Doctors & Hospitals

More Medical Tests

Dear Diary,

The last two weeks have been filled with more tests. Whenever I have a flare, like the one after our trip back East, my doctors get into gear, making sure that I don’t have any major complications with my heart, lungs, or brain. My heart and lungs have had their share of Lupus-related episodes, such as the pulmonary embolism and resulting scar tissue, tachycardia, and enlarged heart. So far, my brain has only minor vascular changes that cause manageable migraines once in a while.

So, I’ve had several days filled with medical appointments. Today’s activities started with a fasting blood draw early this morning where it took three phlebotomists to try to get into my tiny little veins. They filled 11 vials, I thought I would faint!

The next test was a painful nerve conduction study that revealed the beginnings of peripheral neuropathy (damage to my nervous system caused by the Lupus). I kept smiling even though I wanted to scream at my doctor each time she put one of those electrode needles into my muscles. Why do the tests that are designed to help treat pain cause so much pain in themselves? A bit of a paradox.

After that, I went to physical therapy, where she tested, for the umpteenth time, my range of motion, pain levels, etc. She just adjusted and realigned my hips and spine, and set me up for a heat treatment. So soothing.

Throughout this period of more tests, I’ve found solace in keeping up with regular acupuncture appointments. Not only in dealing with the pain, but also in managing the fear and stress that comes along with the uncertainty of how Lupus is going to strike me next. Even though it sometimes actually takes a lot out of me, I find peace in the exhaustion. It’s like my body is so relieved of whatever burden is released as the acupuncture needles open my neuro-pathways. Ahhh….




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