Saturday, June 03, 2006

Well… Finally We have a Date…

For Maryan’s surgery that is… We met with the spine surgeon yesterday, Dr. Hey, and we’re on the schedule for Tuesday June 6th!! That’s right next Tuesday!

If I’m sounding a little excited, well I am. The waiting is finally over, and I believe this time we’ve got a surgeon that understands her situation, knows what needs to be done, and, has the knowledge and skills to do it!

You can read some about Dr. Hey here. He’s actually a pretty nice guy, which, considering many of the other medical folks we’ve met along the way, was a very nice surprise!

It’s been a very long 18 months for her. A lot of false hopes, and encounters with medical folks who had less than what I’d consider simple human kindness. Her original surgeon actually looked at her xRays and MRI and said (and this is an actual quote) “I don’t see anything orthopedic wrong with you”

Dr. Hey on the other hand, took one look and pointed out the same areas I’d pointed out to the last Dr and said you’ve definitely got a ‘pinch’ here and several smaller ones, here, here and here….

I learned a lot about what a ‘pinch’ looks like when I suffered two separate ruptured disks in the same year back in 2003. She had the same types of visible ‘stenosis’ that got me sent to a surgeon, yet this other ‘Dr’ was claiming there was nothing wrong.

The point in all of this is what a wonderful woman I’m married to. Never once did she ‘give up’… or accept that ‘it was all in her head’… that’s right, in her head… it was suggested she see a psychiatrist to see why she was imagining the pain.

I’ve lost a lot of faith in the medical profession over the past couple of years. I’ll never again take on face value what a physician tells me. I’ll research, get second opinions, and as long as what I’m being told doesn’t agree with what my body and brain are telling me, I’ll continue to fight for and find a proper course of treatment.

I’ve met a few, very compassionate and caring physicians too, it’s not that I think they’re all bad, it’s just the way some of these folks simply ‘dismiss’ what a patient is telling them… as if it’s not possible the patient could have a clue what’s going on.

One thing seems to distinguish, for me anyway, the ‘good ones’ from the ‘bad ones’ and I’m going to share that tidbit with you.

I sincerely hope you never find yourself in a similar situation, but if you do, one of the things you need to do is:
  • Put together a medical ‘notebook’
  • Keep all of your medical test results in it (ask for copies, you paid for them!)
  • List all the medications you’ve tried and may be on, how they worked or didn’t work.
  • Also keep all Xrays, MRIs all of it, together with your notebook, as well as anything else you feel is pertainent.
Take this with you whenever you go to see a new Doctor for the first time. If they dismiss, or otherwise disregard what you’ve brought them, leave and never go back. These types believe that only what ‘they’ do is relevant, they’re not going to help you much.

There will be Doctors though, that when you bring this with you, will actually got through it, page by page, ask you questions, get feed back from you as they read the materials and utilize it in their search for what’s wrong. These are the medical professionals who know enough to know, that they don’t know everything. That knowing what’s been ruled out, how tests have been interpreted, right or wrong, the effects of previous medications and so on could put them much closer, much faster to determining what might actually help you.

I credit Dr. Mark Phillips with helping us turn the corner. He’s also a great, very human, physician and practices in the pain management area of medicine. He’s on the board of directors for the “North Carolina Society of Interventional Pain Physicians” and extremely talented in his chosen field. While he doesn’t have an impressive web site (and I may have to change that for him) he’s a very impressive physician, and a truly compassionate human being.

He agreed with us, that for her to be in as much pain as she was in, there had to be an underlying cause. He’s known Dr. Hey for years, and they’ve worked together at different times in their careers. He made a call for us, and got us in to see Dr. Hey, for that alone I’ll always be grateful to him.

I finally feel like we can see the light at the end of the tunnel!!

Switching channels….

It’s raining here today, so my continuation of the brickwork project is on hold for at least another week So with that plan held up, my plan today, is to finish up the electrical repairs to the bike (remember the bike?), and do some general cleaning and organizing in the garage.

In addition, due to the Dr’s appointments and the surgery next week I need to see if I can get a little bit ahead on some of my projects at work so I don’t hold anyone else up. Fortunately, what I’m doing right now, business rules, field validation properties and designing the ‘packaging’ aspects of the new equipment database I can do without much interaction with others.

I’ll post some pics of the joys of motorcycle electronics and of a clean garage tomorrow, if time permits I might also ‘plumb’ some of the new steel air distribution lines I’ve been planning to install, with pics of course!


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13 comments:

Dizzy Ms. Lizzy said...

Bill,

Our thoughts will be with you and Maryan on Tuesday.

Also, I'm verry happy she asked me to help moderate her site - - should be fun! :-)

Liz and Steve

Tatty Tiara said...

I just found your blog, so of course I don't know the backstory, but spine surgery? Every good wish in the book for a quick and complete recovery for your Maryan!

Jay said...

I know that surgery is no treat no matter how much it may be needed, so I wish her well, and a speedy recovery.

I am so glad you were persistent and found some doctors you were comfortable with and confident in. I've definitely encountered my share of dismissive doctors, so you really do have to be your own advocate. Keep going until you get the help you are entitled to.

Bill said...

Liz - Thanks, we both appreciate it! I'm glad you were able, and willing, to help out.

I'm sure you'll have fun, don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions!

Tatty Tiara - First, thanks for the good wishes... second, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

Jay - It is amazing isn't it? You're absolutely right, we all need to be our own advocate as there doesn't seem to be many folks out the doing it for us!!

Thanks again y'all for the thought and kind words... by this time tomorrow the surgery will be over and I should be headed home from the hospital to let her get some sleep!

Greg said...

best of luck!!!

Bill said...

Thanks Greg! I take it you're back from the island(s)?

Nina said...

Even being married to a physician, there are many out there that I wouldn't trust. Very good advice about staying on top of medical care. You just have to.
Prayers for Maryan . . . what a strong woman she must be. Wishing you both the best!

Lorna said...

Today is tuesday; hope all is well.

Beth said...

I just have this feeling everything will go great. =) My blog deleted the link to this blog, but I'm going to right it now. Give the wife an extra hug from me.

Jada's Gigi said...

I know I haven't commented but I've been thinking and praying for you and Maryana...no update yet? Hoping the surgery went well...

Firehawk said...

Bill,

Sorry for being gone so long. I hope Maryan's back will feel better with the surgery. My dad's been through the whole circus with back operations, and I can sympathize.

Good luck on your brickwork project, too.

Ilene said...

I hope everything is OK. I notice you haven't blogged since June 3. Blessings to you both.

Bill said...

nina - Thanks, I think we finally found the right one!

Lorna - Thanks... so far so good!!

Beth - You were right as so far, it seems things went extremely well!

Cheryl - Sorry it took me so long to post an update... but all those prayers helped I'm sure, thank you!

Firehawk - It's Ok bro... I've been AFK a bit myself! Thanks!

Ilene - I know.. I was a bad blogger... I'll try and do better! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.
*--------------------------

Everyone Y'all have been great, and I am sorry I didn't have more time to check in. I appreciate all of your thoughts, prayers and words of encouragement!!