Odd Procedures….

“But what is a tilt table test _for_? inquire your loving but bemused relatives. They will be even more bemused when they realise that an awful lot of the medical procedures you go through are not of the ‘take this three times a day’ variety but are actually designed to provoke the symptoms you have been telling your nice-but-harassed doctor you are suffering from, so that you can be confirmed to be suffering from something which you already knew you were suffering from.
These tests range from the low tech prod in the ribs to ascertain that yes you -do- have intercostal neuralgia (sore ribs), see also the similar procedure, the highly trained diagnostician’s prod in the hip to ascertain that you have in fact had osteo-arthritis for the last four years, to the moderately annoying stay in hospital without your medication(s) in order to ascertain that you do-not-function-without-them and/or don’t-get-on-with-them.
Silly as these procedures may seem, you are actually lucky to be in the hands of a Hippocratic disciple who has been trained to check you by actually _looking at the bits in question_ since you can just as easily spend five years asking to have an infection addressed without the infected area ever being examined or swabbed for bacteria, especially if you happen not to have come back with the most common results on urine tests, or to spend fifteen years asking to see a specialist and being told that everything is quite all right and the G.P./average midwife can handle your case without it ever being ascertained that, “Whoops, that _is rather_ a big scar, isn’t it, we’ll want ITU standing by, for that, nurse and a gyne-led pregnancy.” and you are left thinking, “well, couldn’t you have asked me _WHY_ I thought a gynecologists examination would be a good idea in advance of trying for a baby?
But the real top of the diagnostic tree which you get when you are ‘falling down not feeling down’ or in any other way so odd as for the results not to be immediately apparent -without high-tech beeping machines, wires and cool -sounding people with clip-boards, are the ones with The Technicians’. This means that you are technically difficult: difficult to catch when ‘feeling funny’ or inexplicably not on the bell-curve of your surgery’s Monday morning of contusions, abrasions, antibiotics, or physio referrals.
There is many a humorous blog across the web, including cancer patients joking about using a P.E.T scanner incorrectly; [obligatory photograph of your friend, Bill placing favourite pooch on photocopier] Well, you get your laughs where you can, when in treatment and it calms your friends nerves to hear you making bad jokes – you must not be going to peg out yet a while if you can manage appalling puns.
And my all time favourite, beloved of all people with conditions involving tremors, shakes or the twitch…..
<<In all cases, the patient is instructed not to move. Symptoms, blood pressure, pulse, electrocardiogram, and sometimes blood oxygen saturation are recorded. The test either ends when the patient faints or develops other significant symptoms, or after a set period (usually from 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the facility or individualized protocol)…(Wikipedia, 2013: Tilt Table Test)
“If I can stand up,” Hmm, yes. The tests that require a basic proficiency in things you would not normally do. Hysterical physio appointment (‘I’m going to treat you as if you are normal, because I don’t know anything about C.P.’) who thought that kneeling on the floor, pulling ‘core muscles in’ was a simple exercise in a new skill with core muscles, not one involving every muscle-group known to C.P!
Getting down there was more or less O.K. Allegedly I have no stiffness or limited movement, well, clinically, anyway, so the physio joins me on the floor to practice an exercise that was more-or-less feasible last week.
Only, this week it isn’t. Just one of those things when it has been a stressful week in the Crookback household.
I’m hoping i won’t hear those dreaded words; “Well, you did it last week”, which oblige me to explain whil;st still on all fours that that _was_ indeed last week, not _this_ one, the meaning of the term ‘variable’ and it’s applicability or to hear the reepeat of the dreaded. “Come on, just give it a go”.
‘Imagine you are at the beach in your bikini and don’t want anyone to see those sagging muscles’!!!)
So apparently for able-bods without the worry of shaky internal muscles, the most important thing is a nice flat tummy for the beach. Then putting weight through arms onto both hands should be easy. I liked the bit where I was expected to use one hand to touch the opposite shoulder (engage damaged brain to work out what that means in l/r terms, then try to decide whether to sacrifice the arm with oedema or the one with no strength. Easy win from the oedematous right which will not dump me on my nose on the crash mat. : (‘See, I said you could do it’) Eating with a knife and fork is over rated.
I should have said, ‘bikini line? Do you mean THIS bikini line? the space between what would be a top and a bottom of bikini , if I owned one being an lifesaving but aesthetically interesting 9 inches of nipped muscles and stitched skin which the plastic surgeon disapprovingly dismissed as, “I wouldn’t do it like that.” How WOULD he stitch up an entero-thingummy in a babe the same length as the scar is now, I wonder?
I can only be thankful I’m a trained speech and drama bod and didn’t have to master the concept of diaphragmatic breathing round feeble ‘core stomach muscles’ and a physio without any idea at the same session! Lovely, lovely and the best physio I’ve had- being a lady she can put hands to reshape me where she needs to, but, whoops….treating you the same as everyone else…. Buzz speak for “I need training” and the NHS just don’t think disability important enough to stretch to finding out what WE find jarring! ‘As if you were able bodied’! As if!

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