…Is apparently not squeaking loud enough.  I had my shoulder joint x-rayed the 15th.  They were supposed to let me know what the read was the next day.  Finally, on the 21st I got an email from them.  The x-ray showed osteoarthritis (duh!), did I want a steroid injection in my joint?  Since it would do little good, I said no. I broke the kneecap on my left knee and I have osteoarthritis in that knee as a result, so I know what osteoarthritis feels like.  This does not feel like osteoarthritis.  It feels like when I tore that shoulder up before and had to have rotator cuff surgery.  And so I told them.  Not to put too fine a point on it, I’ve started to have cramps in my upper arm muscle and one of the muscles in my forearm that goes all the way down to my wrist, and the ball of my left thumb is now numb. Can I please have my Ultram prescription refilled? I was prescribed 1 Ultram in the morning and one in the evening (who is she kidding?) and told I could up the dosage to two.   These are 50 mg tablets. Maximum dosage is 400 mg a day.  I’m taking two every four hours, which is the maximum dosage, just to function.

She writes me back to come in and have my neck x-rayed! and get a lab test, and gives me an appointment to see her on January 31st!  Since I drive my stick-shift car so well with one arm, yesterday, after I got done daddy-sitting, I went and got my neck x-rayed.  I had to take off my necklace (he will not take it off for me, he’s not allowed), both earrings and my hair barrette. My left arm is already cramping like crazy from having to reach up and take the necklace off, so what happens next?  The technician grabs me by my left shoulder to position me, and I just nearly screamed.  Then I go to the lab, looking like a mad woman with my hair all loose. The lab technician hands me a cup and a phial and tells me to pee in the cup and pour it in the phial.  So now, since I went through 50 Ultram in a little over a week because Ultram doesn’t control my pain, I’m obviously a junkie, and all of this is drug seeking behavior. Because I ran out of Ultram, my mom gave me two hydrocodone left over from when she had a tooth pulled.  It’s an opioid but I can take if I take Benadryl with it.  I took one Tuesday night (and slept all night for the first time in weeks) and one Wednesday morning.  So now they have a urine sample with hydrocodone in it.

Obviously, their rules say put a Band-aid on it and see if they stop screaming.  If that doesn’t work, give them aspirin and see if they stop screaming, and keep up the stop-gap measures until the person either gets better or ends up in the ER somewhere.  Of course, I could do an end run around all this farting around (pardon my Anglo-Saxon) if I could drive the 100 plus miles to the VA hospital in Amarillo, but unless I can get somebody to take me, that’s not going to happen, because my mom can’t leave my dad alone and I’d be very uneasy about taking my 26+ year old car out on the highway.

I go to my mental health professional Tuesday — which I have to do because bupropion, which I take for concentration issues, is considered a mental health drug —  and boy is she going to get an earful!  I’m so strung out from lack of sleep and so upset I’ll probably break down and start crying — which is obviously a histrionic ploy to get more drugs.

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