Thursday, March 6, 2014

"Of Exhibiting, or Caused by Radioactivity"

This winter has been particularly bad for shoulder,  finger and foot aches and I’ve been taking long, really long (like husband yelling at me to leave some hot water for the rest of Edmonton long) hot showers. It was during one of these steamy sessions that a thought struck, I use to do the EXACT same thing when I was having a flare, I would stand or sit for an extended period of time in the shower (or alternately go sit in the car and turn the seat heater on). I got mad, mad enough that I spiked the bottle of shampoo (worthy of Homer Jones!) although I promptly regretted the decision to do an end zone dance:
1. The searing pain in my shoulder returned.
2. I was going to have to clean up the goopy mess on the floor.  
That anger prompted a call to my GP to make an appointment to try to figure out why I was being forced to take scalding showers on an almost hourly basis.
Dr. Wink (yup, my GP’s name is Dr. Wink) listened to my complaints and set about getting me appointments for x-rays and in for something called nuclear medicine for bone scans. I had Dr. Wink explain nuclear medicine to me and he said it involved injecting some radioactive material. Radioactive. Material. Let that sink in for a minute will you, someone is going to INJECT  radioactive material into me and assuming I go along willingly, they will x-ray the results. I was assured it was perfectly safe to which I replied “didn’t they also say that to all the people getting onto the Titanic?” Dr. Wink was not nearly as amused as I was. I also asked if mutation, such as growing a few more limbs or eyes was a possibility and to my vast disappointment (I always thought an extra arm or two would be helpful, think of how much you could accomplish with 4 arms!!!!) I was told no.
The initial hand x-rays went off without a hitch but the picture you see above is the result of my foray into the nuclear medicine world. Inject radioactive material they said, it will be fine they said. Pft.   I haven’t had a medical induced bruise since the inception of Oscar, and that was over 4 years ago. I suppose my shut out had to end eventually but I didn’t expect it to be so painful!
The resulting x-rays / bone scans showed what I had feared, arthritis in most of my joints. The real surprise came when Dr. Wink informed me that my right shoulder was especially bad and he hadn’t seen so much inflammation in years. Great, I had assumed the pain was from too much time spent hunched over my computer.  I knew at some point, I would begin to exhibit the signs and symptoms of arthritis; I’ve come to realize that you can’t have Crohn’s for 13+ years and remain unscathed from the “other issues” associated with the disease. I didn’t realize it would begin so soon, I’m only 36!
Crohn’s, surgeries, ostomy and now arthritis.  I’m batting 4 for 4 but just once I’d like to strike out.


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