Olympics, Doctor Visits, and College Sympathy Pains


— 1 —

I love the Olympics, but I find them terribly stressful. I remember watching Nadia Comeneci score the first perfect 10 in the Montreal games in 1976. She was awe-inspiring. I remember the “Thomas Flair” changing men’s gymnastics forever. I remember Michael Phelps as a gawky kid, wide-eyed at winning his first gold medal. But it all comes down to two or three minutes with the whole world watching. What if, God forbid, you have to sneeze? One sneeze could literally ruin a career. It could send a young athlete who has trained since they could walk into a life-threatening depression. Watching Aly Raisman’s parents while she was competing literally made my stomach hurt.

— 2 —

I watched them live when that was the only option, but as soon as I could record them and then fast-forward through the commercials and the parts that didn’t interest me that’s what I did. Yes, I was a day behind, but when I was working I figured out a way around that.
olympic results
Now that I can’t work I’m pretty isolated, so I don’t have to worry about people telling me results I don’t want to know.

— 3 —

I have to say I’m not crazy about the newer scoring methods on gymnastics. Difficulty was part of the calculation for the ten-point system, and we got to see how each judge had voted. I miss that. And is the women’s vault built differently now? What was wrong with the old way? And I always enjoy the men’s gymnastics, but I was distracted this year by Sam Mikulak. I can’t even tell you what the young man’s face looked like because I couldn’t take my eyes off his arms. He had a single, massive vein running down each arm. I haven’t stuck anyone for an IV in decades and I could have gotten a 16-gauge into each arm on the first try and hooked him up to an IV line the size of a garden hose. This is called “nurse porn” and we can’t help it. So if you have large, easy-to-see veins don’t freak out in the grocery checkout line if someone stares. They are just wishing everyone was more like you.

— 4 —

Since according to my husband and son I have no filter anymore (I think I just used it up), I over-react to minor issues, and am demanding and refuse to let go of issues until they are resolved to my satisfaction (I kinda thought the last two were points in my favor, but I was out-voted) I moved up all my doctors’ visits to “first available”. I started with my primary care doc, laid out the list of new symptoms (which also included high blood pressure everyone has ignored for a year, Left hip pain with a numb left leg, NEW moderate lumbar scoliosis, and worsening muscle spasms in my neck, shoulders, and upper back). He tossed me a bone by adding an additional blood pressure med. Gee, that was worth my co-pay (not).

— 5 —

I’d already seen my pain management nurse practitioner. If she were any more bored with her job she’d be comatose. I’d filled out a long form about my pain since my last visit and put it face-down on the desk. She never turned it over. I told her about the hip pain and the scoliosis, even pulled up the image on my phone. She said, “Hmmph.” Then she wrote me a scrip for pain pills and said she’d see me in a month. That co-pay was an extra $10. The next time I didn’t fill out a form, she didn’t ask for it, and I was out another $35 just to get a prescription written. I see her again this afternoon and she’s going to earn her $35. I need a new muscle relaxer. Taking half of the one I take at bedtime won’t work. I tried that one day – took it with my 6 a.m. pain pill in preparation for getting out of bed and walking to the bathroom at 8 a.m. No shower, just a potty break. But the next thing I knew both dogs were barking in my face because it was 11 a.m. – doggie┬álunch time.

— 6 —

I saw my psychiatrist this week, too. He wanted to blow me off with “Have you experienced any new stressors recently?” and “How long has this been going on?” I told him there were no new stressors, just the same ones I’ve been dealing with for five years now, and that the new behaviors had been going on for two months and he really needed to work out a system for patients with sudden changes, since if he hadn’t had a cancellation it would have been another two months until I’d seen him. Anyway, I got a new med he’s very optimistic about, and a new diagnosis I’m not very comfortable with. But if the med works I’ll take the diagnosis. We’ll see in 3-4 weeks.

— 7 —

SOOO many pics of friends moving their kids into Freshman dorms. I feel for them. I remember Aaron’s move-in day like it was yesterday. I was so happy for him, excited that he was where he wanted to be, doing what he wanted to do, and making new friends and learning life lessons.
But I loved having him at home so much, and knew I would miss him terribly. The transition was tough in so many ways, and John’s next year will be even more difficult since he’s my youngest. I’m going to savor every moment of his senior year!

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5 thoughts on “Olympics, Doctor Visits, and College Sympathy Pains”

  1. I have to say your #3 made me laugh. And on a more serious note, I have a deep suspicion of doctors when it comes to body pain because my experience over more than 20 years of various body pains has been that the person who is able to treat it is not the doctor but the massage therapist. The trouble is there aren’t very many people who do a clinical analysis the way my therapist does. But he, not the doctors, is the reason I was able to keep playing flute in college and can still play it now. He, not the doctors, is the reason I was able to overcome carpal tunnel & tendinitis. I have deep respect for doctors and nurses because you guys saved my daughter’s life many times, but where body pain comes in I don’t think medicine is the answer.

    1. I completely agree. If only I’d been more accepting of other methods of treatment I suspect I’d have had only one spinal surgery and that I’d still be working. It makes me furious that insurance companies would clearly rather wait and pay huge bills when a patient has suffered so long it’s caused problems elsewhere rather than being pro-active and agreeing to pay for treatment early in the pain cycle.

      1. Oh yeah. We’ve had to fight the insurance co. for orthotics for our daughter when we’ve been clearly told that not getting them will involve breaking and resetting the leg in adulthood. I mean, duh!

        1. Back in the HMO days I used to have to talk to the physicians at the insurance companies to convince them their patient should be allowed to stay another day in the hospital. Patients on ventilators who’s had open heart surgery 3 days ago, had a fever, and had coded just six hours earlier. And I really had to ARGUE to get them approved. Idiots!!

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