28 March 2012


The verdict is in: I'm going to live!!! Hallelujah!!!

I finally got the MRI & MRA report (brain scan) and I do, in fact, have a brain. I guess the problem is that I'm not using it to my best advantage, lol.

No aneurysm, no tumors, nothing out of the ordinary. That was the last hurdle and now we can go home.

The best we can figure on the headaches is a vicious cycle of tension-pain-high blood pressure-more tension etc, etc, etc! Also, the blood pressure machine I bought was way off accuracy. I took it in to the doctors office and the new one was sooooo wrong I returned it to the store and I'm just going to the doctors office each week till we get home. My b/p is nearly normal and will likely come down the rest of the way when I get home.

After much considering and praying about the best plan for returning to Alaska, we are going to fly to Seattle on April 12. It will take us a couple days to have new tires put on the rig and then we'll start the long drive home. We know the roads will still be icy for much of the AL-CAN but we'll take it slow and easy. If needs be, we can spend a couple days to wait out a storm.

Paul and I appreciate all everyone has done for us. Several people have taken care of our home, cat, mail, driveway (snow) and vehicles. Also we have imposed immensely on his sister and her husband for 3 months by living with them. We hope to be able to repay (or pay it forward) for all our blessings and every one's generosity.

Look out Homer, here we come :-)

19 March 2012

A Little Forward Motion

I finally got in to see one of the specialists. He does sleep disorders and he's also a neurologist. He doesn't think I have sleep apnea and he thinks that my headaches are tension caused. (Most likely diagnosis considering the circumstances)

I also got the approval today for the MRI (or is that MRA?). I'll find out tomorrow when I make the appointment. I think it's an MRI with contrast to look at the blood vessels in the brain. My blood pressure is still rather high and unchanged with the medications.

Well, that's it in a nutshell, what'd I miss?

06 March 2012

Never-ending Medical Visits

Today I finally saw the neurologist/headache specialist. He has some ideas but needs more investigation before he can zero in on a diagnosis.

He's ordering an MRI of the skull/brain and a sleep study to rule out sleep apnea.

He has ordered a couple medications to use in the meantime to lower blood pressure and pain.
So, we're looking at 2 weeks just for the insurance company to give up the approval for another MRI. See what I mean about "Never-ending"?

I'll give you more when we have the test results and plan of action. No sense in boring you with anything else right now since there's not much happening except headache.

Feel free to email or call us if you have other questions or jokes to tell me!!!

02 March 2012

Headache Improvement

I have seen the neurologist and his NP and got a referral to a Headache specialist neurologist. Unfortunately, it's Tuesday March 6th before I can get an appointment.

I did have my appointment with my primary care practitioner today as follow up to the emergency room visit. I liked him, he's into preventing instead of fixing a problem and he's anxious to have a cause for the headache instead of covering it with more drugs. I'll contact him as soon as we know more.

Paul's doing very well. He has had some dizziness and low blood pressure but I think we beat it. We eliminated one of his medications that is the culprit, viola, no light headedness!!! He's also still losing weight and the goal is not to lost too quickly. His clothes are hanging on him and he looks like he's wearing his daddy's shirts and pants. Good thing he has some smaller clothes at home.

That's about it for now, thanks for hanging in there with us.

26 February 2012

Headache Saga continues

Well, by Monday my headache wasn't any better. So, off to the emergency room I go! We spent 6 hours having CT scan, Chest X-ray, Blood Work, and finally a Spinal Tap. I really liked the doctor in the ER he was friendly, thorough and quick. He said there was nothing in the spinal fluid, it was crystal clear. He pronounced me very healthy and gave me pills for migraine headache and referred me to an neurologist.

I was lucky to get in to the neurologist by Thursday and he thinks it is actually a migraine that is perpetuating itself. He prescribed a vasoconstrictor, muscle relaxer, and prednisone. He said that he wants to stop all the symptoms that are causing each other.

Finally I got some relief. I think I still have some pain in my head that's soreness from the 10 days of swelling. I want to see the neurologist soon to get a little fine tuning. What to do if this happens again, etc.

