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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bone Pain

Too much information can be a bad thing, or it could be a good thing, if it causes one to get off of their butt and make a doctor's appointment. Having scoured WebMD, Medline and the most accurate of all, Wikipedia, for bone ache causes I've discovered I may have a very serious problem, the worst being bone cancer. The one constant thread amongst all the medical symptom sites is if you are experiencing any of the symptoms I've been experiencing, get thee to a physician, and quick!

Of course, quick is a joke whenever I try to make an appointment to see any sort of professional here in Roanoke. My daughter has to wait three months for a well visit; my son 7 months for a well dental visit; my dog a week to be groomed; and now me, two weeks to see my family doctor.

My pain started about two weeks ago first in my right hand pinkie. I noticed I was having a hard time bending it. Since I don't bend it that often the pain could have been there longer but I just never noticed. I'm not one to drink a cup of tea with my pinkie extended. A couple of days later the pain spread to the rest of my hand, just a dull ache that was more noticeable every time I flexed my hand. Then my left hand, first the fingers then the rest, started aching. Still it's not as bad as my right which I attribute to me being a righty and favoring that hand, more so now since I'm using a blowdryer with my new 'do. I casually mentioned to my husband what I was feeling and he thought maybe I was developing arthritis. "Call the doctor." Why? There's nothing he can do for arthritis, is there? "Call him anyway." Okay. I promptly ignored him, figuring maybe I was just typing too much. Besides I had other things more important going on -- I was too busy worrying about my daughter's pain, and after reading Web MD about a possible diagnosis of a pulmonary embolism, trying to get her into seeing her doctor, which she couldn't. Instead, we were sent to the emergency room.

Always smiling. More x-rays, this time of her ribs. More osteochondromas, this time on her ribs. More Ibuprofen, bed rest, and Kleenex to wipe away the tears. I didn't fill the Vicondin script. She's finally feeling better so now I guess it's my turn for pain.

A couple of days ago I noticed my ankles began aching along with my wrists. Now, I have never typed with my feet so I suspected my "typing too much" diagnosis was wrong. The weather was rainy so I attributed the pain to that, although weather had never affected me before. My daughter is the human barometer, not me. The dull aching splashed with sharp jolts was annoying, but nothing I couldn't live with. Then two nights ago as I was trying to fall asleep it felt like my bones ached everywhere, not just in the joints, but in my arms, through my legs, my hips, my feet and even my jaw. When I had a hard time getting out of bed my husband noticed so I had no choice but to let him in on my pain. "If you don't call the doctor I will." Okay, okay. I promptly ignored him again.

A couple of times during the day he called me asking if I called the doctor. Not yet, but I will. "You made me go to the doctor, and now I'm on five different medications." It's true, I made him an appointment for a wart on his finger that turned into blood work, that turned into high cholesterol, high blood pressure and a Vitamin D deficiency diagnoses. He's been taking his medication, is feeling much better and has complete faith in our doctor. I've never seen this doctor for anything, but a removal of a cyst on my chest years ago, that grew back by the way, and had to be removed again by a dermatologist. I think I'm like most women and use my gynecologist as my go-to guy. I don't think I should wait until December when I'm allowed my next appointment with him.

Sooooo...after reading through possible causes of my symptoms I've decided I must bite the bullet and take that first step of seeing a family doctor. If memory serves, and lately it's not been serving me too well, my gyn recommended I get a bone density test last year. Naturally, I promptly ignored him. Come to think of it I have a history of ignoring not only my husband but doctors. I have a medicine cabinet filled with prescriptions that I will never take. I have slips of papers for procedures and tests I haven't taken. I always think I know better than them. I'll see what this doctor has to say. My husband thinks is arthritis. I guess that's the lesser of evils so hope he's right. He was right about my daughter's sprained diaphragm, so maybe he's batting 1,000. Anything but bone cancer would be acceptable. Freaking Web MD...


  1. Elena,

    It's probably not cancer but you should ask to be on the cancellation list and see your doctor right away. My daughter kept getting bronchitis and pneumonia. I urged her to get a complete physical because it didn't seem normal to me to have pneumonia 3 times in one winter season. She did and we found out that she had cancer. By getting there right away, we were able to tackle it since she was only in stage I. She is doing very well now and in a guarded remission. That was 5 years ago. If we would have put it off, she would have gone to other stages and the outcome would have been different. Remember, illness doesn't whispers. I do think your husband is right about the arthritis though.

    I love the way you write. You can make a funny story out of anything..even illness. LOL


  2. Thanks Cheryl...with me everything could be cancer...I lost five pounds...OMG I must have cancer...I gained five pounds...OMG I must have cancer...My belly got bigger....OMG I must have a tumor in there...the list goes on and on.

  3. Takes an act of Congress to get into any specialist here in Roanoke... I go to the dentist in Radford, will probably go to the orthodontist in Daleville, my M.D. is in Blue Ridge, and forget about trying to get in with a dermatologist... up to a year on a waiting list for that!

    I had pain like yours in my knees at one time and it was the onset of arthritis. Now I just take Tylenol Extra Strength when they ache. BUT... do go to your doctor.


  4. I hope you are feeling better. I am not very good about going to the doctor, either.

  5. Go to the doctor. I hate it too, but it is wise to go. And, I'm like you, all the things I search for on WebMD = life threatening diseases and immediate death.
    It does sound like arthritis. And there are other, alternative things you can do to help that. But get it diagnosed first.