Sunday, February 28, 2016

Smaller big issues

"When I met you many years ago, you came to me with such huge issues, there was no room to talk about how you can get enough sleep, and the idea of sleeping unmedicated wasn't a possibility. We needed to keep you alive, walking, and safe. Look where you are now. Your last surgery was a total success. Your pain is all but gone. Now we can finally fine tune these other things which are hanging on from the really bad times".

...said by my general doctor (gp) today.

I went to her to deal with my cough. And to up my migraine medicine allowance monthly, and to share with her how my sleep is so messed up, my life feels un-anchored. She was so "pleased" to be dealing with the sleeping problems and migraines finally. She sees it as progress. I told her I am seeing the "vitamin doctor" again, who I had seen years back. The goal is to get off sleeping pills. I had blood tests done, and everything hormonally is fine, so that isn't the cause of my sleep problems. The cause is from eight years on sleeping pills. I pray that this doctor, the "orthomolecular" doc- Dr. Mel Litman can help me with this awful withdrawal from sleeping pills that has to happen. I already started a pretty intense regimen of vitamins and minerals (although I'm hating taking more pills).
He's also doing gentle cranial-sacral manipulation to hopefully guide the throat cartilage back into place.

One thing at a time, though.
Right now we have to deal with this crazy cough.

We're beginning the process to clarify what may be going on. We'll look at it from three angles, one at a time:
1. lung/chest x-ray (already scheduled for Tuesday)
2. if/when that is clear, we'll go onto the second theory, which I personally feel may be the problem... that it is related to the cartilage dislocation in my neck/throat area. Goes like this: when I saw the ENT at first, a few months ago, for the cartilage/swallow/throat click problem, he asked me if I was having any reflux or heartburn. I said no. I never get that. But, in the coming weeks, indeed some reflux did start developing, and the cough started getting increasingly intense.
My GP thinks that the cough may well be reflux, stemming from the cartilage problem, which may be the result of poor head positioning at my surgery four months ago.

We'll try reflux medicine. If it works, we've found the problem (but not solved it until the cartilage is re-aligned).

3. If the reflux theory proves a dead end, she wants to do allergy testing and treatment to see if the cough is an allergy.

So there it is. We'll hopefully get to the bottom of this.

I loved my doc's optimism this morning. You don't get that much in our health system- optimism. Or rather, bolstering the patient, commending them on how far they've come in taking care of their health problems. I've known her for 6 or 7 years, I think. I switched to her after my NF, and first cellulitis episode which my previous doctor thought was nothing. Oh, no wait- actually, it was when he thought a little tumor in my thigh joint was nothing. That was it.....

Anyway, my doc now is not an alarmist at all. Cool as a cucumber no matter what I walk in and present to her. And there have been some *very un-cool* things over the past years, as you all well know.
This is the same doctor that gave me a standing ovation when I told her I am finally off the Fentanyl after five years.

So, operation "deal with bad cough" is underway. Let's hope it doesn't get complicated.
(this is almost parallel with operation "deal with sleep issues, wean off sleeping pills", which I find much scarier and intimidating. But unfortunately necessary at this point in life.)