Gabrielle's Life and Writings

Gabrielle Lawson, writer of Fanfiction. I will use this space to keep a journal about my writing, the progress I'm making, stories I'm working on, writer's blocks I'm having, our adoption process and progress and just life in general.

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Location: Missouri, United States

I'm multifaceted and highly educated. I have a BA in History and an MA in Museum Studies. But I couldn't make a living in a museum, so my hobby--computers--became my living. I'm now a charter member Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician. I aspire to be a professional writer and/or poet. I am a Christian and have been living by His grace for the last four years or so, despite the MegaStress and now the GigaStress. He keeps me going, and displays His glory still, in my life.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tailbone better, writing better....

I have been writing! Or rather the secret penname has. For nearly an hour each night during the week last week. Unfortunately, we've been too busy since then.

We're (my husband and me) are trying to fix our house to sell it. We have a lot to do and on top of not stopping our usual lives. We both work full-time and he goes to class 3 times a week. In addition, we teach Sunday School, I'm in the choir, and we signed up for a Russian class.

Yikes. It means we have one day a week we can do big jobs. Saturday. So this last Saturday we re-tiled the bathroom floor. And it was hard work. Even with peel-and-stick tile! We removed the old tile and laid the new tile down in a diagonal pattern. We had to finish the closet Sunday evening after Russian class.

We have to pull all our carpets up and paint the floors with Kilz before the end of the month if we want to take advantage of bulky item pick up in the city. It's on or about March 3rd for us.

We also want to go out of town that weekend. It's our anniversary that weekend and we really want to visit Biltmore in North Carolina. We just don't know if we can pull it off financially. We have set aside money for vacations, but this will take nearly all of it. Or more.

On a good note, my tailbone hurts a lot less. And the bend in my tailbone was apparently there last year, so not a result of this fall. I guess if I'd lived with it all this time, I can live with it now.

Now, it is time to for my daily nap-in-my-car at lunchtime.

    Status of Stories
  • Secret penname's: working on Chapter 8
  • Everything else, just where it was before.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Neither I nor "the writer who shall not be named"

In other words, the secret me, my secret penname. Neither of us have been writing. Oh, it is starting to get to me. Busy, busy, busy. No writing. Leads to stress overload. And yea, here I am.

So what motivates me to finally update my blog? The medical situation in America. Okay, my medical situation. My chiropractor, who normally listens and seem interested in getting to the root of what's wrong (wanting to take X-rays and ultrasound, etc.) just said "Why do you want to have something wrong with you?" Or something very close to that.

That made me mad. On Dec. 21st, I slipped on slick wood and smacked said wood with my tailbone. Hard. I went to the doctor and was X-rayed and the X-rays show a bend too far in my lower sacrum and coccyx. I can see those posters on the wall at the chiropractor's and then see my x-rays (I have a pic of it if anyone wants me to post here--if I can figure out how) and know that mine is bent too far. But is that because I fell in December? Or because I fell in the fall of 1990 while trying to roller skate backwards? That was when I was a freshman in college and my "bruised" (not x-rayed) tailbone hurt for 4 months. Not something to look forward to.

So that bend concerns me. I'm an analytical person. My brain works this way. If the bend is pre-Dec. 21st, there's less concern as it didn't seem to disrupt my life too much after those 4 months in 1990. If it's post-Dec. 20st, there's more reason to worry. It's not a readily accessible area for a chiropractor to just twist and work it back into place. And I don't know what effect it would have on me in my physical future.

I sit on a donut pillow most of the time. The office got me a kneeling chair. I used cold gel-packs for quite awhile (perhaps too long). So sometimes I got the feeling things weren't so bad this time around. Then I'd be without ice or I'd slip (nearly fell on New Year's Eve stepping onto my sister's wooden porch and wrenched my tailbone) and I'd hurt or at least just ache. A lot. I'd turn over in bed and wake up from the pain. So maybe the ice was masking it.

