Thursday, August 30, 2012

Things are Getting Better

Today I had my check up with my primary doctor.  I have never in my life needed to use the term primary care physician until the past three weeks, and suddenly it's become an incredibly normal term.  As I said, today I had a check up.  I was told by the floor doctor at Swedes that he wanted me to see my primary care physician about a week after I was sent home from the hospital just to check in and make sure things were going smoothly, and he also wanted me to have some blood drawn so they could run a couple tests.  I was not excited about the labs, but I scheduled the appointment like he had asked.

I got up this morning, and my mom and I went to the doctor.  (Now that I think about it, I am realizing I haven't driven in at least three weeks...I hope I remember how after all of this is over...)  I'm not sure what all I was expecting, but I was a little nervous.  After going a full week without having anyone stabbing me with a needle, I was not looking forward to having to do that again.  I have a sincere phobia of needles, and though it's gotten a tiny bit better because I had to have blood drawn so regularly at the hospital, I am still pretty terrified of them.

Thankfully, my favorite nurse, Susan, was there to take care of me this morning.  She asked how everything was going, and could tell simply by how I was walking and talking that I was feeling quite a bit better.  I had quite a shock when she weighed me: I have lost 16 lbs since I initially got sick a couple weeks ago.  I don't recommend severe pain, gall stones and pancreatitis as a way to lose weight, but this is still probably good for me.  The low-fat heart-healthy diet is doing it's job too, so I am looking at this as the one benefit of all this insanity.

When Susan got me into the actual room for my check up, she asked about the medications I was on, and I told her I was on some painkillers and omperazole (which takes care of the acid levels in my stomach, which is a huge help and keeps me from wanting to throw up).  I told her I was down to my last pain pill, and that the one really bad thing about this was that the painkillers have been what's helping me actually sleep at night.  She looked a me and said, "There's no shame in asking him to refill that order.  You don't need to be in a lot of pain."  She ended up telling my doctor that I should get a refill, and, glorious day, I ended up with the pain meds I need so I can sleep at night while I'm still healing.  I am so grateful for that.  I don't take them much during the day anymore, but at the end of the day, when I am worn out, everything hurts.  This will make life much easier and help me keep healing.

Dr. Breck came in shortly there after, and I asked him if he had seen my MRI results yet because I still hadn't seen them.  He was pretty surprised by that, but pulled them up right away and explained everything to Mom and I.  I told him how frustrated I was with the doctor's I met at the hospital and how no one had told me what the MRI had said or answered my questions clearly, so he cleared a lot of things up.  The best one was him explaining why every doctor that came in said the word "cancer."  The gastroenterologist (GI) doesn't believe that I have cancer.  He thinks what the radiologist (who read the MRI and got the whole cancer mess started) thought was cancer is simply an ongoing issue caused by the pancreatitis and gall stone/bladder issues.  This is the same thing that Dr. Breck thought and had talked to me about with ultra sound back at the beginning of this.  It was wonderful to hear him say that it really doesn't look like any of this could be cancer, but instead that everything can pretty much be traced back to issues we are already working on healing.  I still do have to go back and see the GI doctor and have another CT scan (blah) just to make sure everything with my pancreas is going alright and to see how my liver is doing at that point.  Hopefully when I see him in a couple more weeks he will have good news for me.

I also got a work release notice, so tomorrow I get to go back to work for a couple of hours.  Dr. Breck said I just need to make sure I take care of myself and don't wear myself out too bad.  Thankfully my job is pretty low pressure, and tomorrow I will mostly be getting envelopes ready for statements and getting a little reconciliation done (yes, I already called the office and got this set up).  It will be nice to feel like my life is a little closer to normal.

Dr. Breck is a wonderful doctor, and I am so grateful that I am here instead of anywhere else dealing with this.  It would probably be very hard to have my questions answered otherwise.

The labs weren't too bad either.  Dr. Breck's office has a wonderful lab tech named Terry.  Mom and I went in so I could have blood drawn for a couple tests that will just let them know that my blood sugar levels are normal and my kidneys are functioning just as they should among other things.  Terry knows exactly how much I hate needles, but she found a vein without any trouble, only stuck me once, and I barely felt it.  She kept asking me questions about my surgeon and this whole situation until she was done, and told me to make sure I don't let the surgeon get away without answering all my questions when I see him next week.  She was wonderful and made the whole process a lot less scary then it normally is.  I am grateful.

I had several people praying that today's appointment and labs would go smoothly, and they did.  I am grateful, and God did all that I asked of him and more today in this.  Things are definitely getting better.

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