And God Laughs
I told God my plans and He laughed. So now I am living, laughing, and loving according to His Plans.

Botox Round Two and Fun with Neurologists





The day before Thanksgiving I was lucky enough to have a double schedule of a standard neurology appointment to be followed by Botox injections from the Movement Disorder Specialist Neurologist. I arrived early for the first appointment, that with the general neurologist. I am not sure why I bothered, as she has yet to ever even manage to be on time let alone early in the year or more that I have been seeing her. So I waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, just when I was due upstairs in the Movement Disorder Specialist's office she walked into the room. Now her office knew I had an appointment with her colleague upstairs at a specific time and chose to keep me waiting downstairs and finish that appointment first. This comes into play later. Her big revelation is that I am far too complex to receive care under a general neurologist anymore, and she wants me to receive care for the dystonia from the Movement Disorder Specialist and for the Dysautonomia from another Specialist and to try to get to the Mayo Clinic if I ever get off of their waiting list for the waiting list. I waited over an hour to be told you have no idea what to do with me? Seriously? And you want my copay for this too?? She did order a bunch of labs because I have further loss of sensation and proprioception in my legs and feet which is strangely mirrored pretty closely in my arms and hands. By this point I am 40 minutes late for my appointment upstairs with the Movement Disorder Specialist for the Botox so my chart is shoved onto my lap and I am told to head directly upstairs, do not pass go, and do not dream of collecting any money.
I arrive in the office upstairs as fast as I could wheel, hand them my chart, and am asked very coldly if they were running late downstairs. Um, no, I decided to go out for drinks between appointments. Duh!! I was asked this same question no less than three times by every nurse, nurse practioner, and even the doctor. Apparently what they wanted me to do was leave downstairs, come upstairs at my appointment time, and then go back downstairs to be worked into the schedule. Great, I would have done that had anyone communicated that to me. So it was a rushed appointment, which I generally am not fond of when it involves long needles and my body. The Botox injections were less painful at the time of injection than last time, but more painful in terms of aching muscles later in the day and over the next couple days. I also got a weird headache right after the injections this time. I asked the Movement Disorder Specialist a question that the neurologist had fielded to him, and did not particularly like the answer I received. Lately I get what feels like the same increased tone in my legs in my lower to mid back. When this happens if I am standing or attempting to take steps with my walker it is very difficult if not virtually impossible for me to move my legs (I can move them a little better if lying down). He feels that this indicates that there is something going on involving my spinal cord, but since I have been imaged repeatedly, and my insurance charges a small fortune for any type of scan (Damn Green Cloak and Green Dagger) we will just watch it for now and see how it progresses. Oh fun!! And to test the progression of the sensory loss another round of EMG testing may be in my future. Santa, that was NOT on my Christmas list!!
Other than having to make an appointment for a check up with my internal medicine doctor, who is now holding my prescriptions hostage until I see him as it has been too long between appointments, I should have a decent stretch of doctor free time. Now if only my back would stop hurting, I might be able to see how much of a benefit I get from my new leg braces during peak Botox effectiveness!!
4 comments:

Man, I got a weird headache just reading this. I hope you can avoid (or at least minimize) the doctor visits for the near future and enjoy the benefits of the Botox and braces! I will stop complaining now about the stiff neck that Audrey gave me from sleeping on top of me.


I am trying to think of conservative pain relief techniques for your back - but you are not predictable for anything are you? Anyway, among your choices to trial, these are common techniques for low back pain due to muscle spasm - heat or ice.

I suspect the 3 questions on the scheduling was not so much to teach you, but validate an opinion already in that clinic about the clinic downstairs. After they all verified - then they can make a complaint. I know, that doesn't help you much.

I'm frustrated with you for the slowness of diagnostics (more specialists & prospects of Mayo) while your symptoms change and yet hope you can waylay the EMG until the new year.

At least you are getting some relief from the Botox.

Barbara


I am best friends with my ancient heating pad, and I drag it from room to room with me to help with the back pain. The medicines that help with the dystonia also help with the back pain, making me think that it is the same type of muscular involvement. Downside is that taking those meds in the daytime tend to knock me out for a good two hour nap at a time.
I am putting the EMG off until next year, as I refuse to do anything more medical this year. I am done, spent, finished. I declare a cease fire. :)
The Botox is working well in getting my feet facing forward!! I think we will have to hit the bottoms of my feet next time to get my feet down touching the ground (ouch!) and I think we need to add a hit or two to the hamstrings that are getting tight. But it is awsome to lok down and see feet facing forward, and I can wear my braces SO much more comfortably!!


