Friday, October 10, 2014

Happy Birthday - the followup

Yesterday, I was called in by the VA ... to pickup a temporary wheelchair. They REALLY want me to stay off of the fractured foot!

After that, I had an appointment with my Primary Care ...

My B12, D3 and ... were low. Consult to endocrinology, prescribe D3, ...

Had concerns about lack of healing in my foot. Wasn't happy about the CT and Dexa Scans of my Spine. Prescribed Alendronate Sodium 70mg once a week.

This has not been a good week for me.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Happy Birthday?

Today I returned to the VA for follow-up on my broken foot. The news wasn't good. After 5 weeks, no signs of healing - other than one very tiny area. They are ordering a Bone Growth Stimulator - oh joy. They are also ordering a wheelchair. While that might be excessive just to immobilize a fracture, there are other reasons involved.

The previous CT Scans of my Spine and the DEXA Scan point point to an increased risk of a spinal fracture with NO trauma. Add in my risk of falling, and the chances of a Spinal Fracture jumps up markedly. As much as I don't want a wheelchair, I want a broken back less.

My B12 level is also low - low enough that Subclinical Combined Degeneration of the Spinal Cord is a possible diagnosis being mentioned. This is NOT a good thing - but it does explain a lot.

Given all of the above, the Doctor is recommending:

Consult to Endocrinology;
The Bone Growth Stimulator;
a Wheelchair;
Prescriptions for some kind of Bone Growth/Strenghtener
Return in 6 weeks
NO weight on the fractured foot
Possible surgery in the future

What a way to spend a Birthday ... yes, it's THAT day. I am only 39 (plus tax) ... damn tax goes up every year.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Freaky Friday

A lot is going on medically behind the scenes - more on that later.

I am in a strange mood because of that 'behind the scenes' stuff, so I thought I would throw out some rumours and outright wierd things I have come across.

  1. REbola - I've come across some very low key hints that the Obama Administration has been developing a strain of Ebola that targets mainly Republicans. Apparently there are enough factors different in the Extreme Right to allow such targeting. They have also developed a 'cure' for this GMO Ebola strain - if you were a Koch or Walton, how much would you pay to save your life? Good way to pay down the National Debt!
  2.  I've heard that there actually ARE FEMA Camps - they are being constructed at Area 51. This will allow controlled human testing with security already in place to keep it concealed.
  3. The human testing at Area 51 - not that I believe it, but rumours say that Aliens actually are involved with that and Area 51.
  4. Drones - Police are getting surplus military equipment already. Drones (and missiles) are next on the list. Soon almost every second of our lives will be under militarized police surveillance - with missiles under the control of our trigger happy cops to enforce any suspected criminal acts. Buying green vegetables at a Farmer's Market? Obviously, it's a drug deal, so they will smoke you and half of the Market to stop 'the drug deal' in it's tracks.

I will edit this post all along as I get feedback and come across more rumours and conspiracy theories that seem to have some evidence to back them up ...

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A VERY Long Day

Yesterday was a VERY long day. Start with a 4 hour drive to Gainesville VAMC. Add in a 2 p.m. Neurology appointment that didn't start until 3:30 - and didn't finish until 5:30. Then spend 4 hours driving home through a thunderstorm most of the way. My Broken foot (the one I'm supposed to stay off of) wasn't happy about the almost 1 mile of walking to get around the VA hospital - I wasn't happy, either ... for various reasons.

The appointment was delayed because there were new Doctors for everyone (The VA Hospital in Gainesville uses the Students from Shands for a lot of routine things - like follow-up appointment). I DO like my new Doctor (actually a 1st Year Neurology Resident), and he did a good evaluation and was receptive to suggestions about my treatment from me. He agreed that I could taper off of the medication I was taking for Neuropatic PAIN - because I have no pain in my lower extremities. Once he was through and had a tenative plan in place, he had to get it cleared by his supervisor - a Neurologist on staff at the VA Hospital.

After a relatively long wait, he returned - with the on staff Doctor. The Staff Neurologist asked a LOT of background questions about my Active Duty time. Was I exposed to yada yada (Yes to Asbestos, Ionizing Radiation and probably Agent Orange) and then detailed questioning about those. Detailed questioning about my other conditions (Cardiac, Pulmonary, Migraines, Ménière's, etc.).  Then he said,

  • My lack of sensation in my lower extremities and foot drop was probably due to a problem in my Lumbar Spine at the L1 through L3 levels (narrowing of the spinal canal - AKA Spinal Stenosis) and there was nothing they could do about it. It would get worse with time and there was nothing they could do about that, either;
  • He wasn't happy AT ALL about the number of falls (and near falls) I have been having. More on this later;
  • The CT scans of my Lumbar and Thoracic spines were worrisome, and I would be consulted to Orthopedics for that;
  • There were some concerns about some of my lab work, so it is back to the vampires for more blood letting;
  • He wasn't happy about the fracture in my foot (and some of the CT Scan findings on my spine), so he was going to order a DEXA Scan (Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) to check my bone density;
  • He wasn't impressed by the walker I have to use to take the weight off of my broken foot when I have to walk - so he is adding that to the Orthopedics consult and suggesting I should be placed in a wheelchair ... because of my foot and all of the above reasons.
It's easy to see why my appointment took 2 hours - and why I'm not real happy right now. This is far beyond what I expected, and far from the news I really wanted to hear.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Just what I needed

As previously blogged, I have no sensation in my feet. Yesterday, I stepped onto an uneven surface - but the lack of sensation didn't warn me that it was uneven ... AND that my foot was NOT firmly planted. Therefore, I almost fell - when my left foot twisted under.

I knew it was injured - because for the first time in years I felt pain ... LOTS of it. I applied ice packs and hot compresses and had no swelling or bruising - initially. I sent a secure message to my Primary Care at the Tallahassee VA just to cover myself, but didn't expect to need any further contact.

This morning, I could barely walk and the least amount of pressure was excruciating. There was also some swelling and bruising - therefore, I called the Tallahassee VA and left a voice mail for my Primary Care.

I was called back within a few minutes - X-rays were ordered; come over right now.

You know it isn't good when the X-ray Tech tells you to wait and brings a wheelchair because - Your foot IS broken!

Now I have this:

and a walker ... and orders to stay off of it!

For those interested, I have a 'Jones Fracture'.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wow ... just, wow!

The temperatures have been crazy hot; it has rained almost every day; it REALLY hasn't been a good time to try to train on my handcycle ... SO! I got a special deal from SportCrafters on an Overdrive Handcycle Trainer.

What's that, you ask? It is a roller trainer that increases resistance just as if you were rolling down the road.

I got everything set up - including the Garmin Ant+ Speed Sensor - and went for a short trial run. It is MUCH harder than I anticipated ... partially because I went "faster" than I anticipated.

How fast did I go? Average was a little over 6 MPH - which is NOT fast. HOWEVER, I hit a PEAK speed of ... wait for it ... 62.3 MPH!

Yes, it was a VERY short peak, but it shows what the new gearing is capable of. Going down a hill will put far less resistance on the wheel - and me. Going up the hills is still going to be a workout, but going down the hills is going to be a LOT of fun!