Thursday, August 2, 2007

Magical Mystery Tour (Thursday Thirteen #25)

Last night, I watched a new series called “Mystery Diagnosis” on The Learning Channel. It’s the true stories of people who suffered from “bizarre” symptoms and almost died in the process of getting a correct diagnosis and treatment.

I’m thinking “Dumbass Diagnosis” might be a better title for that show.

I have never had any kind of medical training beyond a CPR class and I correctly diagnosed all of the patients before the “mysterious illnesses” were revealed at the show’s end.

This one woman suffered for 3 1/2 years with fatigue, swollen and hot joints, horrible back and abdominal pain and for two years her abdomen had been increasing in size to the point that she appeared to be pregnant. This woman had seen umpteen doctors of all specialties over the years and each one had a different diagnosis. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, crazy, etc. At the end of the show her “mysterious diagnosis” was what I said it was when I heard her ovarian tumor. Trust me, if your estrogen levels get screwed up, all sorts of wacky things happen to you.

If the no medical training Rock Chick can figure this out five minutes into the show, umpteen people who actually attended medical school couldn’t have missed this, right? Wrong. It happens all the time. It happened to me.

It started when I was injured during one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in this country, a c-section. Most people get cute, relatively small smiley face shaped incision that is about 4 inches wide and easily covered up by even the skimpiest of bikini underwear.

I have no idea if my doctor was stoned, lost his mind or fell asleep while making my incision, but it starts at my left hip and travels on a downward angle clear across my abdomen and ends in my right thigh. Yes. My right thigh. Last time I took an anatomy class (which was a long time ago), no part at all of your reproductive system was located in your thigh, but I guess science is always changing. He's lucky he only hurt me and not my baby because he would have met a side of JessiCat the world had never seen.

Surgery pain in general, is bad enough, but the pain that remained for two years after this surgery was excruciating. I couldn’t walk and I was on so much pain medication that I was completely incapacitated.

I had severe, burning, searing pain (like being branded pain) deep within the lower right side of my abdomen that traveled down the inner side of my right leg.

Did I have a “Mysterious Diagnosis” that should have puzzled all of these doctors? No. But I'll have to do something soon about my recent bad haircut because I would be a great candidate for that TV Show.

Today is Thursday Thirteen....and here’s mine....


1. idea. The most frequent of diagnoses and I suppose I should be thankful that they were at least honest about it.

2. Appendicitis. Reasonable guess, I suppose if you hadn't just heard the whole story. I'm no doctor, but I don’t think that normally lasts for two years without some sort of emergency incident.

3. Pulled muscle. I’ve pulled muscles before. It didn’t hurt that bad, nor did it last this long.

4. Kidney stones. Nope.

5. Gallstones. No, not that either.

6. Sciatica. Maybe I have a migraine, too.

7. Ovarian Cyst. Which was funny because I had just finished telling the doctor that I had no ovaries.

8. Which prompted him to diagnose that it was phantom pain from missing my ovaries. Only the right one, though, I guess.

9. Hypochondria. I really was beginning to wonder!

10. Scar Tissue. This sounded reasonable, except I had this pain when I woke up from the c-section. It takes longer than an hour for scar tissue to form.

11. An addiction to prescription painkillers.
Probably by the time that doctor saw me, yes, but in a chicken/egg grand scheme of things, the pain came first.

12. A surgical instrument might have been left inside of me. I thought this, too, initially, but I had tons of x-rays that revealed nothing.

13.Addicted to surgery. My personal favorite. I just adore that overwhelming panic sensation of having surgery not knowing if the doctor is going to kill you or not during the procedure.

So just what exactly did The Rock Chick have? What was the mysterious illness that baffled countless doctors and surgeons in some of the finest medical establishments in the country?

A hernia. I had a femoral hernia that had entrapped a bunch of nerves. It turned out that not only did my c-section doctor get carried away with the incision, he didn’t close it properly either.

Oh, and just in case you were thinking thank goodness The Rock Chick found the amazing doctor who correctly diagnosed her problem, think again.

I owe my thanks to the paramedic who picked me up after I passed out in my kitchen due to a completely botched nerve block procedure at a pain clinic I was treated at earlier that same day.

And people wonder why I have a fear of masked medical professionals. Check out "Mystery Diagnosis" on TLC just once and you'll understand it completely.


Jessica Morris said...

wow! I never knew that about you.
I am glad it was eventually figured out - but TWO YEARS?? Ridiculous!!

The box came yesterday!! Thanks so much!! :)
I am still debating all my options on amazon ... seriously - I am like a little kid in a candy store!!
Something about gift cards just excite me!

