Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I had my Day 29 and 30 blog complete several days ago but could only post it November 5th because I couldn’t access the website for some reason. I could get to any other website I wanted but not this one so I began to wonder if I had written something bad and the Chinese government was blocking me from it. After getting some IT help from brother in law Bob I changed some settings and rebooted my computer and finally it worked. I don’t know what the problem was or why it occurred, just another technical frustration and it wasn’t over yet. After rebooting I was able to access but I still couldn’t post anything because I was only getting Chinese and had no idea what to click on to add to my blog. Frustrated to say the least but finally I got the English language page but I don’t even know how so finally onto day 31.

The pain in my tailbone continues to bother me and thus my physio therapy was cancelled again. It seems as though I’ve only been able to do the physio part of my treatment for half my stay here which is really too bad because I believe it is very important to my overall improvement and healing. When I return home I’ll definitely keep up with the routine I’ve started here and adapt it to focus more on strength building. I think what I’ll be looking for is more of a personal trainer with a physio therapy background. I don’t know if I’ll be able to find this person in Strathmore but I’m sure the right trainer is out there.

Rather than do physio I was going for another session of Andy’s vibrating heat pad followed up with acupuncture. When Andy came into my room and saw me grimace with pain he changed his normal acupuncture routine to focus on my back instead. He had me lie on my stomach and stuck 6 needles in my back and 4 in the back of each leg. I didn’t actually make it through the half hour that I was supposed to because I had to make an urgent bathroom break so I wasn’t sure if it helped or not. I still felt pain throughout the afternoon so I was given an injection to stop the pain. The injection to my butt really worked and provided relief into the evening. TK made spaghetti with shrimp for dinner and that pretty much finished off our food supply which was good because we had planned on eating out on Tuesday for our last night.

The night went pretty well and I had a good night’s sleep but awoke with the same old pain. I took some pain killers and got ready for my final day, what a joyous thought! I wanted to ask the doctor some questions and see if they would provide me with pain medication to make it through the rest of my trip. Dr. Jack said that would be fine but as we started discussing my back problem more he thought he should bring Dr. Mike into the conversation. I think they were both surprised that I was still having this much pain and difficulty when Dr. Mike came up with a new theory on my situation. He now believed that the stem cells were causing some sort of chemical reaction which was the source of my problem so he wanted to try a new medication. He also wanted to have a new doctor look at me who is a pain specialist. The result of his new idea meant staying in the hospital a few more days. I’m sure he could see the reaction of shock and dismay on my face. He was really quite serious about his recommendation to stay so I agreed to one more day and we’d see how things went.

This turn of events totally took the wind out of my sails and I was feeling quite perturbed. Shortly after this the CTV camera man showed up so explained the situation to him and that I’d try to keep my aggravation hidden. At least it was finally sunny so we had a beautiful day for shooting the interview and I don’t think I came across as grumpy although I was!

We had planned on going out for dinner on our final night so Johnny took us to what is supposed to be a very good restaurant, Chinese of course. I was already grouchy and going to this restaurant didn’t help matters. It was a very nice place and when you entered there was someone to greet you and walk you through what was similar to a buffet display of their main dishes and fresh fish, basically a virtual live menu. They serve snake and you actually walk by the snake enclosure and choose which one you would like to eat. I was just not in the mood for trying anything different and everything looked so unappetizing. It’s very difficult viewing and choosing food from a wheelchair, I couldn’t stop thinking how much I missed my scooter and a regular Canadian restaurant! At any rate I didn’t enjoy my dinner but it was still nice to go out with Johnny.

When we returned to the hospital it was getting quite late and I was quite tired so I had my medication injected into my butt and went to sleep. I was able to get another good sleep and woke up feeling pretty good but not pain free. Dr. Jack and Luca came to take me to the second floor around 10 am to see the pain specialist. He examined me pushing and applying pressure to various areas of my back and spine while conversing with Dr. Jack and Luca learning the details and history of my problems. He did reassure me that my pain and discomfort would go away yet he was going to have an MRI done just to make sure they had a full understanding of everything that was going on. He told me that they would be giving me a new medication by injection this evening and sent me next door for a new treatment. I was told to lie on my stomach so again I couldn’t see what was going on but according to TK two patches were placed on my lower back with wires attached and a separate bag that appeared to be filled with small stones was placed on top. This was also an electrical stimulation treatment that produced a tingling sensation and felt like a small colony of ants running around on my back. Then the technician placed a patch on my tailbone that heated up and actually felt like I had a heating pad on my back the rest of the day.

I finished up my interview with CTV at about 1 pm and felt good the rest of the afternoon. At 4 pm Luca and a nurse showed up to take me down for my MRI. This MRI was no different than any others I’ve had in Canada except they didn’t provide any ear protection. If you’ve ever had an MRI you know those machines make some pretty weird noises and get very loud. I’ll find out the results tomorrow morning but I fully expect to be leaving the hospital tomorrow. If continued treatment is just a matter of taking a new medication that I’ve already had 4 doses of then I don’t need to remain in the hospital but Dr. Jack will be in with his recommendation tomorrow morning.

I did find it impressive to receive such attention and so quickly! The waiting list to receive an MRI in Canada can be months and you would never expect to get the results the same or next day. Now I can just hope and pray that everything is good and I’ll be on my way to Shanghai tomorrow.


1 comment:

Deb and Andrew said...

Snake does seem to Appetizing.... when you get back Deb will make you a nice batch of Penne-A-La-Vodka. See you soon. Andrew