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 symptoms...an 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. Hmmmm...no 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.