You inspired me - I think I will do a TT today - I have missed doing them! I've got a lot of chores to get done, but sometime today I shall get it done!

The Rock Chick said...

Oh, good! I'm glad you got the box! You'll have to let me know what steamy celebrity secrets are revealed in the game! :)

Yes, my story is ridiculous. I thought I had moved on until I saw that show last night. That woman almost killed herself because of the pain. It was completely ridiculous.

FRIGGA said...

Doctors do not know all. When I got my very first period, my then step mother who was a nurse told me "Well, it could be your period, or RECTAL BLEEDING, we should have you looked at" Um ya, talk about scaring the bageezies outa me :P

Vixen said...

Fascinating story. When these kind of things happen in my family it is usually the least educated (EMT/nurse/me) who finall figures out the diagnoses.

And I have the the Mystery Diagnosis show 11 or 12 times. And each time I was able to get the diagnosis in the first five minutes. Stupid show or do they think people who watch are stupid?

katherine. said...

damn should be your episode on that show!

The Rock Chick said...

frigga: OMG! I know you're not kidding, but from a nurse????

vixen: sometimes I wonder if the doctors get so caught up in symptoms that they can't see the forest thru the trees. That show is unbelievable! Well, no, it is believable, that's the sad part.

katherine: I know! First I have to do something about my hair, though :)

Melina said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my TT

WOW what a horrible experience you went through. Is it all set now? Did you sue or at least report his ass to the medical board, that doctor of yours should have his license taken away.

L^2 said...

Wow! That's really all I can say.

Well, okay, maybe I can say more... Two years? WTF?!? That's ridiculous!

I'm glad someone finally figured it out for you.

Holly said...

Frigga: Really? That's so jacked up.

This was a really scary TT. I've heard a lot of these myself. My favorite was...

I was having a lot of bloating. Like, I'd take a SIP of water and my stomach would swell to 3x it's normal size. I saw a specialist who told me that was physically impossible and the synapses between my brain and stomach must not be working properly, so he gave me a prescription for an antidepressant. WTF?

I'm glad you did finally get it diagnosed, though. How horrible to have pain like that for so long.

kaykayzowie said...

You know, before I was diagnosed with gallstones in 1989, the doctors kept telling me that I had a tubal infection because two years earlier I had had my tubes tied.

This Eclectic Life said...

That sounds horrific! The doctor who did that to you should be hung up by his...
Well, he should at least have to be held accountable.

So, did you have hernia surgery and now everything is good?

Have you ever thought about writing a soap opera? You've got it all right here on your blog: drama, pathos, mystery, humor, fear...oh and glamour. Yes, glamour.

The Rock Chick said...

melina: yes, after it became apparent that his malpractice was going to affect me for the rest of my life, I did sue him. There's even more to the story than I even told here. People don't even believe me when I tell the whole thing at one time. it's like "there is no way!"...oh, yes way!! trust me!

L2: I think WTF sums it up pretty well!

kaykay: it amazes me that they can treat you for something for two years and when the treatment doesn't work, they still dont want to give up their initial diagnosis.

Shelly: Oh, the doctor met JessiCat, no doubt :) I DID have hernia surgery (three times, actually) because the damage was so severe that it was hard to repair. So far, I've been ok with this third repair, but I don't have toddlers to hike around either anymore.

I could so write a soap opera! This isn't even the whole story...if you heard everything he did to me, you'd fall over. I just didn't want you to get hurt :)

JAM said...

What a complete nightmare. I love the addicted to surgery one. I guess if they can't figure it out, then there's something wrong with YOU, right?

I hate that you had to go through that. A simple screw up can so affect your life.

The Rock Chick said...

JAM: well, they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I don't know if that's entirely true, but since I've been better, I have a complete appreciation walking, moving, dancing and being able to go on with life. I figure if I can make it through that, because that was BAD, I can make it through anything.

Carolan Ivey said...

As a 42-year victim, er, veteran of dealing with the medical professions, I've had a few doozies, too.

Not the least of which was, when I complained to my rheumatologist that I couldn't fall asleep at night, he suggested I needed a psychiatrist.

What I found I needed (on my own research) was an anti-inflammatory, taken at bed time, that didn't contain the equivalent of 2 cups of coffee.

One Scrappy Gal said...

Those shows scare me because they are true!! I won't see a doctor unless I have a severed limb!

Sassy said...

You know I hate that. When you go to a Dr knowing damn and good well there's something wrong and they look at you like your crazy. Happy TT!!

