Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Disaster Day

Car Trouble Troubles

On my way to a doctor appointment this morning, and then to work when my car broke down on the interstate.  Not completely broken down, but I had the accelerator pedal to the floor and all the faster the car would go was 20 mph.  I could have run faster even with BLING.  I was able to drive on the emergency strip and get to an exit to see if my brother could help.  My poor old car belched blue and white smoke and back fired on the way off the interstate and THEN I could hear something that sounded like an exhaust leak or a vacuum leak.  Big Sigh.

This is the bad part about everyone you know being broke - just getting someone to drive 15 miles to follow you back in your sucky car is an adventure in frustration.  I was lucky, my brother was able to drive to my sisters and borrow her vehicle to come and drive behind me home.  He is retired, but worked for years as a master mechanic for large equipment, so he did some basic diagnosing of the car.

Ended up changing the fuel filter, changing the spark plugs, fixing a vacuum leak and THEN finding the cause of it all - an electronic solid state gadget the spark plug wires and the fuel system computer plug into.  Eighty some dollars later (I already had the spark plugs or that would have been another $45) my old Taurus was purring like a kitten and actually accelerated when I gave it more gas!  No telling how long that doodad was going out.  My car has about 190,000 miles on it.  I bought it brand new in 2002 with my last perk from the great big giant insurance company I used to work for - a Ford employee discount.  I hope that it lasts for quite a while longer as I don't know how I will be able to replace it.  I told a gal at work when I called in today that if I showed up to work in a 1988 Marquis then they would know the Taurus had bit the dust, and that was all I could afford to replace it with!!!

I missed my dermatology appointment but will call tomorrow morning to rebook.  Now it will probably be years into the future - the dermatologist will have to check my wrinkles for wrinkles!  Dr. Calm was so nice, he called Dr. Pepper and they cancelled the IVP.  Now I will have to have an outpatient procedure that requires general anesthesia called cystoscopy with retrograde pyelogram.  Dr. Pepper's nurse gave me some attitude this morning when I called to make sure the IVP and the followup doctor visit had been cancelled, but then lightened up later when she figured out her own doctor cancelled the procedure.

The urologist will insert a cystoscope via the urethra into the bladder, and then up the ureters towards the kidney.  The urologist's nurse assured me there would be NO contrast used, however all the literature on the web says that it is a type of fluoroscopy procedure and that a small amount of iodinated contrast will be used.  I am not going to give permission for any iodinated contrast to be used.  The ERCP I had for my pancreatic/biliary sphincterotomy I expressed concern about the contrast and  was told it was a small amount yet I had anaphylaxis and I came out of the hospital with my permanent headache.  It just isn't worth it to me.

I go in for that on May 11th.  I have been so sick last weekend and today with abdominal issues.  I have spikes of pain piercing my left temple as The Headache has slipped its bounds.  I have terrible nausea and I have been doing the dance of pain all evening between The Feet, The Legs, The Abdomen, and The Pelvis.  Hoping maybe this test will help me figure out what is happening but truly doubt it will do anything except let me meet my out of pocket maximum by May 12th.

I need to call tomorrow to check with Dr. House's staff about the rest of my blood tests.  Apparently the doctors learning the trade there could not figure out what lab tests had been ordered, vs. resulted, vs. in the chart, so I have to call back this week.  Another Big Sigh.  I wish I was rich and had an assistant to do this for me! 

Another task ahead of me is getting a full dental evaluation as my PCP and I discussed the sad shape of my teeth.  Once I had very nice teeth, but now the enamel is falling off, and the enamel on the back of my upper teeth is missing, due to excessive vomiting from my digestive issues.  I would like to get a couple of implants before going the false chopper direction, but due to my diminished financial circumstances fear I will have to end up at the local discount dental butcher shop and get the teeth pulled and some cheap choppers stuck on.  Life in the economy lane is not very fun when it comes to dental work.


  1. Oh dear. I can relate to much of this.

    My car is fast approaching 200,000. This scares me and I can't afford to replace it.

    I've had 4 cystoscopies (the type w/hydrodistention). The first 3 were bogus (with the urologists all claiming I did not have interstitial cystitis). The 4th one (by my pelvic pain specialist) resulted in him saying, "you definitely have IC". It only took 12 years to find a doc who took me seriously!

    I had an IVP for kidney stones in 1992. I reacted to the ionic contrast and they immediately switched to non-ionic contrast.

    I just got my 3rd crown. I've had several root canals and 2 extractions (one as a kid and one in 2009). The anesthesia didn't work for the extractions and I felt everything. Not fun.

    I also had a bad reaction to nitrous oxide. Never again!

    Hope things get better for you real soon!!!


  2. Jeanne: I think we are in the same situation. No IVP so that is good, but a cystoscopy is no fun at least this one is under general anesthesia. My first urologist did three cystoscopies. Two before cancer diagnosis where he wanted to do a "bladder sling" even tho I insisted it felt like something was pressing down on my bladder (it was - a uterine tumor!) then he did one post radiation that showed greatly lowered capacity and nerve damage. This will be my first one by Dr. Pepper.