Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'm Going to Get Some Icky Stuff Out of the Way.

Well. I need to dump a bit, so I shall. Then my other posts will push this sucker down the page, which will leave me - as Pepek so aptly put it - looking forward instead of back.

The latest developments in the ongoing sagas of:
-the odd infection on my leg that was recently biopsied
-Ms. Hand and her MRSA infection
-hurricane insurance
-mortgage issues
-etc. etc. are:

--The leg infection is mold. Yeah. Weird, huh? The great dermatologist, Dr. G, is short on staff by four people and still hasn't called in the special antifungal cream. I'm scheduled to get the whole thing taken out surgically on July 2.

--The *incident* that happened during that biopsy was that another doctor, a student who was leaning over the leg watching Dr.G at work, got exposed to my bodily fluids.

She got them in her left eye.

As he was injecting the novocaine, it came squirting back out. That's happened before with us, and we both went --Oh, a cyst!-- (they're hollow, and squirt your novocaine back out) a split second before we realized what happened to the other doctor. The poor lady maintained her composure beautifully as she inwardly freaked out and headed for an eye wash station. It's a long story, and perhaps I'll post the whole thing later. She's okay now. But it became an *Incident,* which needs to get reported or something and the room sealed off and sterilized, and my ID doc and others heard all about it, and they walk in the exam room and tell me, --I heard there was an *Incident* over at Dr. G's--...I did not see anyone in anthrax suits, but I almost expected to.

That happened in the morning of the day I started my search for a hand surgeon, and discovered they refused to treat me.

--The tiny drainage tunnel Ms. Hand made for me was kept open by ardent auto-surgery, every night before I went to bed. The wound itself was closing, but because it was still draining MRSA stuff from 3/8" deep, I had to keep it open. That self-cleaning business, there.

--Last Monday (5/12) I saw Dr. C, my ID doc. That was the first morning the wound had no drainage. That doctor is so fabulous, she almost has a sixth sense for these things: before she'd even finished walking in the door, she was assessing the hand. She had two immediate reactions. First? --Okay. You can let it close now.

The second thing was --We need an MRI. You may have osteomyelitis in this hand. See the swelling here and here? (I could, but most people would have had to look and compare my two hands for a long time.) --Is there pain in these joints and bone?-- --Oh yes. Intense, still.-- --If it's osteomyelitis, you'll need six weeks of IV antibiotics, okay?

--She mentioned hearing about the Incident at Dr. G's. And for the very first time since I started seeing her in 2004, when she examined my wounds this time, she put on gloves first.

I had to compartmentalize that.

--Dr. C said the outrage about the hand surgeons' refusal to debride the infection was NOT because of my MRSA, but because they're afraid of the liability. They get tired of getting sued, and I'm high risk. Their malpractice premiums go up and up and they get apathetic.

--Please note that of the 17 doctors on my doctor list, not a single one that I know of actually carries malpractice insurance. The State of Florida allows them to opt out. They do. I have to sign a paper saying I'm getting doctored at my own risk. I do.

I'm sure they have to prove financial responsibility of some sort, perhaps post a performance bond or such; but the *my premiums are too high!!!* argument carries little weight with me when they aren't actually paying malpractice insurance premiums at all.

--The MRI is scheduled for next Monday. That's a week after it was ordered. I have a little trouble sometimes understanding people's lack of any sense of urgency about this. If my bones are infected, a week's delay can make a big difference in the outcome. More apathy.

--Getting the MRI requires some blood tests, to see if my kidneys can take the contrast without injury. My kidneys are in great shape. I have this oddly good health under all my illnesses.

--My diabetes is suddenly so out of control I may have to go on insulin. My *fasting* blood sugar was 293 - except I wasn't fasting, they neglected to tell me to fast. Luckily, those tests were just my regular RA doc's requests. The ones my primary did for the MRI and my diabetes haven't come back yet - they were truly fasting, and will include my A1C.

But I know that when I wake up and take my own fasting sugar, it's often that high or higher. I've been having trouble with my vision, and sometimes the neuropathy in my feet is nearly unbearable. Lately I seem to get it in my arms too, from shoulders to fingertips. Heart palpitations, pounding and pounding. When the palpitations get bad I test my blood sugar. It's always either way high or way low when the palpitations come.

The urinalysis showed glucose of 3+ - sugar in the urine, which should read *negative* - and a trace of ketones, which should also be negative. The primary said this was Definitely Not Good.

I really don't want to have to go on insulin. Apparently my meds, and my need for copious sleep, are major factors - and neither one is in my control. I take those meds only because I really need to, and I sleep that much because I'm sick and really need a lot of sleep.

Long ago, Walter told me there was only one disease he'd have trouble dealing with, if I got it. Diabetes. His mother first went blind from it, then died from it.

