‘Well what did you do and where did you do it?’
‘Ohh, sounds nice. Gosh, I’m impressed. You did THAT – that’s disgusting I’d keep it to yourself in future. ‘
And what did I do with my Tuesday. Well, as there was no Armchair Yoga at the local hospital I decided to take myself off to the Royal for a couple of x-rays and blood tests as I’d been a tad concerned about the numb patch that had appeared on my right forearm on Sunday afternoon. I’d waited until Tuesday as it was a bank holiday.
I rang the day unit as soon as I knew someone would be there and then went in to get it checked out. One of our lovely neighbour chaeuffered me there – she did offer to stay but as these things can take time at the best of times and it was the day after the bank holiday I suggested she go home rather than wait.
So obviously my biggest concern was that the numbness – okay it’s not numb per se running my fingers or nails over it produces a feeling like minor pins and needles so I can feel stuff (unlike the area at the side of the scar on my knee which is completely feeling less) but not what one should usually feel – so my biggest concern about the area of altered sensation was that it was being caused by some shift in the loosening found in my C6 vertebra in February this year.
So after mentioning this to the doctor (who I’d never clapped eyes on before and who I did initially see very soon after arriving) and also mentioning that on Saturday when I had a headache I’d got a pain in the crown of my head that wasn’t a usual headachey pain and which was still there slightly and indeed had been then when I’d had a headache a few weeks ago. (I had intended on mentioning it at my next clinic appointment). Now maybe this was too much and I appeared to be a whinger particularly as when she asked if that was it I said ‘Well I had been getting a pain in my leg but think that may have been my new walking boots’.
So after two x-rays, some blood tests and starting and knitting most of this…
The conclusion was that the blood tests were fine and showed no magnesium/calcium issues, x-rays showed nothing new and the head pain was unrelated to myeloma as it wouldn’t come and go. If the ‘numbness’ hadn’t gone in a week I could go back and they would run an MRI which would pick up any smaller damage.
So I toddled off home on the train. I would like to say I toddled off happy and satisfied but the more I thought about it on the way home the less happy I was.
My understanding of the whole ‘conclusion’ and after giving it thorough thought on the train ride home was this…
The x-rays were on my lumbar and thoracic spine regions and after looking at my previous x-rays ‘which were taken at Whiston but were on the file there…’ When I said the latest had been taken at the Royal in February – I was told the report wasn’t on my file. This is the x-ray that showed the new damage at C6 – maybe this is why a cervical spine x-ray wasn’t taken because at the x-rays in April 09 there was no damage there.
When I asked which vertebra would cause ‘numbness’ I was told ‘one higher up.’ Hello – C6! Did I not say C6? I think I may have done several times – but with hindsight if there was no damage on the x-rays they looked then why do one on that area – I must have been mistaken.
And the head pain – well apparently she had told the senior doctor everything I’d said and he (name of someone I didn’t know) had said it didn’t count as it ‘wouldn’t come and go’. In my own personal experience with myeloma pain my back pain started in January 08 and disappeared (apart from if I attempted deadlifts or reverse crunches but happily withstood carrying boxes and boxes of files upstairs) until May 08.
After due consideration, a bit of a rant when I got home (the five minutes of nerve and vertebra talk resulting in B going all hot and having to sit down) and following a suggestion from a friend (who I keep telling that our GPs are wonderful whenever she complains after theirs) I rang the surgery this morning and booked an appointment for tomorrow with them so that I can fully understand what vertebra affects what nerves before I ring one of the consultants at the Royal and make a complete boob of myself.
Said friend also suggested that a lot of patients don’t want the level of detail I do and may have been quite happy to leave with the information supplied.
And now I’m off to a funeral of an old boss – along with two other friends one of whom had mentioned my ‘numbness’ to a friend of hers who is a retired physio and she then pointed out on the forearm the various areas affected by the cervical vertebra. But hey, we’re having takeaway for tea after back at ours so it’s not all bad!