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Good news, yet I wanna kill someone

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Killick, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Killick

    Killick Well-Known Member

    It's been a strange day, indeed. First, tension awaiting some medical news that could have changed my family forever, then a huge relief when we got the news. Now, some hours later, I'm absolutely pissed off.

    The backstory: I have two older sisters, twins. One still lives at home with Mom and Dad, is a HR exec with the local bank and is absolutely my favorite person in the world. She's thoughtful, generous and everything someone would want in a sister. (The other? Well, no so much, but that's a whole different thread.)

    Anyway, Beth (the good sis) has had seizures before, mostly at night. She's only had three or four, spaced over eight years, which she figured out after waking up to find she'd bitten her tongue. Very little blood, but she'd bruise the shit out of her tongue. She eventually saw a doc about it, was given medication and we thought the problem was well in hand. Then, last November while driving home from work, she passed out at the wheel. Crashed her car into a tree literally across the street from my parent's house. Totaled the car, badly broke her ankle, but these were quickly seen to.

    The larger problem was figuring out why she'd blacked out in the first place. Now, seizures seemed to be the least of our concerns. So, starting right after the crash, the local doctor ordered brain scans. The first showed an abnormal area, which he said was likely related to the crash. The next month, another MRI and this time, he says its an abnormality that is likely an early stage of multiple sclerosis - he wasn't sure but wanted to keep monitoring it. Each month, a new MRI and each month the doc would alternate between "it's just scar tissue of damage from the accident" to "yep, I think it's MS." Six months of this shit, with us chewing fingernails each time she went in.

    Then, the last scan - taken earlier this month - his notes, in which he's back to MS, say the area is located in a "posterior" position.

    "Stop," I tell my sister. "Do you have all your notes? Get them."

    I have her read all the earlier reports, and my suspicions are confirmed. In most, he locates the area in an "anterior" position. In two, he says it is located in "posterior."

    W.T.F. Is this thing jumping around in her head? Does it magically disappear in one area and pop up in another like the fucking Great Kazoo from the Flintstones? And why the fuck can we not figure out if it's MS or not? Isn't there some other test they can do, or why do we have to look at an MRI and play "Is You Is, Or Is You Not My Fucking Scary Medical Condition?"

    I finally convince my sis to chuck this local fucker and demand a refer to a much larger and better staffed hospital, which turns out to be the Cleveland Clinic. She went, had another MRI and the doc says it does not seem to be MS. Proceeds to do a lumbar puncture which confirms it is not MS. We got the results today -- after a few days -- at which time I felt like I was able to breathe for the first time in six months. Absolute relief - like holding your breath under water until you can't hold it any more... waiting five more seconds until you're about ready to pass out, then holding for another three count before breaking the surface and gulping oxygen.

    Now, we still don't know why she blacked out, which is still a bit scary, but we do know it ain't MS. After hearing the news, I had about four hours of the most joy I've felt in a long, long time. I was absolutely giddy.

    Then, it starting turning dark again.

    For six months, local bumfuckery had us on pins and goddamned needles. For six months, this local quack proved that sometimes, "M.D." can also stand for "motherfucking dumbass." For six months, that asshole had my whole family in hell. I want fucking blood. I want his goddamned testicles on a fucking pike to display in our front yard.

    I know I should just be happy with the good news. Believe me, I am. I'm unbelievably happy and I wish I was back home tonight so I could just take turns hugging my sister and my Mom and Dad. At least I would be feeling something positive tonight, instead of fantasizing about the bloody, vicious painful evisceration of the fucking doc... and having only SportsJournalists.com to vent those feelings.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post which probably means little to anyone else. But I had to get this out somewhere, just try to exorcise this in some way.
  2. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    sorry for all you are going through. but i must ask, as a 24-year m.s. patient -- why were you so freaked out about the possibility of m.s.? granted, it's no one's idea of fun, but it's no death sentence, either.

    i've gotten married and raised three boys. a good friend in town, another m.s. patient, also has three sons about the same age (19, 16, 14) ane she's in far better condition than i am.

    all's i'm saying is i pray they find out what's up with your sister soon. i'd hate to think you'll be longing for the days when you were terrified it might be m.s.

    best of luck.
  3. Killick

    Killick Well-Known Member

    Why was I freaked out? I realize it's not a death sentence, shockey, and I'm glad it hasn't been for you. And absolutely, there was a good chance it could be relapsing-remitting... but there was also the chance it could have been much, much worse. And a relapsing-remitting course can change very quickly. That diagnosis is still a big, scary thing.

    The other possibilities, which we understand are mostly circulatory, can be directly dealt with whether surgically or with medication. Most can be cured, or repaired. No cure for MS, yet.

