Some of you may not know that I have recently been under advanced medical trials. The following is an account of these trials. I was not having a good day and my body did not feel right. I struggled to do my regular routine throughout the day. I was not that alarm because since cancer I do have bad days, but this felt different. That night I did the unforgiveable and skipped book club. I knew the book club would put the bookworm of destruction on me. The destruction took affect that night as it wormed its way unto my shoulder and down my right arm. I woke up the next morning with pain and numbness in my right arm.
I decided to go to the Saturday immediate med care my insurance plan offered. After forcing me to smile, touch my nose with my index finger and other advanced medical technology she (the doctor) said, 'I did not look as though I had had a stroke but to confirm this I would need the nonadvanced technology of machines that look inside of you.' She suggested I go to the emergency room. I looked at her with do you know what you are saying eyes. The ER would be hours of waiting in a too small room filled with sick people. This is your cure? Plus this was in the age of Covid-19 this could risk my very life. 'I know,' she said looking at me, 'but you need to be sure that this has nothing to do with something in your back. You need a MRI and you need it today. Because if it is your back the longer it is not dealt with the worse it will be.'
After returning home and talking with my wife it was decided rather quickly by my wife that I should go but she should not be exposed to the potential virus and she would not wait with me. Besides a day without me might be pleasant ‘so go’ the time alone might do me good. Months afterwards I have concluded the me in the latter sentence was not me but her. So off to the ER I went.
I told every medical professional in the ER my doctor said I should come to the ER to receive a MRI. They all nodded their heads and proceeded to make me touch my nose and smile. I was beginning to think that the smiling was how they delivered a service with a smile: they used mine. I saw two doctors and did similar exercises for both and waited patiently for a MRI. Now a MRI is not something you would be jonesing for like painkillers, but they did not give me one. They sent me home six hours later saying if it does not get better see a doctor.
I went home but the next morning I no longer had any feeling in my arm and my hand was useless. I was not going back to the ER. I decided to use the Teledoc with my insurance company. There is nothing more reassuring than having a doctor with a foreign accent and located in a place where it was anyone's guess make you do the same exercises everyone else had. My smile was definitely forced by now. His words to me was I needed to go back to the emergency room to have an MRI on my back before it was too late. I once again questioned him. He said he knew I must be forceful and demand it. My wife assured me she would be fine at home.
So, it was to the ER I marched armed with two doctors and one ER declaring I did not have a stroke and needed an MRI on my back. I have advocated for my friends and clients in the past bringing nurses to tears and doctors to heel. I was certain I could get an MRI for myself.
Apparently, the MRI techs were a more intimidating lot than me. I would later learn in the middle of the night the doctors were too terrorized to call the tech to come in. They were on call during the weekends and only were available during business hours. A doctor promised if I stayed the night, first thing in the morning they would give me a MRI.
Since I had asked for a test, they proceeded to give me every test evented in the evil hearts of medical engineers: two ultrasounds, CAT screens of my brain, two ultrasounds of my neck and shoulder, X-rays of my neck and shoulder. In fact, they were so gung-ho twice I had to tell them I had already received the test they wanted to do. They even asked me to smile for them. It was difficult now to smile. And as for touching my nose let us say I was a bit touchy about it. But the one thing they did not do was an MRI on my back.
When the neurologist came I felt at last I would receive my MRI. He said we are checking for stroke. Again, I stated to him I needed imaging for my back and that was why I was there. I emphatically emphasized my urgent care and Teladoc had said such and even your ER had released me just yesterday saying they found no evidence of a stroke. When I told the neurologist this, he asked me if either doc was a neurologist. I said I did not think so. He shrugged his shoulders as if to say I do not care what they have to say. I thought these guys were priceless, no really I mean there was no price they were not willing to add to my medical bill.
The weekend and Monday were gone and it was Tuesday morning. My pontificating ‘stroke’ doc who had ordered the multiple tests he wanted and none my original doctors had said I needed, came by. I guess to keep charging me. He assured me things would be fine. I had no feeling in my hand and was no better. He stated he was ready to discharge me. With a sweet smile he said, ‘I should be glad they have eliminated without any doubt stroke was the reason I was having problems.’ This did not bring happiness or a smile to my face although I was thinking about touching his nose with my fist but then again, I could not lift my arm to do such.
He left the room. I was beginning to stroke out. In fact, I think that was their plan. We may not be able to find any evidence of a stroke but if we cause him to have one, we could say ‘just as we thought you are having a stroke. Good thing you are here in the hospital we know how to handle a stroke.’
Stay tuned for the next blog of my medical trials to see if indeed I will receive my MRI.