Maybe Santa will bring you a new heating pad?!

Can your helpful meds be reduced in dosage - enough to help but not put you to sleep?

So glad to read of the improvements that botox is bringing to you!
Barbara


Job 8:21

"He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."



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Wild Olive

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Creative Victory

This is Me

I am a thirty year old enigma who has defied every expectation ever placed upon me and refused every definition created for me. My greatest passion in life is to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs and their families. As a special education teacher I broke all of the unwritten rules to make sure that my kids received the services they needed and had a right to receive. I have never been so proud to be reprimanded before in my life. Now, due to unpredictable twists in life, I am learning first hand what life is like when you rely upon a wheelchair for mobility. I am a medical puzzle with the pieces slowly being identified and put together, and my medical bills alone could fund a small nation. It takes a village to keep me alive. :) However, I am not defined by the genetic misspellings. I am a teacher, a daughter, an aunt, a friend, a dreamer, a reader, an amateur photographer, a writer, an advocate, a star gazer, a world changer. I am stubborn, situationally shy, quick to use humor and wit to make others laugh or cope with a situation, sarcastic, fiercely independent, giving, compassionate (sometimes to a fault), protective of those I love, defiant of arbitrary boundaries, perfectionistic, self conscious, self assured (yes you can be both!), articulate and occasionally dramatic. And that is just what I could fit in two sentences! :)

Who's On First, What's On Second, I Don't Know! (Third Base!!)*

Simple Vocabulary Definitions for those who may not speak fluent medical :)

Undiagnosed Progressive Neurological Disorder- This is the diagnosis that is believed to make everything else fit together. It explains my frequent infections, my muscle weakness and dystonia, my dysautonomia, my cardiac issues, my inability to regulate blood pressure, my dysphagia, my ataxia, my severe fatigue, my extreme nausea, my gastrointestinal dysmotility and IBS like syndrome, my unbelievable migraines, my sensory changes in my arms and legs, my vision issues, my hearing loss (so much for blaming medication), and so much more. Going back to infancy and childhood, this would explain the severe apnea, the significantly delayed motor skills, the reason why I could never keep up with my peers in physical activities, the neurogenic bladder, the malfunctioning thyroid, and my frequent illnesses and vomiting. This is the diagnosis now being used since the DNA testing for Mitochondrial Disease came back odd and I can not afford the expenses of a workup at the Mayo Clinic. We are treating symptomatically.

Pan-Dysautonomia- "Pan" means that it impacts many different systems of my body, "dysautonomia" is a failure of my autonomic nervous system or the part of my brain that does all of the automatic things that do not require conscious thought like telling your heart to beat, regulating your blood pressure, adjusting your body temperature, maintaining balance in space, digesting food, hunger and thirst, etc. It is believed that I have had this from birth based upon my history of symptoms, including severe life threatening apnea as an infant, but the cause remains elusive at this time

Dystonia- abnormal muscle tone and spasticity, including painful spasms, that primarily impacts my feet and lower legs and is now starting to be a problem in my back

Ataxia- difficulty maintaining balance and coordinating/executing movements

Dysphagia- difficulty swallowing due to any number of causes including muscle weakness and poor muscle coordination

Adipsia- the absence of a sense of thirst



Other Medical Issues- Lupus Anticoagulant (autoimmune disease that causes me to tend to form blood clots and has already caused two deep vein blood clots and one mild stroke), Migraines, unknown connective tissue disorder, abnormal gastric motility, allergies, history of v-tach and severe sinus tachycardia, changes to my echocardiagram that include leaking valves and a new murmur, low blood pressure, ataxia, untreated PFO (small hole in my heart that increases the risk of stroke), chronic lymphadema in my left arm, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Narcolepsy/Idiopathic CNS Hypersomnolance (believed to be a result of the dysautonomia and my brain's inability to regulate the sleep/wake cycle), mild hearing loss, malformed optic nerves, polycystic ovarian syndrome, pernicious anemia, vitamin deficiencies


* Title comes from an old Abbot and Costello routine that I chose to memorize in 6th grade and absolutely love.
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