Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My apologies to...

Judith Viorst, but I have to steal borrow (and alter) the title of one of my favorite childhood books and say that this is going to be one Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Blog Post. A lot of stuff has been happening around here, and I just couldn't sit myself down to blog about any of it for fear of sounding like a whiny complainer, but now if I don't talk about it, I think my head will explode. The short of it is this: Pain, waiting, more waiting, more pain, no knitting (I know, it's awful!) and the cherry on the top of it all-- a big ol' pile of crap has been dumped on my nieces that makes any and every bad thing I have ever gone through in my life, or ever will go through in my life, look like, well, a fairy tale in comparison. Read on if you dare.

I'll start with the easy stuff. Back in January when Tara had her surgery, I was carrying her around a lot - in and out of the car, up steps, lifting her at the vet's office, etc. I shouldn't have been doing it, since I had spinal fusion surgery in 2005, and still have to be careful, but what are you going to do? You have a sick dog, you do what you have to do to make that dog well again. I was in so much pain that I broke down and went to the doctor, (twice!) and he ordered an MRI. Of course, my medical insurance company questioned the necessity of the test. Come on, people. I have a rod and screws in my back and I'm in terrible pain, afraid that those screws are backing out of my spine and will break through the skin any day now. After yet another call to the company by my doctor, they approved the test.

Of course, then the wait began for the appointment, but that was finally scheduled for last week. Yup, I get there bright and early and am told that due to the "artifacts" in my back, they don't think they can do it. First of all, I told them on the phone when I made the appointment that I had back surgery and metal in my back. Second of all, "artifacts"? They made it sound like I have pottery shards or a scarab or two in there. OK, they get approval to put me on the table, and after a whole lot of bang-bang-banging, some dye injected into one arm, then blowing that vein, and waiting for an RN to stick the dye in my other arm, more bang-bang-banging, and then a week to wait for the results, it turns out there are no results. They said the "hardware" (which I prefer to the term "artifacts") prevented the MRI from taking any good images. Grrrrr.

I would be more worried about the pain in my back if my hand wasn't in such bad shape right now. I fell last week while rushing into the house to let the dogs out, and did something to my hand. (It was a spectacular fall, though. My purse, keys and a portable GPS system all went flying across the yard.) Fortunately it's my left hand, but it's pretty darn hard to knit right now. I probably should have gotten (or maybe should still get) an x-ray, but I've already been shot full of x-rays and a double-shot of dye this week, and I don't really want any more, thank-you-very-much.

All of that stuff is small potatoes, though. Here's the proverbial cherry on the top of the crap sundae. My sister's brother-in-law was diagnosed this week with Frontotemporal Dementia. Never heard of it? Neither had any of us. It's a rare form of dementia, striking people between the ages of 40 and 65. Patients decline rapidly, and there is no cure, and no way to slow the progression. The nieces are 20 and 25, and are not-so-slowly losing their father. My heart breaks for them.


Sue said...

Wow !! What's the next step in checking out the back?
Do still have your hand x-rayed. I broke my wrist two years ago and didn't think it was broken so did nothing but apply ice for ten days. When I finally got in to see the doc, it was broken and put in a cast for six weeks.

So sorry your nieces are having to deal with this. I hope they make the most of the time they have left together. Watching a loved one fade into a stranger is so terribly painful for everyone involved.

Channon said...

Take care of you!! You can't take care of others if you're not in good shape...

And actually, I am familiar with that awful form of dementia. My heartfelt sympathies to your entire family.

Lee said...

Your sister and others concerned with your sister's brother-in-law would get a great deal of support and information from this site: -- they are a wonderful group of people and I don't know how I would've gotten through my mother's Frontotemporal Dementia and her death resulting from FTD (in December -- it's still raw) without being able to post and read what other caregivers had to say. LOTS of resources related to FTD on this site (FTD is NOT Alzheimer's -- it's a different kind of dementia altogether, so Alz. sites are not as useful). If you go, my screen name there is wordsilk.

Tsuki said...

I can't even imagine what your nieces are going through, but I hope that they can be there for each other and their mum.

As for you - go get that wrist x-rayed! And good luck with the back too, I hope that you're better soon.

They say bad things come in threes, so that sounds like your three and you should be up for some better luck now. I have my fingers crossed for you.

Anonymous said...

So, so sorry for the trouble you and your family are going through.

As the others have said, take care of yourself so you can be strong for all that you need to deal with.
I can relate to the FTD problem. My Mom eventually passed due to complications from dementia brought on by strokes.
My prayers are with you all.

(Not-So) Cynical Gal said...

Oh, I'm so glad you blogged about it. Even if there's still bad stuff, it feels better to put it out there.

Artifacts? That is so oddly dehumanizing.

Criquette said...

Oh, Dianne, I am so, so sorry for your family right now and hope they will be able to get all of the support they will need over the next few months.

And I am also thinking about you right now, hoping that your back and arm heal quickly.

You and your family are in my prayers.

Em said...

Wow! That is a great big pile of poo you have to deal with right there. And to not be able to knit through the stress and pain and worry is just terrible. I know where you're coming from on the tests and the x-rays, sometimes you just get to the point where enough is enough. It sounds like your technicians weren't the best, which is a shame. If you don't mind me asking, where are you going for tests and treatment?

My heart goes out to your nieces; what a horrible, horrible time for them. They are lucky to have you, though, because knowing that there is family to lean on can make a huge difference in a crisis. I'll keep you all in my prayers.