Monday, April 23, 2012

Reports of My Death Are Exaggerated!

           Wow! What a slacker I am. It’s been ages since I’ve posted anything here. In my defence, I think it’s been close to two months since I set foot in my studio. My life has been sadly bereft of the longarm, fabric, sewing, quilting, and hand-work. I haven’t even fired up the computer to design anything on EQ7. Pathetic.

That’s not to say I have been slacking off. Okay, mostly I haven’t been slacking. We all need some R&R, me included. My attentions have been focused elsewhere. I’ve focused most of my attention of my writing career and my health which is the subject of this rant post.

During the middle of last week, I had cause to visit the local emergency room. TWICE! Now if our medical system worked like it should, one visit should have been sufficient to solve my dilemma. Instead it took two trips and I still have no diagnosis.

The saga begins ... Recently, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and that is the root of all my problems. The arthritis caused issues with my knee joint and it was all downhill from there. Knee swelling turned into calf cramps which became swollen foot and the inability to stand or walk. Since I’m on a new regime of drugs, I contacted my rheumatologist who said, “Go to emerg and get checked out for blood clots, what you are experiencing is NOT a drug reaction.” So, off I trot. (Okay, my man drives me and I use a wheelchair.)

I got lucky, emergency wasn’t busy and I saw the doctor quickly. In a nutshell, he had no idea what was going on and recommended an ultrasound to ensure that there were no clots. Here’s where the medical system gets a big fat FAIL!

Please tell me why, at eight o’clock at night, in a major hospital emergency room I can’t get an ultrasound?  The department was closed and all the staff gone home. The alternative would have been an MRI, which I am already on the waiting list for. But, those folks were gone home too. So here we have a woman in need of tests, and the machinery stands idle. I have to go home, get the ultrasound the next day at a remote site and go back to emergency with the results. While it does not appear to be a blood clot, they have no idea what is causing the pain.

 Skipping to the point of this rant, tell me why with an MRI waiting list that is months, if not years, long the equipment stands idle for much of the day?

I don’t know about the rest of the folks in line, but I would gladly show up at 2am for my test, just to get the damned thing done and my problems fixed. Can’t they staff the thing 24 hours a day? Nurses work shift work, why not MRI techs? Is this a union issue? Does the equipment need a long cool-down time after running a day? Perhaps the machine needs a nap? Is it a political way to control the dispensation of health care? I’ll tell you what it is! It is complete and total insanity!

Hire the staff and man the damned equipment 24/7 until the backlog is gone!

 As it stands for me, they still have no idea what is wrong. The leg is improving, but not with any great speed. So I wait for spontaneous recovery and an MRI. On the plus side having a chronic, debilitating disease has turned out to be a great weight loss program! The new meds have killed my appetite and I’m dropping weight like a stone. J Go me!


Side Note: "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated," is a Mark Twain quote from when a newspaper mistakenly printed his obitauary.


  1. Well, hey, the weight loss thing is a plus! Count your blessing, darlin'. No seriously, sorry to hear about your health issues and the health system issues. You're dead right; those machines should be staffed and going all the time. When Mom was in hospital, a scan was ordered on a Friday and was very urgent, but didn't get done and the staff went home. Nurse wouldn't call the doctor, so Cindy called the doctor and got him to order them back to do her test. You have to make a lot of noise to get results sometimes. Hope you are soon going much, much better. Take care.

  2. Technically, I suppose, weight loss is a minus, not a plus, but for me, anyway, it would be a positive minus..... so to speak.

    1. It's a shame that people like like your mother suffer while the equipment stands idle. The system is silly. What a huge waste of resources. We could do so much better.

      As for me, the foot is marginally better, but I've now stumped 1 rheumatologist, 2 ortho docs, 2 neurologists, 3 ER docs, and at least 8 or ten med students.

      What can I say, I am a confusing person.


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