Updating the medical scene

Five years ago, just as I was leaving my teaching career, I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis. I had been having numbness and tingling in my fingers for over a year. I tried a certain pillow that helped for awhile, but decided I really needed medical help to get to the root of the problem. The diagnosis was spinal stenosis of the cervical region. I learned yesterday, while at my doctor’s office, that it’s either in the neck region or lower back, but not both which I had just assumed after the initial diagnosis.

To alleviate the numbness and tingling, I started a regiment of exercises that I faithfully do every morning, unless I am too busy taking care of grandchildren and my routine goes out the window! My hands and fingers are doing fine.

However, four weeks ago I developed a weird pain/tingling in my right foot. The pain was intermittent and I suspected the spinal stenosis as the culprit. The doctor told me I was wrong about that. She diagnosed an inflamed peroneus longus and told me to use the same NSAID gel I used last year when I had the Achilles tendonitis issue.  I’m to report back to her in one week as to how well the gel is working. My pharmacist told me last year that it is the most magical of all topical pain relievers and her patients are even happy to pay full price for it if their insurance refuses to cover it. It’s that good. I’m hoping it solves this issue. Like last year, I got lots going on in July so I’ve got to be ready to “rock n roll.”

If I had not had the appointment scheduled for yesterday, my doctor would never have heard about the weekend’s illness since I am over it and doing fine. However, I had wondered if that incident might be related to the spinal stenosis, too, as I could come up with no other valid reason. Turns out, my doctor was more concerned about the nausea/vomiting, et al, than she was about my foot. She ordered a bunch of blood work. I have these flare ups every so often, but what shocked her was that it happened in the middle of the night, waking me from my sleep. Over 10 years ago I had a bleeding ulcer and she thinks there might be a connection. I sure hope not. That was not a fun time.

This is probably not new for the rest of the advanced world, but Fresno is just getting around to computerized doctor’s records. I spent a total of four and a half hours at the doctor’s office yesterday, much of it working with my doctor to enter data into the records’ program they are now using. She still had my four inch paper file, but the important stuff had to be entered on the computer before she could actually treat me.

We laughed through most of it and she told stories of her life as we went along. My dear, wonderful, smart, funny doctor is still alive but each month she is tested for the possibility of a return of the horrible cancer that almost killed her two years ago if it had not been for a stem cell transplant and a complete switch out of her blood. I try not to get too many details as it sounds too horrific. She will never be in remission. This switch-over in medical records is challenging, but she is keeping her sense of humor about it. I hope it stays that way.

One good thing about the records’ change is that I can now access my records from my own computer. There is also a place on the site to made appointments, request prescription refills, and even leave messages. We’ll see how well that all works out. It’s there, but the question I have is will anyone on the other end be reading it?

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7 responses to “Updating the medical scene

  1. It is so awful to be sick. I truly hope you overcome all of your ailments and greet each day with good health and cheer.

  2. I hope you find what the problem is, oh dear.

  3. Or will the system get hacked and your medical records will become common knowledge. Common to — someone you might want to know them? Doesn’t seem much is safe these days. I am supposed to access that also, but I hesitate.

    But, this is about you and I most certainly hope you are doing better. Better, indeed.

  4. It’s so tough, but the connection between you and your doctor is certainly wonderful.

    • I have THE best internist in Fresno. I am told this by everyone in the medical field in this city. She is amazing. And she doesn’t take new patients. That’s a question I get all the time.

  5. You are so lucky to have such a wonderful doctor. I hope that she can stay healthy for a long, long time. I’m glad they’re computerizing records. I have my huge military file that I brought from Illinois and it’s so confusing, I don’t know how it can help anybody. Most of the doctor’s handwriting is barely legible too.

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