I’m a Big Girl Now – Not



Last week,  I had a public tantrum (I. Don’t.Wanna) about not wanting to make an appointment with any of my doctors and enjoying my 4 month hiatus from the medical world.  Click here if you missed it: 


I discussed all the substances I need, to ease my chronic pain and threatened anyone who considered taking away my wine and gin.

I decided to act like a big girl and make the phone call to see one of my doctors.  I had my appointment yesterday.

I walked into the office sporting my fancy red-hot neck brace which was supporting my neck, which was supporting my head, with felt like a ton of bricks sitting on my neck (it did however, match my lipstick.)  Have you ever felt that your head was too heavy for your neck to support?  And not because your brain was too big?

I have stenosis of the cervical spine in discs 4-5 and 5-6 and have been avoiding having to have a spinal fusion.  Who wants to do that?  Only if and when I have tingling and numbness in my arms and legs, will I consider it.  Fortunately, the debilitating, excruciating pain I have, is not worthy of an operation.

As I checked in at the reception desk, I was massaging my left rib cage which was spasming and inflicting more intense pain.  I looked really good.

I am not at liberty to discuss how I injured my ribs because…I just can’t.  Although my husband may have had something to do with it, the injury did not occur as a result of a beating, so you don’t have to call the police.  I’ll just leave it at that…(blushing slightly, right now).

After a full physical, an xray and antibiotics for an infection, this was the outcome:
The radiologist has determined that there has been no progression of your degenerative disease in your cervical spine and that al he could see was the same old bad stuff he had seen in previous xrays.
Wait.  So…am I supposed to take that as good news?  Hey, brickhousechick, be happy that things are just the sucky same!  Same narrowing of your spine, same disc erosion, same excruciating pain, just more of the same! Phew!
Be thankful that there is no change Yay me!
Then, I was informed that my ribs may be bruised and that there is nothing to be done about ribs.  You just wait it out.  Just like that.  You leave those suckers alone to heal themselves.  Alternate between cold and heat and it should go away in a month or so.
So, although I love my doctor and she is not to blame for my misery, was it worth being a big girl?  Ah…NO!
I ended up back home, doing what I was doing before I called.  Laying in bed with an ice pack on my neck and one on my ribs and having another tantrum.
Chronic pain is for the…birds.  Actually, I take that back.  Poor birds, why do we always wish the bad stuff on them?
The only good that came out of all this, was that I can now add antibiotics and muscle relaxants to my already diverse Cocktail (which currently consists of wine, gin, prednisone, naproxen, chemo & cannabis.)


Cheers!  Drinks are on me!    

Prednisone, Gin, Naproxen, Wine, Chemo & Cannabis


What a dilemma I have.  

You see, I typically visit my Rheumatologist every two months to check in on my RA and see how much damage it has caused me.  They weigh me (Ouch), take my blood pressure, give me the good ‘ol Pillsbury Boy poke in my belly, probe me, lift my limbs, squeeze some joints,  make me open my mouth and say ahhh, send me to the lab for more poking and change my medications if need be.  All in a matter of 15 to 20 minutes.

Every six months I go to the hospital for the day to have a Chemo Infusion via an IV.  They provide me with a nice comfy bed, Benadryl, Cortisone, anti nausea meds and I go in and out of a very deep Benadryl-induced sleep.  Every half hour the IV machine beeps and beeps and beeps alerting the nurse to come check on the ever so slooooowly dripping bag of, let’s call it, poison.

The medicine in the bag, called Rituxan, can also be called miraculous.  It is typically given to cancer patients in higher doses but has been known to help with Rheumatoid Arthritis!  It is the only medicine that has actually slowed down the erosion of my joints and has given me some relief.   Let’s have a round of applause for Rituxan!!  Woot!  Woot!

It’s not a cure and it’s not perfect, but I’ll take it!  I also take quite the cocktail of other drugs to help me function throughout the day.

