They can’t find what’s wrong with me!

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”  — Henry Ford

Last year, 2010, can be summed up as a nightmare.  What happened to lead me to such desperation?  First, I’ll give you a little background.

In late 2009, I had neck surgery after enduring almost a year of intense pain, burning and numbness in my neck down to my fingers.  I had tried all the non-surgery offerings like physical therapy, steroid injections, painkillers and nerve medication.  These provided only mild relief at best.  My doctor stopped the medications after a few months because of the side effects, but I’ll save the topic of drugs for later.  The “textbook” surgery went “very well” and I was on my way to regaining a big part of my life back, so I thought. 

(Fast-forward three months.)  One morning I woke up with the same pain I had before surgery, only now it was more widespread!  I was back in the hospital, not because of my neck, but because of complications from tests that were suppose to determine why the pain had returned.  The procedure included a lumbar puncture and injection of dye into my spinal fluid.  The technician rocked me back and forth on an x-ray table while he took pictures of my spine, and at the same time I could feel the dye flow to the lower part of my head.  What a horrible experience!  I felt like I was on a nauseating amusement park ride.  And worse yet, the puncture site failed to seal on its own and continually leaked spinal fluid.  This caused severe spinal headaches, which I was only able to relieve by lying down.  The leak is what landed me in the hospital.  After a nightmare week there, my doctor had to resort to surgery (which is rarely needed) to seal the hole.

Oh, and what about the neck pain?  There was no clear diagnosis.  The neck was healing nicely from the surgery.  They can’t find what’s wrong with me.

The headaches were supposed to diminish over a few days, but they NEVER went away.  The doctors said the headaches were no longer related to the lumbar puncture.  Eighteen months later and I still have constant, bad, 24/7 headaches.  What was causing the headaches?  There were a couple of possibilities, but beyond trying to treat the symptoms with drugs, “There’s nothing more we can do for you.”  They can’t find what’s wrong with me.

As if that weren’t enough, I developed excruciating stomach pains a month after surgery.  This pain increased and burned like hell whenever I ate or drank anything.  The burn was like experiencing salt being harshly rubbed into a large open wound.  I would scream and cry in agony!  Soon came the intense nausea and frequent, violent vomiting.  I couldn’t keep food down and lost over 10 pounds in a short time (I was underweight to begin with).  What was causing all this?  “Don’t know” but it was definitely not an ulcer.  After several months of tests, another hospital stay, no diagnosis, and still having the same symptoms, I was told, “There’s nothing more we can do for you.”  They can’t find what’s wrong with me.

There was more to come.  The headaches and neck pain worsened and I couldn’t sit upright for more than 10 minutes at a time.  Last summer, I also developed 24/7 balance problems which persisted for over a year.  Then in the fall came mysterious bladder pain and burning, which still continues.  The tests did not identify what was wrong.  “There’s nothing more we can do for you.”  They can’t find what’s wrong with me.

I have left out a lot of detail in these ordeals, but I think you get the general picture so far.  I’m still working to get my life back.  Would you feel a sense of hopelessness if the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong?  At the time, it was little comfort when doctors kept saying, “At least you don’t have a life threatening illness.”  I would think, “then what’s WRONG with me!?”  I believe they did the best they could with the resources they had, and what they knew and learned.  But there is certainly much more room for improvement.

Through most of last year, I was also struggling with the effects of medications the doctors were prescribing me.  That’s a whole other nightmare and I’ll tell you about some of those battles in the next post.

These are many of the experiences that lead me to alternative treatments.  I’ll talk about what those treatments are and how they are helping.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. zendictive
    Oct 16, 2011 @ 12:34:38

    amazing how we put a man on the moon but can’t cure the common cold, which I know why, take a coke can out of an ice chest it grows condensation, so does the body, but medicine, doctors and alternative medicine to heal the body is a one on one endeavorer. For each body/person is different. For headaches and brain altercations it is hit and miss till the right combo is found. I feel for you and hope that you find what you need. I am sure you have invested in learning about the bodies meridians and it sounds like a blocked nerve/pinch/punctured needs re-routing or relieved.(acupressure) (~_~)

    Reply

    • Fergiemoto
      Oct 16, 2011 @ 16:14:02

      I know, isn’t it amazing, and frustrating at the same time. We’re slowly making progress, though. Thank you for your kind words and frequent visits to my blogs!

      Reply

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