I was very difficult to diagnose because I keep walking after everyone else has gone to bed. I tolerate much more pain than most people and the doctors can't tell how much pain I'm actually experiencing. I got that reminder from my girlfriend yesterday.

Another note, I cancelled my shoulder surgery. My pain is almost gone and I can lift my arm above my head again. It's a miracle, no doubt about it! I'm VERY hopeful that we can come home soon. We need to tie up a few loose ends and find a flight but I'm encouraged.

18 February 2012

You are sure patient to keep checking here for updates...

Nothing much happening about my shoulder. I'm approved and have the x-ray and lab work complete but the calendar is not cooperating. Monday, Feb. 27th is the magic date (I hope).

Wednesday night I went to bed with a headache, a pretty bad one. Thursday afternoon I saw the chiropractor for an adjustment because I thought my neck was the cause of the headache. Thursday night I went to bed with a really painful headache. OK, maybe my sinuses are stopped up and causing me this pain. Friday I went to the health food store and bought some homeopathic remedies for sinus problems. I tried everything. I woke every two hours from 7pm to 7am and no improvement. That's when I decided to go to the urgent care. Bad experience.

The 'doctor' (or whatever she is) asked me what I was there for and I said "Headache". She said, "you need to see your primary care doctor". W H A T ? what are they there for if not for me and my problems. She then said she could give me something for the pain for a couple days till I could see my PCP. I raised my voice and started to cry, saying, "I DON'T WANT PAIN PILLS, I WANT A DIAGNOSIS" She asked who my PCP was and I said Dr. Krstic. She asked who is Dr. Xxxxxx, I said I have no idea, never heard of him. She said he had given me 120 pain pills Jan 3rd. Oh, that's my pain doctor's associate. He gave me a large bottle to take back to Alaska because they can't give me refills.

That visit didn't go well and it got worse. I told the nurse that I was allergic to penicillin but she neglected to write it down and the doctor wrote me a prescription for a derivative. Good thing I'm familiar with it or they could have poisoned or killed me. We were almost 'home' when we found out and had to drive all the way back for a new 'written' order. The girl that gave me the papers didn't know what I was to do with a lab request, 'anytime in the next week" she said. Not so, when I went back to get a new script, I insisted on talking to the doctor. She said she'd made a referral for a CT Scan on Monday and needed lab work TODAY. If my headache isn't improved by Monday, I'm to go to the emergency room and have a CT scan and find out what's going on in my head.

I hope this doesn't mess up my shoulder surgery a week from Monday, prayers are appreciated. That's reminds me of the nicest thing that happened to me today. While I sat in the lab for 1 3/4 hours, a group of young men from a group home came in and sat down. A sweet young man asked if he could sit next to me and I said sure. He asked if I was okay and I said no, terrible headache and pain. He offered to pray for me and I accepted. He then told me his name is Jeremy and showed me a picture of his 2 nephews. Paul came and picked me up and I left. Jeremy waved goodbye and gave me a big smile. That cheered me up and gave me a much needed smile.

03 February 2012

And The Verdict is...

TORN!!! I finally saw the orthopedic doctor this morning and he said my shoulder is torn and needs to be repaired. Earliest surgery available is Feb. 27th. Surprising development today. The doctor's office told me to make an appointment with my primary care doctor for pre-op tests. I called while I was waiting there and got a cancellation for 3pm today. Wow, that rarely happens. So, I got there and have already had an EKG and hold the paper work in my hand for chest x-ray and blood work. The wheels are finally turning, hooray!

Paul also got his MRI results 2 days ago...FROZEN SHOULDER... probably caused by the diabetes. He has a possibility of cure by having an injection and physical therapy. If that doesn't work, he'll need an arthroscopic surgery also.

Also, I did get my TMJ splint the other day and I have relief from jaw and headaches!

Surprisingly, also Paul got the report on his sleep study and they adjusted his C-Pap down from 15 to 11 because of his weight loss. Another move in the right direction.