Damien said...

House M.D. with Hugh Laurie is a "mystery diagnosis" fiction show. It's really good you should watch it!

Lori said...

Well, I work in a hospital and I must say, Im not surprised. It makes you wonder, dont it?? Hope your feeling better. Happy TT.

Marcia (MeeAugraphie) said...

I'll just ditto L2's WTF... It's the shortest version of what I am thinking.

Lesley said...

OMG That is just really frightening! That idiot doctor who did your c-section should have his license revoked! I'm so glad they eventually figured out what it was.

Tink said...

Unbelievable, but it's not the first time I hear things like this...
My TT teaches a geography lesson about my country.

Nancy Lindquist-Liedel said...

Just ugh. I feel for you.

My mess was blurred vision, right eye only; loss of feeling and coordination in my left hand; loss of feeling in part of my feet. Oh, and dizzy. Took five doctors six year and... they think.... I *might, but probably do* have.

scroll down



impworks said...

Glad they figured it out. Depsite everything medicine is in many ways more of an art than a science. I had a strange thing happen with a bit of my eye this year that had me rapidly sent from one medic to the next until I got to one who after double checking in a book in front of me told me what I had and that while it looked like something scary was in fact something really, really trivial but unsightly.

Karina said...

Holy crap girl! Of course being a paralegal I'm sitting here thinking "lawsuit, lawsuit, lawsuit!" ;-)

By the way, about the appendicitis thing...actually, my best friend could totally have gone on that mystery diagnosis show...she had abdominal pain for about 13 years until they finally figured out it was her appendix, which had been "slowly" bursting for about 13 years, and forming scar tissue around itself...something like that anyway. Seriously!

I was also told by a doctor once, when I complained of recurring pain in one of my legs, without doing any exams, x-rays, etc: "You're young, don't worry about it, I'm sure it's nothing". Yeah! Thanks doc. (My new doctor figured out it was actually cramps believe it or not).

Okay, I've rambled...happy TT!!

the night owl said...

Hi Jessica, Thanks for visiting my blog today.I worked for 28 years with babies and went to many a c-section,I have never seen a incision like yours.Your Doc. either slipped on the floor , or was slipped in the head that day.Your story sounds like a nightmare.Hope you got better after the Hernia repair. Baba

Kristee Weldon said...

Hey I found you! Thanks for commenting on my first TT. :)
I work in a hospital. I say...if you want to get well and stay well...avoid the hospital at all costs. YIKES!!
Have a great day!

Mallory said...

Geesh--this is the kind of stuff that made me go 14 yrs with gallbladder attacks before having the surgery to remove it. I hope you sued.

dawn said...

WOW -- Glad the finally figured it out. Two years is crazy.

(PS - I did the blogathon last weekend too!)

Malcolm: said...

Damn Rock Chick, you made several trips to hell and back. Two years of being misdiagnosed makes absolutely no sense!

Btw, the gifts I won from your music trivia games during Blogathon arrived in the mail today. Thanks again.

Di said...

I had an ER doctor when I was out of town once treat me like a junkie because I asked for codeine cough syrup because I was coughing my lungs up every night and couldn't sleep. Come on...if I was going to try to get some recreational prescription drugs, it wouldn't be codeine cough syrup. It would be vicodin...I watch House...seems like something I might like!

Jennie said...

Isn't it amazing how people just don't seem to listen? Great TT. Thanks for stopping by mine!

Crystal said...

OMG that's horrible!! Ok, my husband is thinking about some kind of nerve block thing for his back. Now I'm nervous. Passed out? Yikes! Is that because of the hernia?

That Mystery Diagnosis show has some really freaky things on there sometimes. I start diagnosing myself everytime I watch it. "Ooooh, honey, I think I HAVE THAT. I'm GONNA DIE." And he, of course, does the super supportive hubby eye roll at that point. But yeah, sometimes it's a really dumb show.

Catherine said...

Wow, surgical tool left inside you. Did these people realy go to medical school?

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone!
I would like to burn a theme at here. There is such a nicey, called HYIP, or High Yield Investment Program. It reminds of ponzy-like structure, but in rare cases one may happen to meet a company that really pays up to 2% daily not on invested money, but from real profits.

For quite a long time, I make money with the help of these programs.
I'm with no money problems now, but there are heights that must be conquered . I get now up to 2G a day , and my first investment was 500 dollars only.
Right now, I managed to catch a guaranteed variant to make a sharp rise . Visit my web site to get additional info. [url=]Online Investment Blog[/url]