2016? More Like 2014, Am I Right?

JD & TurkSo, some things are going down right now health-wise that might be nothing or might be a real problem. I honestly do not know. On the one hand, I feel fine and, as the below history will show, this year has been a buzzing hive of unnecessary procedures and needle pokes. On the other hand, I have no immune system and I do believe that most of my doctors are genuinely acting out of concern, even if they don’t believe me half the time. So I don’t know.

Anyway, here’s this bullshit year in review:

April 2016: Regular check-up at UNMH. I’d been having really bad heartburn on the regular, which could actually be a sign of rejection. (Although, really, everything could be a sign of rejection.) Turns out I’d only been taking my heartburn medication incorrectly for 18 months! Anyway, my doctor finally told me the correct way to take it and the heartburn went away. Better late than never.

July 2016: Regular check-up at UNMH. No issues to speak of. But my pulmonary function test was waaaaay low, and, even though the technician, in front of three other medical professionals, admitted it was machine/his error, the results were forwarded to Stanford without comment and everyone lost their shit. Stanford wanted me to fly out to for an emergency bronchoscopy. I protested, they didn’t believe me, but ultimately I was able to stall for a day or two, just enough time to retake a full set of PFTs on a different machine and get my highest numbers ever. Stanford called off the bronch, which was great, but UNMH scheduled an invasive acid reflux test based on our conversation in April, despite me no longer having heartburn, which was less great.

Also July 2016: The test for acid reflux was called a Bravo Ph test. In summary, they knock you out, stick a tube into your esophagus, scope around a bit, then attach a monitor to the inside of your esophagus to check how often stomach acid flows into the lower esophagus. My numbers were all fine. I did not and do not have acid reflux.

August 2016: I got absolutely mauled by mosquitoes on a set near Glorieta, NM. And, because I have no immune system, I reacted really badly to that and broke out in a massive rash. I called UNMH and Stanford and my general practitioner and they were all like, “Whatever, man. Take some Benadryl?” I also called several dermatologists, but the earliest anyone could see me was January 2017. The rash went away, but I still have several scars from it.

September 2016: Annual check-up at Stanford. Again, going in there were no issues, but there was a spot on my chest x-ray. Turns out it was there last time, too, but everyone was just kind of hoping it would go away. Since it didn’t, the doctors ordered a biopsy, which involved an unskilled resident stabbing my back repeatedly as my pain medication wore off, until his attending finally just did it her own damn self. The spot turned out to be scar tissue and Stanford basically threw a party. They were worried it was cancer. This was not shared with me until moments before I went into the procedure. Also, I was not invited to the party.

November 2016: Regular check-up at UNMH. PFTs are a little lower than last time. Despite being done on the same faulty machine as last time, the results are immediately forwarded to Stanford. A bronchoscopy is once again requested.

Still November 2016: I’m supposed to leave for New Jersey, for the first time in three years, later this week. Unfortunately, UNMH does not really feel comfortable doing bronchs, which means I will probably have to fly out to Stanford, which will cost a grand, at least, just to get there, because there’s a reason everyone books Thanksgiving travel months in advance. They’ll do the bronch and then either send me home or keep me there and, either way, my travel plans are probably fucked.

Anyway, that’s where we’re at as of 1 p.m. MT, Monday, November 14th. I’m waiting to hear from UNMH, who’re waiting to hear from Stanford, about how hard I’m going to have to scramble over the next few days. And, while I didn’t plan on turning this into a PBS Pledge Drive, fuck it. Monica and I are totally strapped for cash right now. If you (or your company) were planning on make a charitable donation this year for tax purposes or good person reasons or whatever, please consider COTA for Eirik G as the beneficiary. Thanks.