Monday, October 31, 2011

Not Out Of The Woods Yet

I started physical therapy again last week.  Unfortunately, my old PT moved to a satellite office, so I have to see someone new.  And as of right now, my insurance only approved a consultation visit.

I think this must be GI purgatory.  This is the place where they send people whose bowels are possessed by the devil. 

Apparently I have a sluggish colon, plus some of the muscles at the end of things are just frozen.  They’ve stopped working.  Explains why taking a dump has become akin to an Olympic sport.  Seriously, it’s freaking exhausting to be tethered to a toilet, not knowing when you’re going to shoot blanks, or actually drop some kids in the pool.

I’m sorry for being so blunt.  Actually, I’m not.  Not really one bit.  I pride myself on presenting my illness experience in the most truthful, if not funny, way.  And sometimes, you have to laugh. 

Forget Moves Like Jagger.  I’ve got moves like Elvis.  It’s all in the pelvis.  Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

So anyway, back to purgatory I go.

And it’s great to get a rectal exam from not one, but two doctors.  The joys of this place are just unending, let me tell you.

Hopefully we can avoid the word throw-up that included bible verses from a religion that I don’t belong to. 

So the new PT is asking me about health issues.  And she says, Aside from lupus and RA, you are in perfect health?  Is that a sick (pun intended) joke?  Is she mocking me?  Me?  Perfect health?  Ship shape?  Mint condition?

I don’t think so.

This body, with its freezing joints, and the possibility that anything I come into contact with could make my body go crazy?  Is that the definition of perfect health?  I certainly hope not. 

Given the fact that I’m 26, but I feel like I’m 80 years old part of the time would suggest to me that my body has seen younger, better days. 

Things could be worse, for sure.  But they could definitely be better.

Then she tells me that my posture is bad and that because I am short and my legs are longer than my torso, I’m basically pre-destined to have a difficult time doing my business. 

What the heck is up with these PT people?  They are so tactless, it’s unbelievable.  And don’t you just love it when healthcare professionals start nitpicking and telling you you’ve got more wrong with you than you previously thought (in not necessarily a medical way)?

So I’m annoyed with the whole PT experience.

And I’m not being a good patient, and am avoiding the flu shot like the plague.

After the whole pneumovax debacle, you can say that I’ve developed a slight aversion to shots.  While getting vaccinated may help me in the long run, in the short run there is a lot of anxiety.  Will the shot be given correctly?  Will I have a reaction to the shot?  Am I better off not getting the shot at all?  I will probably just wait until my rheumatologist appointment that’s in the middle of November and get it then.

But even then, I’ll do it with my eyes peeled.      

If you go to the Lupus Foundation’s website, go to the Research tab, and then select Lupus Research Summaries, there is a flu link.  The two summaries basically suggest that people with lupus who are immune-suppressed may not gain full immunity from one flu vaccination, and that getting two might offer better protection.

I really hope that’s not the case, because for me, this is going to be a one shot deal.  Literally. 

As the weather changes to cold and gray, there is a strong sense of foreboding.  

I’m ever vigilant.  I have to be.  In 2009, I was hospitalized in October.  In 2010, I was hospitalized in November.   Are you sensing a pattern here?  And not a very good one.  This year I probably won’t take a sigh of relief, until, um, I don’t know, spring?

So please, just let me get through the rest of 2011 without any health crises.

Is that so much to ask?

As winter creeps up on us, I feel a weight bearing down on my shoulders.  

The cold has increased my pain and stiffness to a significant degree. 

Clearly, I’m not out of the woods yet.   


  1. Did lupus/RA somehow make your legs shorter or your torso longer? Is this a new problem since your diagnosis, that you didn't experience before? I'd say the PT needs to have a few basics pointed out so that other patients aren't subjected to this idiocy.

    I think I was 23 when I went to the doctor for intense pain in my side. My doc wasn't available so I saw someone new. The new guy asked about bowel habits, and I had to admit that recently it did hurt to use the bathroom. He then suggested that maybe it hurt because I expected it to hurt. At that point I wanted to throw him out of the room. It wasn't until later that I came up with a comeback, "It hasn't hurt for 23 years; why would I suddenly expect it to hurt?" Now I've learned to speak my mind with doctors, but the road wasn't an easy one.

    So sorry you're having more difficulties. May you remain hospital-free this year!

  2. I'm sorry, I couldn't get past the - Aside from lupus and RA, you are in perfect health? --I don't know whether to laugh or cry with you.

    Hope things get better for you.

  3. Aside from the shooting Mrs. Lincoln, what did you think of the play? What was that PT thinking? It never ceases to amaze me what stupid comments people make. Hope you have a better few months from one person with bowel issues to another.

  4. A geriatric doc offered/recommended a single, but double dose flu shot to my mother last month. Wonder if you can get one of those?

  5. She's saying that I'm short, which is clearly something that I already knew. She better not try to be one of those people that claims I'm short because I was malnourished as a child or something. Then I may really have to punch her in the face.