Saturday, May 17, 2008

Medical Mysteries

I am posting this in the color of the blood that they SHOULD have been able to get out of me last evening at the ER. Now I am not a wimp, and can endure quite a bit of pain over a long period of time before I will seek treatment. But there have been 2 times in the past 7 years when I've been in such excruciating and worsening pain in my upper right abdomen, over a period of several days, that I have checked myself into the ER. The second of these was just last night.

Both of these times, I had normal vitals, normal ultrasounds, and normal CT scans. The first time, I had normal blood work. Last night, they could not find, after 4 sticks & stirs, any veins that they could get blood out of, so we gave up on that. Palpation didn't trouble me. There was no rebound tenderness, and I had no fever.

Both times, the pain resolved while I was at the hospital, following the ultrasound. I mean immediately. It was as if the pain had just left the building, leaving the body quiet. Gone. It didn't return before, and it has not yet returned today, although I do feel a bit sore and tired.

Both times, I was told by the doctors that they didn't know what was wrong with me, and I was sent home. Since I was now pain-free, I left satisfied... but wondering.

I have had Irritable Bowel Syndrome before, always relieved with dicyclomine 20mg (Bentyl). Yesterday, as the pain worsened for the 4th day, I'd forgotten how much Bentyl to take, took only 10mg, and panicked when it didn't work. (It was dated 2001, too, but I don't know if that matters.) So I'm sort of wondering if, in the apparent absence of anything "real," maybe these episodes were IBS too?

And, in both of these instances, why would the pain abate after the ultrasound? Is this just coincidence? Or is it possible that the soft vibrations and manipulation with that ultrasound machine could have actually relaxed my bowel into ceasing its painful spasms? I wonder then: could a person treat IBS with a conventional vibrator?

(I know what you're thinking! LOL)

Other than having to cancel half my life last week and having to cancel my trip I'd planned to Phoenix for tonight, things are moving along fine.

John's back surgery at St Joseph's Hospital with Dr Shroeder went very well, and he's now moving around in much less pain than he was in before. The only pain, he reports, is in the incision. Mary Ann came down from CO to be with him, and she, Jack, and I waited on Thursday, as he went under the knife.

The surgery went sooner and faster than we'd been told, and he was up in his hospital room by 4pm, and had dinner of beef tips on rice, which looked pretty good! We all went out to Mimi's for dinner, and it WAS good! John was released ydy. It was great to see him up and about!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Reddington Pass

On Sunday, John and I went on a ride through Reddington Pass. It's where you end up, if you keep going east on Tanque Verde in Tucson. It was a beautiful day for photos, and we each took a bunch.

Cacti were blooming!

I love ocatillos! They are still my favorite desert plant. A common name for them is "Devil's Walking Stick."

We didn't see many animals, but we did see some cattle. One little green lizard was WAY too fast for us! He was well-hidden before we could get out of the car with our cameras.

Here's John!

We went left instead of right, at the intersection, and ended up in a little town called San Manuel. We gassed up there (thank you, John!) and enjoyed an Italian BMT at the Subway which was inside the gas station/store. Anyone know what BMT stands for?