14 June 2011

Hope sproinging eternal in rooms with perceived low ceilings

The sleep doctor has spoken.  I still have some work to do with being disciplined enough to get up when I'm supposed to no matter how tired I am (because I will always be tired, and lying in bed NOT sleeping for an extra half hour will not make me any less tired).  However, if I can't get this pain and nerve weirdness under control, it will keep waking me up a lot every night and interrupting what sleep I can get.

So I went to see a pain specialist.  He is very aggressive, has an idea for a diagnosis of thoracic outlet syndrome (TOC), which, like chronic pain, is kind of a divisive diagnosis in the medical community.  Some believe it's real; others don't.  Of course I couldn't have a single, definitive, concrete diagnosis!  What were you thinking, you silly person?

Next up is a fight with OWCP about another EMG.  EMGs are extremely unpleasant.  Seriously unpleasant.  And he wants me to have it done for both arms, something that should have been done the first time to establish a baseline.  (Now that my right hand is falling apart, it might actually show something worse than the left, so I think it will not be useful as a baseline.)  Oddly enough, the MRI was approved right away; it's kind of eerie, actually.  I'm not sure what to do with this unexpected lack of a predictable road block.  The new doc seems unfamiliar with OWCP, which could be a good thing.  He might not know what can and can't be done, so he might be able to accomplish impossible things through sheer force of will.  More power to him for having the forward momentum going! 

If it gets approved, I'll have to schedule it late in the day because I will not be able to go back to work after I have it done.  I won't even be able to drive myself back home to curl up into a twitching ball for the rest of the day. 

At least my arms are in really bad shape right now.  (Your prayers for the bad spell's continuation until after the test would be appreciated, oddly enough . . .)  If something's torn or whatever in the nerves, it might be more likely to show up now, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for the simple result.  If it's not TOC, I'm sure this doctor will keep looking.  He wants a real, solid diagnosis; he seems to think I really want one, too.  Sometimes I think it would be good to have one: when someone asks, I could tell them something more concrete than "chronic pain and probably something tiny and irreparable torn in my wrist."  Maybe I would care more about a diagnosis if I expected it to be something curable, but I don't.    The good thing about low expectations is that you often get pleasant surprises . . .

I also don't expect OWCP to accept any new diagnosis without a fight.  The good news is that, as I mentioned earlier, this new doctor seems like he'd be willing to wade into the fray and give them a fight.

1 comment:

  1. Let me know if/when you want a ride to and from said icky test of DOOM.