I am usually a very good patient (kind of).  I do as I am told (sometimes).  Well, I am also rebellious by nature.  You know, don’t tell me what to do kind of girl.  For the past 4 months, I have gone on STRIKE!  I have taken a sabbatical from visiting ANY doctor.  

Like a child who refuses to go to school, I continue to have tantrums and refuse to go.  No, no and no!  I. Don’t. Wanna.

I figured, I am an adult (sometimes) and I can do as I please.  I know, tsk….tsk, you say.  Cut me a little slack pretty please,  I just get fed up with the whole thing sometimes (woe is me).

Now, I’ve got issues again.  Pain in my side, strange growths popping up in my cervical spine from Stenosis, back problems, blah blah blah.  I am due for a physical, mammogram, colonoscopy, lab work, you name it…but… I. Dont. Wanna!!!!!!  Can almost 50 year olds have tantrums?

I have been perfectly happy ignoring my pains (and blogging – which is almost as miraculous as the Rituxan),  taking my Prednisone, Naproxen, Gin, Wine and Chemo.  The Cannabis, I am still waiting for my state to get it together after they passed the legalization of the medicinal stuff!  You cannot get it yet.  What’s taking them sooo long?  

Why can’t my body leave me alone??? In peace! Just let me be, you know.  

This means I must end my strike (it was fun while it lasted) and push the speed dial button of my many doctors to pay them a visit.  I. Don’t. Wanna! I. Don’t. Wanna!  I. Don’t. Wanna!

Oh, alright.  I will put my big girl underpants on and call on Monday (Grrrr).  But, no one can ever take away my Gin, Wine or Cannabis! 

“Paging Dr. Page”



With my long list of challenging health issues, I have met my share of doctors over the years.  As we all know, doctors come in all shapes and sizes, with varying personalities, traits and…names.

Fortunately, I have had good luck with my doctors and have developed good relationships with most of them (particularly with my Dr. L – she’s amazing, wink, wink – hi Sue!!)  There have been a few that I would have preferred never to have met or that I wish I had poked in the eye with a cervical dilating tool when I had the chance, but most have been professional and pleasant.

What really peaks my curiosity when meeting doctors is, their names.  My question is, did they go into a specific specialty because of their last name or did they happen upon a specialty that also suits their name?

Take our very own local Oral Surgeon, Dr. Garlick.  Really?  As a little boy cursed with such a last name, did he dream of one day working with people’s mouths?  Did he set out to become the best oral surgeon around because of his name?

Dr. Blei-man, please could you explain to us when and why you decided to become an Eye Physician?  We just want to see, how this all came to be.

When visiting a Urologist, what are we looking for in this type of doctor?  Someone with a top-notch reputation and experience?  Someone who can treat conditions such as urinary tract infections,  incontinence, kidney stones, sexual dysfunction (male and female)…external genitalia issues?  Someone, whose name is…. Dr. Kick?  For real??  Mind you, he is a very nice man (and I did not have any genitalia issues...) but, seriously?

I don’t have a pet, well except for our Beta fish, Ron.  We used to have guinea pigs when the kids were little but they have long passed (the guinea pigs, not the kids).  But if I did have a pet, where would I take it to when sick? To our very own, Dr. Katz – of course!  He had to have decided to become a Vet at the age of 2 when he could say his name.  This one is a no brainer!

How about asking to see an Allergist for a rash on your head only to learn that the doctor who you have been referred to is named, Dr. Malpica (bad itch, in Spanish).  I am scratching my head as we speak (I mean, write),  just wondering, how and why?



Most of us as we approach our 50’s, have a certain procedure we should have done that we all prefer to a-void.  Lucky for me, I have already been probed twice in my 40’s and therefore, do not to have to add that to my to do list this coming September (although, I am due for a cleansing…hmmmm, maybe I will go to my local drug store and buy the liquid stuff anyway for ha, has).

Well, among the Gastroenterologists in the practice I go to, is one particular doctor named, Dr. Cooley.  Culo, in Spanish and Italian is the word for buttocks.  Did he not take a language as a youngster?  Couldn’t he have gone into any other specialty?



What other peculiar doctor’s names have you come across?