It’s been six months since Duckie’s last surgery; now three years since she began her “My Legs Hurt,” chronic complaint. If you are catching up, here’s Parts 1, 2, and 3.
- Part 1: WWII:Osteomyelitis::Verterans:Duckie (Putting a Healthcare Puzzle Together)
- Part 2: Solving a Heathcare Puzzle
- Part 3: Down the Rabbit Hole and Back
Duckie’s went back to see Dr. Bone. Why? Because Dr. Bone and Dr. Traumbone merged practices. Dr. Bone greats us like long, lost friends. He looks at Duckie’s leg, he has her walk, he takes X-rays. Everything is as good as… Well, everything is good.
Duckie has a Weeble-Walk, or as she says, “I walk like a penguin.” This is because of the shape of her bones. Dr. Bone shows me on the X-ray.
“What about the herniated disc?” I ask. I remind him about the cortisone epidural, which created the bacterial bloom, which led the physical therapist’s concern, which led to Dr. Bone, which led (at last) to a diagnosis.
“Well, that was a swing and a miss,” Dr. Bone tells us.
“She may never have cortisone again. Osteomyelitis is never considered cured. If she starts having trouble with her back again, some other type of anti-inflammatory will need to me prescribed.”
He goes on, “If her leg starts to hurt again, gets red or puffy, come back to see me. Otherwise, see you in a year.”
“My hands hurt,” Duckie tells Dr. Bone.
“What’s your pain level.”
“About a six-seven.”
I tell Dr. Bone that Duckie’s pain is always at a six-seven, unless it’s at a seven-eight.
Dr. Bone sends us back to Dr. Nerve. He runs some tests. Duckie and Dr. Nerve exchange stories about throwing up in inconvenient places.
Duckie has carpal tunnel syndrome. Just a mild case. Arm braces at night and at work should do the trick.
In the meantime, I notice something about Duckie’s cognitive ability. She seems to be better at logic, and I think she can read better, and her spelling has improved.
Through the years, I noticed an improvement in cognition whenever Ducky’s on pain medication. I asked every doctor about this phenomena. All give me a puzzled look.
“I’m just wondering,” I posit (for the past 25 years) “Could she be in some chronic pain that is interfering with her ability to think?”
I can’t think straight when I’m in pain. It seemed logical to me, that Duckie might struggle more, too. All I ever get in reply is raised eyebrows and a shrug.
I’m still just wondering. Hmmmm….