Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Adventures in Doctors' Offices

Today I had two doctors' appointments, and made four additional appointments. At this rate, my number of appointments will grow exponentially, and I will spend all my time in doctors' offices.

In the morning I went for my monthly prenatal appointment. They took some blood because I am Rh-negative and they want to see about the antibodies. Next week I get a rhogam shot so that this and any subsequent pregnancies I may have won't run the risk of Rh disease (in case this or any subsequent baby is Rh-positive). Basically what could happen without this shot is that the if our blood mixes and the fetal blood is Rh-positive, my body will think there's an intruder and try to kill it. Also today the doctor tried to listen to the baby's heartbeat. He placed the microphone thingy on my belly, and the baby shoved it away. He tried this a few times and the baby kept shoving or kicking against the pressure, every time. He laughed and said that he knew the baby must be there and doing just fine with such a strong healthy reflex reaction. After I was done there, I made two appointments at the desk: one for my shot and one for another checkup three weeks from now.

Speaking of my belly, over the weekend Jeff felt the baby's movement for the first time. And I can see it move if I'm looking at the right time. And if you want to see how much I've expanded, here's a picture taken a couple of weeks ago (I'm even bigger now):

Anyhow, in the afternoon I went back to the orthopedist. In December, he had given me a handy-dandy shot in the elbow, which had really helped. Today, he was reluctant to do much of anything because he thinks my elbow problem has flared up because I am pregnant, like how people get pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome. But he did recommend me to have some occupational therapy, so I made an appointment for that and a follow-up appointment to see him again next month.

In the meantime, I read about my condition on the internet. As it turns out, I have medial epicondylitis, which is also known as golfer's elbow. Basically, I strained the tendon connecting my muscles to the humerus (upper arm bone) and this caused it to make lots of little tears. The tendon is made of collagen fibers all lined up together in parallel bundles, but the tears didn't heal right and now I have abnormally arranged collagen fibers and probably some scar tissue. According to the above hyperlinked website, there is a surgery for the most severe cases (I am a doctor, just not the right kind, but I think I might be a candidate for the surgery after the conservative treatments fail). What they do is open your elbow up and scrape away all the nasty fibers and reattach the tendon. Then, you have to have lots of physical therapy and it takes four to six months to heal up. Maybe after I the baby is born and nothing is working, the doctor will consider this surgery. In the meantime, I just have to endure the pain, try the therapy, and hope that something might actually work.


Ginger said...

Good picture!

Rhonda said...

Ginger's right. You look radiant!