The primary's office gave me three endocrinologist recommendations; I'll pick one out and we'll go from there.

--There've been several other underlying sagas in my life having to do with Chase Home Finance, which holds our mortgage; and with Citizens, who's supposedly processing the second half of my hurricane claim - what they call the *supplemental.* I submitted it to them on December 11, 2007, and they received it December 15, 2007. They're supposed to take two to three weeks to process it.

They fired the adjustor who came to inspect the place in January. He seemed so competent too...Perhaps he was drunk, because he submitted a report that was totally off the wall, erratic, full of odd errors and unanswered questions.

The new adjustor, who arrived here May 5 - oh no, wait, he showed up on my doorstep a week early, when I was totally unprepared, with the house a mess and me dreadfully ill in bed, insisting he had the date right and I was wrong - The new adjustor is incredibly dense. They've lost most of the package I sent them. The one that was put together with great care, full of the detail and photos they requested, and weighed almost two pounds.

Now: In today's mail, I was informed that Citizens just decided to non-renew our policy next December. Why? Because I haven't sent them proof that I've done the repairs...on the claim they haven't even finished processing, much less finished paying.

--Chase has revoked our *grace period* to make mortgage payments, and still hasn't answered my faxes requesting a breakdown of what those payments are for, what it would take to bring it current and get off the payment plan, and what that big initial *down payment* consisted of.

Recently, I discovered I can change my Social Security payment date. It arrives on the 3rd, and until I win the lottery and can get us $1500 ahead, I need that SSA to help pay the mortgage...3 days late. It must be *cash* or equivalent - Western Union Quick Collect, cashier's check, or money order. No phone payments! (Why not??? That's Instant Cleared Funds! This seems vindictive to me.) Mailing in my postal money orders to save the Western Union fees did not sit well with them. Frankly, it wasn't easy for me either; it required lots of walking.

I can change the SSA payment date to the last Thursday of the month. Hooray! Let's hope Chase doesn't send me a demand letter until Social Security fixes the date...which may take a month or longer.

It goes on and on and on like that. One day I'll fill you all in on all the gory details on those backstories. Rest assured, I'm doing all I can to whip my life back into shape.

Today, I just needed to vent. Dump the weird news and holler about some of my stressors, the things I deal with every day. My usual ordinary life.

I've been taking care of so much business I left neglected for too long. I work so hard. Now I neglect my need to blog and socialize instead...When I'm very lucky, I get to do my *treat* work: out in the yard with my plants.

Of course, right now most of that outside work is geared toward insurance stuff too. I've been force placed by Chase and non-renewed by Citizens and want to appeal my flood zone designation. I need to put my Rebuild and Repair plan together and get Inspectors out, which means painting the house and doing all sorts of other things to get it into shape, to make the best case I can for what I want to accomplish. There will be Company coming by, of all sorts of official, and not all of them will be on my side in these matters.

And since we ended up desperately broke again, I've been doing all sorts of sideline things to raise up money, which Walter courteously and properly explained he didn't want to hear about just yet. We agreed I'd tell him a year from now. So far, they're just starting to pay off. But that beginning payoff most certainly feels good. I'm sitting here looking at a smallish but most welcome bit of cash, that just came by as I was writing this.

And the real good news is: Walter's coming home.

End of rant. Thank you all so very much for your patience.


Anonymous said...

Sheesh, poor K.

It never rains but it pours, does it.

SeaPhoenix said...

Kind of makes my piddling rattle in your tip jar kind of embarrassing. I'll try to hit it again ASAP!

Pretty Lady said...

I have this oddly good health under all my illnesses.

This is true! You have amazingly good health--mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Amazingly good.

While I was reading the saga of all the stupid insurance and mortgage garbage, I was thinking, 'Sheesh. She needs a really aggressive, competent, no-nonsense person in good health to swoop in and clean that up for her.' Then I realized that you are that person. All of this crap has been coming your way for a long time, and escalating because you've been too sick to deal with it. But you do have the capacity to get it whipped into shape, and you will do so.

Congratulations on starting to raise some money on your own! I know how good that feels. I need to do so myself--I've been disgracefully lazy these last couple of weeks. I realized that whatever I do, I need social connections to do it, so I've been prioritizing my social life. It feels like a terrible indulgence, but it's actually necessary.

John P. McCann said...

As always, you persevere and place all my troubles into perspective.

I hope that vacation comes your way.

You guys have earned it.

overactive-imagination said...

You got enough going on there lady? Good grief. I hope it all works out for the best as quickly as possible.

As for that student and the "incident" incident like that would have me out of my program before I made it to the eyewash station. What they were thinking, doing that without eye protection, is beyond me.

Sounds like you are overdue for a vacation.

SeaPhoenix said...

