The Fun Never Ends…

Just to be clear, I’m not complaining about any of this – I know I have a TON to be thankful for in my life, and I truly am. I want to write about this though more as a way to keep a record of what is going on with my health, and as a reminder to others to take care of themselves.

The fun from the ER visit on November 20th continues. We still can’t get my blood pressure below 150/100. I’ve spent the past 10 years running at about 140/90 – 130/85, so while this is up, I’m not surprised. I just wish something would bring it down. I had a follow-up appointment with the Cardiologist/Internal Medicine doctor (Dr. Has-a-Clue) today because the last medicine she gave me was producing crappy side effects. From August – November 1, I took Micardis. This may be a great medicine for a lot of other people, but for me it causes a LOT of fluid retention. So much that my other doctor was ready to schedule carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand, and I actually don’t need it. Once we switched my medicine to Toprol on November 1, my hand problems decreased on the right and all but went away on the left. (The nerve tests revealed “mild to moderate” carpal tunnel, but not enough to cut my hand to repair.) After the ER visit, I saw Dr. Has-a-Clue the next day. She gave me Diovan, in the same family as Micardis. Guess what? Yep. Same reaction. Within 2 days, I felt like crap, my hands were numb when I woke up in the morning, my joints ached. Stopped the medicine on Monday and the symptoms were gone by today. So now we are starting me on a new drug tomorrow.

On top of this, it seems like I am having an issue with my gallbladder. I have had this pain in my right side since late October, but I was so tired of seeing doctors that I hadn’t given in and gone to one – I thought it was kidney stones again. When I went to the ER, I mentioned it to the doctor there. She asked where the pain was – right under my rib cage – and she said that isn’t kidney stones, but since I’ve had them before I am a candidate for gallstones too – and that is right where I would hurt if I had them.


Dr. Has-a-Clue doesn’t treat gallbladder issues, but she is doing an echo on my heart this coming Friday and ordered an echo on my gallbladder too – that way, if I had stones she would send me to a surgeon. The pain has gotten more and more severe over the past week, and it could be a factor in my high blood pressure, so she had them do the echo today when I was there. Turns out they couldn’t see any stones. *sigh* However, the symptoms are right – pain increases an hour after I eat, pain gets better hours after I eat and gets worse when I eat again, high fat foods are worse than plain foods. She thought it might be an ulcer, especially since I took NSAIDs earlier this year for my hands, but the fact that I’m curled up in pain after I eat rather than feeling relief from the acid points the other way. She said it could be a small stone, or a stone that has travelled down the bile duct towards my pancreas. She gave me the name of a gastroenterologist, and I have an appointment there on Friday.

In order to make that appointment, I had to reschedule the CT scan of my kidneys and ovary that Dr. Has-a-Clue wants to do. The edema raised a red flag for her, so she wants to make sure I don’t have any kidney problems. The fact that I had an ovarian cyst back in 1990 (they removed my right ovary), the description of my cyst, and a lot of my other symptoms also seem to point to possible Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, so she wants to make sure my left ovary is ok. The CT scan was going to be this Friday, but it has now been moved to next Friday. I can’t take this gallbladder pain much longer.

I did do all my lab work today. They drew blood for 17 tests. 17! I have no veins, so she had to search for one in my arm. Fortunately she found a deep one and was able to get all but one tube of blood from my arm – the last (huge) tube had to be drawn from my hand though. Ouch! I’m just glad she didn’t have to draw the rest from my hand. I’m glad that is over with now.

While at the appointment with Dr. Has-a-Clue, I got a return phone call from Dr. Zapper, the neurologist that did my EMG for carpal tunnel, called me back about the face numbness. I realized yesterday that I hadn’t called them and he might want to see me. I was right – he wanted to see me *right away* – the nurse sounded so urgent about it, I was almost nervous. Dr. Has-a-Clue asked me again about my symptoms (the same drill I got an hour later from Dr. Zapper), and said it sounds like Trigeminal neuralgia – and Dr. Zapper said the same thing. To be sure, I’ve got an MRI scheduled now for Sunday afternoon. I hate to do it in a weekend and take away from family time, but Mike needs to drive me since I get to take valium. We don’t want another incident like the last time I had an MRI, where I had a nice little panic attack over being in the machine.

Tomorrow is my follow-up visit with Dr. Hand-man about the carpal tunnel and I get the verdict on the hand surgery. I want to avoid it, and I am definitely not doing my left hand now that I’ve discovered the meds were causing most of the problem, but I’m afraid that going to school is going to keep me writing, and that irritates my right hand the most. He already warned me this summer that prolonged inflamation could end up causing permanent damage to the nerves that surgery couldn’t reverse down the road, and I have already put this off for 14 years. Back then, I was dealing with military hospitals and the process of going through the chain of doctors – by the time I got the clearance for surgery, I was pregnant with Jason so they couldn’t do surgery on me. Now I don’t have any excuse.


Really, the blood pressure, the carpal tunnel and even the facial numbness aren’t bothering me that much right now. The gallbladder issue has reached the point of a very sensitive tummy and I feel a lot of nausea from it. I have to pick and choose what I eat because some foods cause a lot more pain than others. Meat seems to be out of the question right now – I was in tears the other night, it hurt so bad. So lots of bland, low-fat foods for me for right now until we get this figured out.

So if I seem quiet lately, now you know why. I don’t want to sound like I am doing nothing but complaining about my health, and I’ve been out of sorts for the past week or two. Just a bit spacey, for whatever reason. Plus I know people that are going through things that are so much worse right now, I’m thankful for all the good things in my life. I’m thankful for Dr. Has-a-Clue and Dr. Zapper. I’m thankful for my family and friends, because they have all been so supportive. Hopefully, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I just can’t wait to reach it.

