No big entry tonight with continuing details about our reproductive life. It's late, I'm tired, and I didn't feel like rambling on about my lethargic ovaries this evening. Instead, I drove two hours south to have dinner with one of my BFF, Louis. (Is it ok to say "BFF" when you're talking about a guy, or is that a little lame and girly?) Louis and I have been friends since we were eleven .... since that fateful, pre-destined day in the sixth grade when he first transfered to our school, and was the shy, skinny new kid with glasses, and being the
So pretty much, for the past thirty years, Louis has owed me his life. Which I remind him of every time I see him. However, since we live nine hundred and fifty miles apart, it doesn't happen often enough. He was in Florida on business this week, so he drove two hours up and I drove two hours down just so we could meet in the middle for dinner. AND, he offered to share his dessert with me. Is that a BFF, or what?
Normally I let him pay back his eternal debt and gratitude for saving his sixth-grade hide by letting him buy drinks, but not tonight. PartLy because I donated blood today and the technician told me no alcohol for 48 hours, and partLy because last I heard, the highway patrol frowns upon drinking and driving. And rumor has it that you can't get Diet Dr. Pepper in jail, so there is no WAY I'm going there!
So instead, I'll post and ask for positive thoughts for Blaine and me tomorrow. I think, finally, at long last, the shit has hit the fan and Blaine has reached his limit.
Remember the shoulder thing? The mass in his shoulder, and the fact that ever since his surgery in Seattle, he hasn't been able to raise his arm? And how his PCM (primary care manager) had no idea, so ordered a ultrasound, cat scan, and MRI, all of which were inconclusive? So he authorized a referral to a surgeon, who Blaine saw two weeks ago. (I'm not even sure if I posted about this part .... I was too busy getting started with the never-ending post about my fertility-drug-induced hot flashes and mood swings) Anyway, the surgeon took one look at the mass in his shoulder, said, "Yes, that's indeed bizarre. I have no idea. But, I'm not the person you should see. I'm a *general* surgeon. I think you need to see an *orthopedic* surgeon. Thank you. Good day."
So we waited two weeks for ANOTHER referral to an orthopedic surgeon, who Blaine saw today. He looked at Blaine's cat scan and MRI results, examined his shoulder, and said, "Yes, that's indeed bizarre. I have no idea. And SINCE I have no idea, we are going to go on the assumption that your head and neck cancer has mestastisized and you now have lung cancer. The bottom of your shoulder is technically the top of your lungs. I want you to have a bone scan and get pictures of your lungs immediately. Thank you. Good day." And Blaine was left standing there, thinking, "What? Did that guy just say lung cancer???? Is he freaking kidding me???"
Now, I'm sure this doctor is a go-to orthopedic surgeon, and if I ever have tennis elbow, or a nice, juicy ACL tear that needs repairing, he'll be the one I call. But it bothers me that he sort of, psuedo, unoffically diagnosed Blaine with lung cancer considering ..... a) he is not an oncologist, b) he is not a lung doctor, c) they haven't done any tests yet, and d) well, for goodness sake, even if we don't believe it to be true doesn't mean we want to hear those words said out loud!
And this was pretty much the point today where Blaine said: "I. HAVE. HAD. IT."
Currently, he has nine different doctors, treating him for all different things. His pain management specialist, his oral surgeon, his head and neck surgeon, his oncologist, his psychologist, the new pain psychologist they are sending him to, his prosthodontist, this new, orthopedic surgeon /slash/oncologist /slash/lung doctor, plus his primary care manager who is supposed to be coordinating all this. His orthopedic surgeon wants these tests done asap; he has an appointment in Seattle on Monday to meet with his head and neck surgeon to see how the surgical sites (head and arm) are healing from his surgery last Nov, and he's slated to meet with his oncologist (also in Seattle) to get another MRI done to make sure his head and sinus area is still cancer-free. He has an appointment on Thursday at Fort Gordon to meet with his oral surgeon to see how the posts and implants they just put in are healing . Blaine's excited to work with the prosthodontist because that means he'll be on his way to having teeth again. Oh, and did I mention that they're sending him for sleep study next week because he's still only sleeping a few hours each night due to pain? Cue pain psychologist.
So I think the lung cancer comment today was the final straw and Blaine decided he was tired of having thirty-seven chefs in the kitchen. Only they're in kitchens all over the country. And none of them know what the others are doing. And they just keep throwing shit in the pot and stirring. (I know, that's a lousy analogy, but its after midnight and I'm sleepy.) So he called his PCM and apparently left a very nasty voice mail for the nurse .... which, if you know Blaine, know how extremely out of character that is for him. But it must have had the desired effect, because they called back and said he has an appointment tomorrow morning at nine "to discuss things."
There's a phrase used in the military .... cluster-fuck: Definition as follows: "Miltary term for a situation caused by too many inept officers, cluster referring to the insignia worn by Majors and LT. Colonels, oak leaf clusters. 'The planning for this operation was a complete cluster fuck.' "
Not very polite, but to the point. Blaine's medical care has turned into a cluster-fuck. I truly believe he has nine competent, caring doctors (in fact, a few of them are practically saints, as far as we are concerned and we do believe we owe one or two of them Blaine's life) but we are sick and tired of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. It's time for somebody to put a stop to the cluster fuck and get this mess straightened out.
Hopefully we'll be doing that at 9am tomorrow. Wish us luck.
PS. If you really, really, badly want to tie this into the previous infertility entries, I'm pretty sure there's a joke to be made somewhere about the shoulder mass being nothing more than wear and tear on an over-developed rotator cuff from all the "deposits" Blaine had to make all those years. But I'm too lazy to find the joke.