Monday, June 12, 2006

and the fun continues...

Well, this has been one fucked up few days for me, with one seriously disfigured elbow to show for it.

I can’t even begin to straighten out the sequence of events in my head but here’s a quick breakdown:

My elbow was sore and slightly swollen last week for three or four days, which seemed a little odd since I had no recollection of having banged it and it felt like I had received a considerable bang. I went abou\t my business. Becky went to Chicgo on Thursday. Friday afternoon it became much, much more swollen and started to appear red. I made an appointment at SOS Medical clinic for the next morning. I had the Camerons over for dinner Friday night and, over margaritas, Wyatt really egged me on to have this checked out. He said it looked awful.

I put the kids to bed and then went to a mirror and really studied my arm – the elbow is a very difficult part of the body to look at it adequately. It was freaking me out, really red and swollen. I took a few naproxen and went to bed. I woke up in the middle of the night with my arm throbbing and I started to panic. It was by then painfully evident that whatever was going on was not the result of bruise or external force, but was an internal problem, likely an infection and I feared I had waited to long to have it checked out. I probably would have gone to the emergency room right then, at 2 or 3 am ,were I not home alone. There are people I could call in such a situation but it wasn’t totally clear to me that it was the right thing to do, so I willed myself back to sleep.

The next morning, I dropped eli and anna off at friends’ house (Jacob had slept over) and went down to SOS Clinic. I can’t even begin to get into everything that followed except to say: it seems apparent that this is an infection, the cause of which is unknown and there is no reason to fear it in s the joint as I have not had intense pain or any fever and I have full; range of motion in the elbow.

They did a songoram which revealed significant tissue inflammation in addition to fluid around the joint. She gave me antibiotics and strong anti-inflammatory and marked it with a marker and told me to come back if it breached that. I carried on yesterday somewhat normally, but by the evening it was clear that the swelling was worse and the redess had expanded. I was supposed to go see the Chinese national basketball team play an Australian squad so I had a babysitter, who I kept. Anna was at a friends and I went back to the hospital.

I saw another doctor. She was concerned but laughed at me when I said I was fine staying in the hospital if that’s what she thought was best because I didn’t want to lose my arm. (I admit that the thought occurred to me and I do not panic easily – this has just been really odd and puzzling.) The mystery only deepened. She gave mea blood test which determined that my white blood cell count is a barely elevated 11.1. (she had told me I as staying if it was 30 or 35). She doubled my dose of Kevlac and added a second drug, all after making sure that as she suspected the efficacy of this dosage orally was virtually the same as it being administered by IV.

I should also note hear that I feel my medical care has been very good. Both doctors were thoughtful, careful and seemed to know what they were doing. I ran everything by Dixie Doc and he agreed. He has also been very puzzled by this case, as certain things don’t quite add up. He thinks there is a chance that I don’t have an infection at all but rather some sort of arthritic inflammation. On the meantime, my arm feels much better today and the swelling is down –though still bad enough to merit concern and yucks and wide eyed stares from anyone who looks at my arm. But the redness has again breached its dam. I am off to the doctor again a few minutes.

Becky will be back tomorrow afternoon. She has been really traumatized by this happening while she s away and tried unsuccessfully to come back a day early. I really have been fine, kids have been well behaved, I’ve had Ding ayi stay late a few times and several friends stepped up to the plate big time. But my arm is still fucked up and they mystery remains.

Actually, the very act of me typing this is violating doctor’s order not t work and stay in bed. I did take it easy today but one can only watch so many episodes of Deadwood DVDs. I will keep you posted.