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

18 replies on “The Fun Never Ends…”

I never know what to say at a time like this – so forgive me if I sound dumb or even worse – insensitive, because I’m not. 🙂
You have every right to grumble about what is going on. You are not abusing your body in any way – why is it rebelling on you right now? And that question can drive anyone batty. Conditions that make us think that ‘anyone but me’ should have – is frustrating when it limits us from doing the normal things in life.
It must be very scary for you right now – but you are in my thoughts. I hope Dr. Has-a-Clue finds out what is going on and takes care of it right away.

Sorry you’re having such a rough time of things. Is it worse having all these things pile up at once, or does the carpal tunnel take your mind off the gall bladder, which makes you forget about the blood pressure, and so on? Probably not.

Let us know how things turn out. Be gentle with yourself.

Oh wow, I am so sorry to hear your health isn’t that good right now. Sending you best wishes via the internet.

I had some stomach trouble around Halloween, after a HIDAScan, Ultrasound, etc. they have found nothing! UGH, well at least my pain is gone.

Good luck with your tests. I wish you the best.

Christine, I’m so sorry to hear about all that’s going on with you lately. I won’t be on much after December 8th, because I’m having surgery back in LA. Recovery time will be close to a month, so that’s why I haven’t set up a time to meet up and knit with you. I really appreciate that you offered, though.

How does it feel when you eat fruits and veggies? Meat can stay in your colon for a long time, but all the fiber in fruits and veggies can help to clear out your digestive tract. When my doc told me I was going to have to have surgery, the first thing he said afterwards was, ” I need you to eat lots of fiber and take your vitamins daily.” I just smiled really big and told him that would be no problem!
I’ll be hoping for you! Keep us posted.

Christine, give yourself a break… health problems SUCK and it’s okay to say so.

I’m sorry you’re dealing with all of this! I hope you get some answers and find some relief soon.


you weren’t kidding with this long post. i’m glad you know what you’re doing to get this all taken care of. and i know that Mike has been so supportive this entire time. *hugs* hopefully come 2006, you’ll get a clean bill of health.

The blood pressure is a big issue with me, as well. I used to be 120/80 on the button every single time I went to the doctor, then in 2003 it shot up to 150/100 and I’ve been in Lisinopril ever since. Keeps it lowered, but I need to completely cut out caffiene to get it to go down more, and that ain’t happening!

I hope you’re able to find some relief from all of this very soon! Take care of yourself!

I’m so sorry you are having to go through all this. Think healthy, positive thoughts. Go to the happy place. I think it’s perfectly okay for you to complain about this stuff – it’s happening to you! We wanna know. I’m thinking about you.

Gee, I wish you would tell me what is going on when I call! I hate to have to read your blog to find out what is going on. And why won’t you return my phone calls?

Love your names for your doctors. Sorry you are suffering so. Pain increases blood pressure so getting the gallbladder fixed would be a priority. Kill two birds with one gallstone so to speak. Trigeminal neuralgia sucks, got it myself. My thoughts are with you and keep us all posted.

We all used to believe we were invincible but as we get older and find out bodies can not take the strain on many things we are presented with over such a long period of time, it all becomes reality. At the end of the day we should be thankfull we live on average 30 years longer than our ancestors. Hope you get better soon

Ugh, that’s what happens when I don’t read for a week, o h my, oh my… This sounds just like me a couple of years ago… pain in the abdomen, did all the tests possible… that’s when they found the bacteria for the ulcer… make sure you do that test, it’s treatable with antibiotics, it’s a mix of 3 and only lasts 15 days. I had exactly the same symptoms.

It also happened at the time I had my RSI problems, which makes me believe that it’s not that uncommon when you deal with stress coming from several sources.

Just take it easy, breathe deeply and try to relax as much as possible. Having been there I know that stress is definitely a big factor in this. Even carpal tunnel/RSI almost disappeared over time just because I let go… Oh well, not sure what else to say about this… all the best to you and hopefully you’ll get rid of these problems because life isn’t fun when they’re accumulating.

Take care, alrighty?

Hmmm, so, is your hand pain related to the meds, or did you have the dx of carpal tunnel before the meds?

I’m asking, because I have been puzzled by nerve-like pain that shoots across the tops of my hands and particularly down my 4th and 5th fingers. This started after Thanksgiving. I was switched to Micardis prior to Thanksgiving. Never had this with my other B/P meds.

I’ve had carpal tunnel for over 15 years. I was first diagnosed with it in the early 90s, and then it was better for a long time, and then it got much, much, much worse. It was a month or so later – after it got worse – that I started the BP meds. Surgery has helped and I have no numbness now.

4th & 5th fingers is your ulnar nerve, not carpal tunnel (that is the thumb, index and middle finger.) They all come through your wrist, but I’ve had ulnar nerve problems too – and it was being compressed in my elbow and shoulder. Have you been sleeping differently with Micardis? Or doing anything different that could be causing problems with your shoulder?

I would definitely check with the doctor that has put you on the meds. They need to know, even if something else is causing it. You might have swelling though, and the inflamation can cause the numbness problems.

omg this is a depressing blog so many people suffer with so much more and they never complain. Sometimes I think people find comfort in the myriad of problems they have maybe it makes them seem important when they see so many doctors. Eat to live don’t live to eat. I love life and tomorrow I could die so be dam happy that you are here.

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