercises to strengthen thigh and calf muscles and perhaps start a water aerobics program. And everybody thinks my cane is a great idea. Go me! I guess.
I still have to go to the podiatrist to check on the foot problems, but that won't be for 2 weeks yet...and I have to go to Vallejo, halfway to my mother's, for that appointment.
But I feel like I've had my tires rotated, my oil changed, and I'm good to go for another year.