Setting the Record(s) Straight

CW: medical trauma, talk of mental health issues including suicide and such. Proceed with caution.

The rumors about my surgeries and mental maladies have been greatly exaggerated. So I thought I should clear the air.

I have never had any kind of implant. Unless aliens abducted me without my awareness, which is another distinct possibility the stranger my medical problems get.

But I jest. And digress.

My favorite X-Ray mistake to come out of this whole mess. I look like the Terminator Librarian.

In “The X-Files,” and other sci-fi shows, the aliens give you very different implants than the ones my doctors thought I had. They do not enhance the bosom (though I suspect there is probably an adult film or probably several on this subject that I am ignorant of).

I had an X-ray to determine what type and degree of scoliosis I had. There were some incidental findings. Namely, a cyst-like structure in the pelvis, and a calcified left breast implant.

See italicized statement above. My mammogram three weeks prior showed no abnormalities. I messaged my doctor saying well, I’m pretty sure that’s my spine, but I don’t have implants.

Before he saw the message, he kindly offered me a referral to a breast specialist. You know, to take care of that left implant I don’t have. And hopefully solve all that ailed me.

He then saw the message and clarified with the radiologist that the calcified mass is in my spleen. Likely from an injury I don’t remember having.

Like I said. Aliens.

I had to write a letter to social security explaining the misinterpretation by the radiologist. So now the government knows ALL of my secrets.

I corrected the record after the very nice rheumatologist saw me. He was ALSO hoping that the issue was the implant I didn’t have. I had to send a form in to set the record straight with my primary health care system, and then I realized it was wrong in TWO places.

So I sent in another form.

I also submitted another correction. I went to look on MyChart at prior visits. I hoped my former physician documented when I first complained of severe pain in the spleen area. Instead, I found an alarming reason for our first visit that was probably a clerical error, because no discussion of depression or a safety plan was included in the notes. It’s even says that my affect was normal and I am “pleasant.” Which is very odd considering they wrote “suicidal ideation” in the “reason for visit” section.

I was there to establish for troubling, complex medical issues. Including debilitating light sensitivity. This primary was nicer than the last one about telling me that she thought my issues were mental. But she persisted in doing so anyway.

So I get warned by ophthalmologists and legally blind folks that going on psychiatric meds with severe dry eye could result in total, legal blindness. But my primary doctors all want me to go back on psychiatric medication.

I somehow don’t think that going completely blind will make me less anxious. But what do I know?

I’ve printed out the email from my medication manager stating that our options are quite limited because of the physical issue of dry eye syndrome. In case anyone tries to bring this up again.

Speaking of my mental illnesses, I have only been hospitalized once for those. There were extremely stressful mitigating circumstances surrounding the hospitalization, for sure. But I would have been able to stay out of the hospital had I not been under-diagnosed and given the wrong medication for what hadn’t yet been diagnosed.

Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can work well for some people who have anxiety disorders. Throw a mood disorder in the mix, however, and it’s an entirely different ballgame.

The medication provider at the time eventually started clueing in that a mood disorder might be present in addition to the obsessive compulsive disorder. He even tried prescribing a mood stabilizer right before I went into the hospital.

But lucky, lucky me. I had an allergic reaction to that medication. In the ER, I was given an extremely painful shot in my stomach in the hopes of warding off anaphylaxis. They then prescribed prednisone to stay on the safe side.

My new favorite button that I’m hoping my allergist will laugh at. Found at Hot Topic.

But steroids apparently exacerbated my insomnia and anxiety. Into the hospital I went. I stayed on my psychiatric medications despite horrible and unusual side effects for years, so I would never have to be hospitalized again.

So one hospitalization for mental health, I’ve learned, is not nearly enough for you to be considered permanently disabled, no matter what diagnoses you have. But apparently those diagnoses are reason enough for primary providers to invalidate everything you say for the rest of your life. Despite piles of documented physical issues.

At my last visit I stated what I thought I needed to be evaluated for. I also said the ENT wanted to eliminate the possibility of mold allergies before treating me with antibiotics for 4-6 weeks. If the chronic sinusitis doesn’t resolve he may need to do surgery.

I was then asked if it was my anxiety that was making me dizzy.

No. Pretty sure that’s not part of the criteria listed in the DSM-5 for my mental disorders. I have been chasing my own tail and jumping through fiery hoops of red tape despite vestibular issues. Maybe that’s causing some of it…

My eyes hurt like hell at the moment but I am determined to set the record straight, and write my truth.

Because truth is stranger than fiction, and the truth is out there.

Way out there.

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