Monday, July 14, 2008

Should I sue for emotional distress?

Okay, for the past 6 weeks, I have been plagued by some health issues, which started out pretty minor. I haven't been able to write about them until they were resolved, and today I finally got a hint of a resolution! So, read the following account of what happened and then let me know if I should sue? (kidding -- I'm not the suing type).

I started getting some tingling and numbness in both my arms and hands about 6 weeks ago. I thought it was just nerve damage and sought out some deep-tissue massages. They helped and I thought it would just take more time. But, I also just wanted to rule out anything else more major, like arthritis or diabetes or even carpal tunnel syndrome that could be causing this. I met with the doctor and got my blood drawn. I was told I'd get the results back in 2 days. That was about 4 weeks ago. After 3 days, I still hadn't heard back, so I called and asked if they were back yet. I was told that the doctor had to order 'more detailed labs' based on the abnormal results from my first set of labs. Not good news. I was leaving for vacation the next day so I begged them to rush the second set of labs.

So, the day I was leaving for vacation, I came home from running errands to a message, "We have your lab results, and you need to schedule an appointment to discuss them". Again, not good news. I called and made an appointment for that day, since I wasn't going to go out of town on news like that. I totally rearranged my already hectic schedule (you know how it is on the day you are leaving) to make the appointment. Dave was going to get off work for it, etc. Then, about 1 hour later, they called back and said, "Sorry, there was a miscommunication, we don't have ALL the labs back, so don't bother coming in today. We'll let you know next week". Well, I said I was going out of town and demanded they tell me what was abnormal in my labs that caused the doctor to order more. I was told my blood sugar was high (a sign of diabetes) and that my hemoglobin was low (anemia). So, armed with that information I went off to vacation.

I was actually able to enjoy the vacation and didn't really think about it too much after my sister (a nurse) explained that the numbers of my labs were just barely abnormal and nothing to worry about.

When I got back, I called to see if the results were in -- no they weren't. What? It had been so long! Then, the next day, I came home to another message asking to call the office because they had received the labs and I needed to come in to discuss them. I called the office back to schedule the appointment and the gal who schedules the appointments told me over the phone, "Your labs indicated that you are diabetic and have severe anemia". Oh.

So much for waiting to discuss it with the doctor. She scheduled me for a week later -- and I was too stunned to realize that I'd never be able to wait a week to discuss those results. About an hour later, I came to my senses and called them back to reschedule the appointment for just 2 days later.

Those were a LONG two days. Finding out you have diabetes is very scary. I went to the handy-dandy internet and searched and discovered that I was more likely type I than type II. There is a 25% correlation between my thryoid disorder (hashimotos) and type I. They are both immune based. So, I started stressing about giving myself daily injections of insulin, counting carbs, not being able to eat sour patch kids, you know -- the usual stressors! No, it was really scary. I even went grocery shopping and spent twice as much on 1/2 the amount of food -- healthy food. It is expensive to eat right.

My appointment came, and so did Dave. The doctor let me know that they didn't know if it was type I or II, and so ordered another fasting blood test to determine that. She also added on a thyroid test onto my labs to see if there was a correlation -- I had shared my internet find with her about the 25 % correlation between the two disorders. Dave also let her know how unprofessional it was for their assistant to tell me so flippantly about the diabetes diagnosis over the phone. She apologized profusely. She also let me know that I had pretty severe iron-deficiency anemia. I was scheduled to go into the hospital for an IV infusion of iron to kickstart that process.

So, last friday I waited an hour to get my blood drawn. This morning I spent 3 hours in the outpatient center getting an iron IV (which looks like motor oil going into your bloodstream). Then, after coming home and barely sitting down to rest, the phone rang. It was my doctor saying she had the lab results back (from just last Friday -- fast!). I am definitely not type II diabetic, and it is barely negative for type I. So, I asked her if that meant I don't have diabetes? She said that my thyroid tests indicated hyperthyroidism which could be the cause for the elevated blood sugar levels. So, now I have to meet with my endocrinologist (thyroid doctor) and get him to adjust my medication levels and (fingers crossed), that will take care of the diabetes issue. Although I do have to exercise regularly and eat few carbs for the next few months while we see if that is truly the cause of all this. So, that was some really good news.

The ironic part of all of this is, 6 weeks later, my hands and arms are still tingling and numb. I go in on Thursday to get a nerve study done to see if it is carpal tunnel syndrome. If it's not that, maybe I'll go back to the deep tissue massages....


Diana said...

Holy Cow!! Ah! I would be a mouldering mass of goo! I sure hope that it will all turn out to be a very fixable thing....We will be praying for you.

Knorr Family said...

Hi Jennie!
I am visiting family in UT and just read your blog. I am so sorry for all of the stress you have been through. Hopefully you will find out some good things in the next few weeks. I will pray for you too!

ducklips said...

That is all so incredibly insane! I think I would have strangled my doctor after all of that. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.

Kim said...

Man Jennie, what a pain to have to wait so long for results. I sure hope whatever it is can be treated and resolved easily. I hope you like and trust your doctor, otherwise, I'd find someone else who may not take so long to give you results.

Wendy said...

Jennie--I'm so glad you posted what's going on with you. What a whirlwind. Keep us updated. I hope your thyroid medication adjustment will take care of it all. I'm so sorry.

I still remember when we were first married, Justin saw a dermatologist about a weird spot on his face, and they cut it out and then left an answering machine message late on a Friday afternoon saying they were calling to discuss his skin cancer!! We wouldn't call back until Monday morning when they opened--it was a long weekend! Tacky! You'd think medical people would be trained to be sensitive!

Orange Peanut said...

Wow, I'm sorry you have had to deal with this! I would have been majorly peeved with the way the test results were handled! Not cool at all.

I hope that you are able to find answers and more importantly that the tingling and numbness goes away quickly!

VikiViki said...

Jennie -
I just got back from a week at Girl's Camp and then another Bailey reunion in Utah. I am glad to hear that they are investigating the thyroid connection. I hope the nerve conduction testing gives you more clues. Keep me posted.

Janell said...

WHAT A PAIN! I'm SO sorry you've had to deal with all of that! I had no idea you've been so sick and hope things get better quick!
Sure love you, girl! :)

Mindy McNamara said...

I defintely think you should sue!!! I can't believe what you have been going through. You are in my prayers and we need to get together!!

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