I agree with "overactive", when I go to the dentist, and I don't even have anything communicable (that I know of, which is the point) the dentist is dressed like there is 5 pounds of C-4 in my mouth about to go off with one slip of the little mirror, as he/she should be for everyone...

k said...

morris, yes. There's that pattern, it goes in cycles. The good news is...that the good news goes in cycles too. So I can always look forward - or backward - to the good cycles, loads of sunshine instead of the rain pouring down.

In my experience? People like you are part of what turns that tide.

SeaPhoenix, blogson, no no no! It doesn't work like that. Most of us are in the same boat here in our corner of the 'sphere, we have our tight-money times and then our better ones. Tips are always appreciated: one of those cases where size doesn't matter in the way people think it matters. But I'll be fine, I always am. We made it over the hump. Walter's home, and I fed that man twice already. :-)

Pretty Lady, your perception about those things is one reason I resonate so with you. For example: Most people have trouble understanding what I mean when I try to explain about that underlying good health. My neighbors get very confused, because they see me when I'm in an energetic phase, outworking any three people put together. Then they see me when I can barely make it a few feet from the car to the front door. So they don't understand when to me, it's still the *barely walking* part that seems of lower precedence.

The other ways, emotional and spiritual? I'm still working on them, and perhaps most of us continue that all our lives. But when I look back, when I remember the state I used to be in, I know I've come so very far. I can hardly recognize that younger person now.

And you're right about the financial work part too. Once I finally *got* the connection between losing the business and pulling away from managing my affairs correctly, the block started to dissolve. Like Heart 2.

And I got to have this wonderful feeling of working return to me, work like I used to do. Because that's what all this is: the type of work I used to do. And I was very, very good at it. We all feel such satisfaction from performing tasks we're not just good at, but exceptional. It's a healing activity all by itself.

Losing my health, then my profession, then my marriage, then the business, they all got connected up and jammed into a big dam like messed up hurricane debris in a bayou. The sort of logjam that a sudden insight can blow to bits.

The only thing that makes it a different *professional* environment is because it's my own life, it's personal. Why they say to never be your own lawyer. Not an ideal thing. But I can do it.

I can especially do it when Walter's here. That's a total turnaround from how it used to be with us. I need him here for a while. If his injury does mean he needs to stop driving for a while so it can heal properly, that means we can do much of this work together. He's a JD, and has some serious real estate and business management and accounting experience of his own.

Your line of work - maybe both of them - must have that social interaction to go forth. It's absolutely essential in most cities, but a hundred times more in New York. My nephew and I had a discussion about that recently, because - take this as a sign of the fevers, that I keep forgetting to tell you such news! - the most excellent nephew is moving to Brooklyn in August.

When I suggested he pay special attention to that social aspect, he completely agreed. That certainly surprised me. Our family tends to be a less social bunch. He'd really appreciate a chance to meet you. He's a lovely young man, and so is his SO, and I think you'd enjoy meeting them both.

John, you've most certainly been having your own share of troubles lately. Mixed with the glorious too, coming in under 4 hours in the Eugene marathon.

But I'm not sure I could handle the sale and move so very well as you have. I've been telling everyone who needs to hear about your superb and successful sales strategy. You blew me away with that one. Another reason I know you'll be all right.

But it doesn't mean it's easy, just because it's different than how things are going with us.

And...we almost took a mini-vacation in the Isuzu today. Too lazy still! It was Walter's idea last night. While it's nothing like that fine expensive vacation, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I hadn't even thought of taking a day out for a drive in ages. Out on the Loop Road we shall go, soon, I just know it.

Dawn, now you're getting some perspective on why I want more nurses like you out there. Why it matters so much to me. And, BTW, thanks for coming by again! You're a most welcome visitor here.

In truth? That doctor was magnificent. She knew, instantly, it was her fault; and when I apologized she reacted with quiet force before she even left the room. Still in a state of emotional shock, she said, --NO. That was my responsibility, not yours; I should never have been so close without protection.

The way she handled it all? I hope she doesn't get into permanent trouble over it. We all make mistakes, and the only danger would be to her in this particular case. If I have the wherewithal to post the whole story, I'll let you know; I think you might find it interesting.

Yeah, that vacation sounds just so sweet. Just a nice drive to the Everglades, a little beach-hopping, you know? Daytripping does me a world of good.

SeaPhoenix, I SO agree with you. And while the things I have that are communicable are easy to avoid catching with very simple precautions, what if there's something ELSE in here they haven't found yet?

And more to that point: The people they need to fear most, MRSA-wise, are NOT the ones like me. It's the people who either have no idea they're colonized, or who do know and don't tell health care workers.

Now that's dangerous. And just as you said, that's the real point of constant protocol protections in the first place. From the unknowns.