Presently, it's been not quite a month and I can do quite a bit. I can pick something up from the floor, so long as I'm not doing a bunch of lunges or deep knee bends, or putting pressure on my tailbone. I think a lot of it is muscle memory. The body gets trained how to move so as to not hurt. I'm getting better. (With the exception of my perhaps-freezer-burned backside which is very sensitive and hurts as if I'd been sunburned.) But I still want to know about those X-rays.

My chiropractor had taken a full series of x-rays in Jan of 2006. Might show my tailbone. We've discussed that for 3 weeks. And still today, they hadn't even tried to pull the x-rays. And he asks me why I want something to be wrong with me.....

I want to be able to sit on the couch without it hurting. I want to lean back without concern. I want to get down on the floor and pet my kitties. I want to not have to get into the car like a heavily pregnant woman. I want to type or write without my hands hurting (yes, they still do). I want to not have something wrong with me. But since something is, I want to understand it.

What is wrong with the medical situation in America? We don't address our problems because we don't want to bother our doctors and we don't want to drain our bank accounts. Does he think I like draining my entire flex plan in 8 months? How about falling or having an MRI after it's over. That's $200 out of my post-taxed income to pay for an MRI that didn't help figure out what's wrong with my hands. My doctor won't give me a referral for the chiropractor so he can order that full set of x-rays he wanted on me without my paying $400+ (x-ray's are paid by insurance with a referral). And my chiropractor asks why I want something to be wrong when I'm concerned about a knot that has formed on my lower back just to the right of my spine.

I'm analytical. I live in this body. I want to know when something is wrong. When something is wrong, I want to understand why and what to do about it. Even if there's nothing to do about it, I want to understand it. I fell. My spine is bent at the bottom end, my skin is uber-sensitive, and I have a knot. I'd like to know if that knot is a problem. He says it's normal. I say "aren't we symmetrical"? If it was normal a) I would have noticed it before and b) it would be equal on both sides of my spine. I fell. Massive pressure and impact on the tip of my spine, perhaps enough to bend it. It very likely jarred the rest of my spine when it happened. In fact, in the x-rays you can see some crookedness of the lower back, too. So now there's a knot there.

So I'm just supposed to ignore it. I could tell my chiropractor that I could ignore all my back problems like most Americans do and then I'd just take a Tylenol and not see him again. And hope the pain goes away. If I ignored my painful knee (which hurt for 2 years even though I'd been to the doctor, had an MRI and ultrasound treatments), it would still be hurting. It's my analytical mind that suggested to the chiropractor that maybe the problem wasn't my knee but my back. (Back crooked, changes the weight distribution on the legs, thus the knees. Different weight distribution causes the muscles and tendons and ligaments and everything to have strain where they wouldn't with proper alignment.) That's how my brain works. And my chiropractor fixed my knee. It was my persistence in seeking the cause of my excessive burping and heartburn that finally got me diagnosed with a disease I'd had for 15 years or more. No doctor until then had thought to scope me. So none ever found out that that I had Crohn's until one did--because I wouldn't except that I burped more than 100 times a day as normal.

I have migraines. But if I make an appointment with my doctor it's for an acute problem. My hands hurting. My fall. I don't go see the doctor for my headaches. Why? Because a) I can't predict when they'll happen and b) when they happen I don't want to be driving or sitting in a waiting room or taken to a brightly lit exam room. And c) because I have to pay a co-pay when I go to the doctor. I'd like to ask the doctor about my hands while there for my tailbone or about my headaches while there for my hands. But they want you to just bring one thing with you when you come. What are you here for? My tailbone. And headaches. You'll need to make a separate appointment. Great. Another co-pay. No my head doesn't hurt right now.