    She could live with MS for a long, long time, as you have, but that sword of Damocles would always be there. I didn't want that for my sister.
  4. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    i understand that, sure. just like i live in fear of my boys having m.s. when they're older, although it is not believed to be hereditary.

    and i do pray that they find out your sister's seizures are caused by something treatable. i do. i don't want to rain on your parade, i really don't, but until they figure this thing out it just struck me that your dance of joy was premature.

    of course, it's entirely possible i'm being overly sensitive. perhaps our other SportsJournalists.com buds can weigh in and let me know if i need to apologize more adamantly.
  5. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Killick, you have every right to be pissed. Hopefully just the venting helps. I'm not sure what can be done that is productive, though perhaps giving the idiot doc an earfull would help cheer you up. :)

    Just be glad y'all were taking notes and thinking rather than just trusting the doctor. At the very least, that saved you even more stress. I hope they find out what is causing her to black out soon. That still has to be a bit scary until they pin it down.

    shockey, I don't think you were really that out of line. Obviously, understanding MS is very important to you. I agree with your suggestion that Killick and his family may still have rough times ahead depending on the cause of his sister's problem.

    Then again, perhaps I'm not the best person to speak on the subject of the appropriate tone for a discussion on SportsJournalists.com. :)
  6. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    Not to be the devil's advocate, but medicine is not an exact science. Yes, the local doc appears to have dropped the ball with regard to the MS, but like you said, all the new doc has determined is "not MS."

    Chess, not checkers.
  7. Killick

    Killick Well-Known Member

    Yeah, after PMing with Shockey (and a day's distance) I'm willing to give the guy a break on the six months. I am still pissed, however at his inconsistency - going month-to-month with "it probably is" to "unlikely" then back to "consistent with" before returning to "probably just scar tissue." That, and not even being consistent on the location of the abnormality. It's like he didn't even consult her notes, was just winging it each time.

    On the update front, another doc has looked at the MRI and says it's not an aneurysm, which was another big fear. So, cancer, MS and aneurysm have been taken off the board. Next scary thing remaining out there is...? At least, they've got her on Topomax (I think that's the name), which is supposed to guard against another seizure. They also want to do a sleep study with her. Not sure where they're going with that.
  8. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    Evisceration, while perhaps temporarily satisfying, probably isn't the best approach. I'm sure you've already surmised as much. I wouldn't rule out a call to the state medical board to file a complaint. If there have been others, then the man might get professionally eviscerated.
  9. PeteyPirate

    PeteyPirate Guest

    The doctor didn't do anything that warrants sanction. He just couldn't figure out what the diagnosis was. The current doctor hasn't figured it out either.
  10. Killick

    Killick Well-Known Member

    Yeah, probably. I just wonder how long we would've gone without him saying "Shit. I don't know. Let's get another opinion" if we hadn't asked for it.

    Fuggit, I guess. I'm the only one still harboring a grudge. The rest of the family has moved on.
  11. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    probably best to move forward, as frustrated as you are. i've learned in a quite painful manner with a screaming ankle issue years after surgery in 2001. everyone's been at a loss to come up with an answer for my pain. docs have taken out the titanium plate/screws that were put in the joint, thinking it might be irritating the nerves in the area. no dice. that was in october of '08.

    they've had me on painkillers from vicodin to percoset to oxycodene to opana, which has morphine in it. again, nada.

    nothing gives me much relief. now i've been fitted with an orthotic designed to keep my foot straight at a 90 degree angle at the ankle, theory being that the foot's natural tendency to rest inward strains the tendons in the area. i haven't received it yet.

    it this doesn't work, all the docs seem, at a loss. i can't fathom any of this -- especially why the pain meds have failed to even make me loopy and not give a darn about the constant aching. i mean, isn't stuff like vicodin supposed to do that? not for me.

    so i understand completely your frustration, killick. like me, you were probably raised by folks who looked upon docs as gods, with the right answer for everything.

    what i've learned the hard way is that it's all a crock. i stil believe docs mean well, have good intentions and all that jazz, but they are fallible through no fault of their own at times. this health stuff is a most inexact science, as noted before. 8) :( :mad: :'(
  12. spup1122

    spup1122 New Member


    Don't be surprised if you notice a lot of weight loss in your sister with the Topomax. If she ever had headaches, they'll probably be gone as well. I was given topomax because I had migraines and I ended up losing 50 pounds in just a couple of months. It's a known side effect. I'd also be curious to see how quickly they're working her up. It took me a month and a half just to get up to 100mg. If one were to just take a full dosage right away, it could cause massive heart problems.

    Also, if for some reason she were on birth control, depending on the dosage, it can be counter productive. Those are just a few of the things my doctor neglected to tell me before I started taking it. I'm sure her doctor talked to her about it, but if they didn't, just a heads up.
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