The days have truly been dark here for the last few weeks. My wife, Bobbi, came down with bacterial pneumonia about three weeks ago. This isn’t that surprising since she works in a drug store. She was waking up in the middle of the night coughing terribly which would lead to her vomiting violently. Sharp pains took her back to the doctors a couple of weeks ago, when they discovered that she had gall stones. It was determined that her gall bladder had to come out, but it had to be done at a bigger hospital because she has a blood disorder. Appointments were made with specialists, and it didn’t look like we would be home for Yule, as my previous post indicated.
Last Saturday, I took Bobbi to the Emergency Room because she was doubled over with pain. Everyone assumed it was due to the gall stones and treated her accordingly. The attending physician was surprised that she hadn’t been given anything for pain. Bobbi explained that it had been determined many years ago that she was allergic to codeine-based medications, so the earlier doctor didn’t have a lot of options. The physician questioned her about what the medical issues were at the time this “allergy” was determined. After she finished telling the story, he suggested that her convulsions some thirty years ago were more likely due to her medical condition, not the codeine. She has been using the codeine-based pain killer for the last few days without any problems.
The weather forecast for the week indicated that the worst day would be Wednesday, the very day we had to travel across the state for her appointments. They were calling for rain, snow, sleet, and possibly freezing rain. At this point, we didn’t even know if they would do the surgery immediately, or if we would have to make a second trip over. I was hoping they would remove the gall bladder immediately to give Bobbi relief, and (secondly) because if they kept her over night I wouldn’t have to worry about traveling back in the predicted weather.
We made it over without any problem, and the first person we saw was the surgeon. He looked at the images on the CD we brought from our local hospital, then he examined Bobbi. He said he didn’t think that gall stones were Bobbi’s problem. He explained that while she does have six gall stones, they are free floating. I assume that meant they are not blocking anything. The local hospital had done a bile drip test and the results came back normal. Additionally, the gall bladder wasn’t inflamed. The gall bladder may eventually have to be removed, but it didn’t appear to be the immediate problem.
The surgeon then inquired about the pneumonia. After Bobbi told him about the coughing and vomiting, he said that was sufficient for her to have pulled some muscles. This explained some of her pain, of course. He then suspected the bacteria part of the bacterial pneumonia may have had an adverse effect on her digestive tract. While it seemed well under control for many years, it seemed prudent to let the surgeon know that Bobbi had suffered from acid reflux and ulcers. He suggested using Prilosec OTC, and having an endoscope done. No surgery today, and it turned out to be a very good thing!
We went to see the blood specialist next. Bobbi had been diagnosed with a blood disorder about fifteen years ago, when we were living in North Carolina. The records they had gotten from North Carolina had nothing about a blood disorder. The more Bobbi talked with this doctor, the more I wondered what records they had sent up because everything Bobbi told the doctor from those four years were not in the records. The blood samples sent over from the local hospital were not revealing because her condition and a couple of her medications could be masking the disorder – if it was properly diagnosed to begin with. New tests have to be run, but it is a good thing she didn’t need surgery!
I had gotten, and Bobbi had taken some Prilosec OTC before we went to the second appointment. It had been in her system for about an hour when we finally left the hospital. She had been on a bland vegetable and fruit diet for days, so she was quite happy to have a bag of chips and a sandwich. She had no reaction, confirming the surgeon’s opinion in our eyes. To top things off, the freezing rain appeared to just be starting when we arrived in our home town.
We got to be home today to celebrate Yule, or the Winter Solstice. Bobbi is happy that she will be able to feast this weekend with everybody else, too. However, we decided to return to holding skepticism about modern medicine.
Bobbi had been misdiagnosed with something else when we were living in North Carolina. For most of the four years we lived there, she had been heavily medicated with highly addictive drugs. Just before leaving North Carolina, we discovered that there was a simple blood test to confirm that diagnosis that had never been run. The test was finally run and came back negative, but much damage had been done by this misdiagnosis by that time. I had a hard time getting her to go to a doctor for many years after that, for one thing.
No matter how good modern medical science may be, it is still handled by people who are imperfect. Not all of our experiences with modern medicine has been bad, and we obviously were fortunate this time around. However, we both had taken this to a dark place. We believe that the Lord and Lady were watching over us and helped us face this calmly. We are very happy to celebrate the Light, at home, at this auspicious time.
I am also thankful for those special people who gave us their blessings during this time. Yule blessings to all.