We're not encouraged to seek a solution when we hurt. My adoptive mother hurt her back moving furniture and wouldn't go see a chiropractor though I advised her several times. That's typical of most of us. We get a cold. We don't see the doctor. Why? It's just a cold. Okay, but what happens when we get older and it takes a bigger toll? Or turns to something else, like pneumonia or bronchitus? When are we going to know when it's serious enough to go to the doctor? I don't go to the doctor for a cold. When I was child's knee hurts, it's usually because they fell down and it will stop soon. Not often do they need a chiropractor or two years of ultrasound. Our bodies are more resilient when we're younger. I'm getting older. Losing my resilience to age and/or stress, but I'm still encouraged to ignore, ignore, ignore. I don't want to be a hypochondriac bothering my doctor about every little sniffle or splinter. But when something isn't right or handle-able at home, or doesn't go away with time and rest or whatever, I want to be able to address it with someone who knows more about it than me. My hands started hurting in late spring 2006. I left it to my own devices for a time. Wear splints. Worked before. Didn't work this time. They still cause me problems. The more I do, the more they hurt. (My left index finger is complaining right now.) I eventually saw a doctor, and a specialist. I had an EMG, an X-Ray and an MRI. Nothing to explain my hands. But perhaps stress. So what now? My doctor probably doesn't want to see me about my hands anymore. She doesn't know where to go either. So I'm just left with "maybe they'll stop hurting someday". How demoralizing is that?

And I want something to be wrong with me? I don't think so. In fact, I'm insulted. I want someone in the medical industry to finally take a real interest in me. The whole me. Help me feel whole and right. Help me understand why I can't if I can't. I have Crohn's. Didn't know that for probably 15 years. Didn't change anything about how my digestive system works, but at least now I understand why I get the problems I get. That helps. Tell me why hands hurt and if we can do anything about it. Find out why I get those headaches. Are they migraines? Is there anything I can do about that? Find out if I bent my tailbone in December or in 1990 (perhaps as easy as pulling those x-rays from last year if they can ever be bothered to do it...more on that later.). If in Dec., tell me what we can do about it. Get this darn floater out of my eye while we're at it....I know they can't do that. They won't do surgery for one little floater. It's just annoying.

About the X-rays. And other such things. From now on, let's change things. Let's request a copy of our own medical records. When your doctor puts up the X-rays , take a picture. I've got a good digital camera now and I'll be taking it to my CAT scan follow-up (to see if I fractured my tailbone). I took photos of the Dec. 21st x-rays and I'll take pictures if my chiropractor ever gets his found from the year before. I wish I'd taken pictures of my CAT scan of my brain when I was having aphasic symptoms. (Never got a conclusion on that either. Just one of those problems chalked up to stress and hoped it went away, which it did, mostly.) If I'd taken a picture (good pictures with my good camera, if I'd had it then, which I didn't) of my January x-rays the year before, I wouldn't have to wait 3 weeks for my chiropractor to dig them out. If that technology had been around in 1998 or 2000 or whenever I'd gotten my hip x-rayed in DC, I might have had a picture that could give me a clue to origin of my bend.

Keeping records of your records and tests means you don't have to mess with the disconnects between doctors. They don't share like you think they should. Even the ones my doctor gave me referrals for didn't report back to here when she sent me to them. And I had to show her pictures of my the ulcerations in my ilium because the guy who diagnosed me which Crohn's didn't. Those hip x-rays just might show my tailbone post-1990 but pre-2006. But unlike school records they didn't come to KC with me when I enrolled with new doctors and insurances here. Alas the name of the antibiotic that cleared up whatever it cleared up while only giving me a yeast infection for a side effect in 1998 is lost to my memory as well. Which is too bad because other antibiotics whose names I do remember did far more damage than that, so I'd like to know the names of the safe ones when I find them.

I want Star Trek medicine. I could go see Dr. Bashir, lay down on a biobed, and everything he'd need to know about just about everything would be shown. He'd know why I get headaches, and know how to fix them. He'd know how to put my tailbone back where it should be, regardless of when it happened. He'd probably be able to cure the Crohn's and stop the acid reflux. And he'd solve the mystery of my hands. And it wouldn't be bothering him to have him do all that. And it wouldn't cost me any copays.

    Status of Stories
    Not as far as I'd wish.