Regular day. Swam and went to gym.
Monday, 24 Sep:
Went to work in the morning. Around 09:30, slight pain in left hip. By 10:00 had radiated down thigh and foreleg. Reminiscent of sciatica pains of a few years back. By 10:30, it was getting worse so I decided to head for home and Tylenols and rest and stretching and Epsom soaking and whatever else I could think of (or remember).
Tuesday, 25 Sep:
Pain so intense in left leg from hip down to ankle that I could not put any weight on it. Had to crawl on all fours to move between bedroom and bathroom. Ordered a pair of forearm crutches by phone so as to be able to move with "some" dignity -although I live alone- in the flat.
Wesdnesday 26 Sep:
After two sleepless nights (where Tylenol 3, I had around the house after my earlier rib fracture, neither diminished the pain nor would put me to sleep), I called a taxi to which I crutched my way and had him take me to the Emergency Room at the Ottawa Civic.
After a three-hour wait (usual in Ontario) the ER doctor ordered X-rays and moved my leg around a bit. X-rays showed "not too bad" he said. He then prescribed "pain-killers" and told me that if I didn't feel better after four weeks, to "seek medical help".
I do not have a family doctor.
Later, discovered that the pain-killer he had prescribed contained a very strong narcotic, Oxycodone, and Ibuprofen. It barely managed to take the sharp edge off the pain a couple of hours after ingesting two tablets, its effects dissipating within three or four hours. That meant going to bed around 21:30 and waking up around 01:30 and not being able to go back to sleep till about 04:00
Saturday 29 Sep:
Saw my Chiropractor who thought it might me either severe sciatica (recurrence of my old one L5-S1) or possibly, from the description and location of pain, a pseudo-sciatica (inflamation of the Piriformis). An MRI would help, she said.
A Government-paid MRI in Ontario, cannot be requested by a Chiropractor and I can't afford an immediate one in Quebec (some $800).
I visited a walk-in clinic where the doctor, filled in the form requesting an MRI (which might be done seven or eight months later).
Sunday 30 Sep:
The pain got so bad that my girlfriend (who was out of town for the weekend) insisted that I request an ambulance to take me back to the ER. Thankfully another doctor saw me (again after about four hours) but he asked questions that the first one hadn't; he asked about my prostate (Yes, I have a history and had been having problems for the past few weeks). He ordered an emergency MRI and told me to "find" a G.P. or family doctor for follow-ups.
Monday 01 Oct:
They call me at night. WouldI accept an MRI, Tuesday morning at 07:00? You bet I would.
Tuesday 02 Oct:
07:00 MRI done. I requested that the results be sent to my Urologist (with whom I had an appointment a few days later). They do NOT send copies to Chiropractors.
Saturday 06 Oct:
I go to another walk-in clinic where I'm told they're accepting new patients. The doctor there is impatiently looking at her watch and realizing it's not something for which she can prescribe a couple of aspirins (and don't call ever again), dismisses me. She does tell me about a new clinic in the suburbs where they accept new patients (but Monday is a Statutory holiday, so "call them on Tuesday".)
Monday 08 Oct:
Another ambulance call, another visit to the ER where I'm bluntly told that they can't follow up on MRIs, can't renew prescriptions and to "find myself a family doctor".
Tuesday 09 Oct:
I rent a wheelchair. I had been using the crutches since the 25th of September, but even without any weight on it, when my left leg was hanging vertically, the pain was intense and I had to go to work. (No sick days allowed with this employer.)
I called that clinic in the burbs and asked to be seen and taken by a doctor (any doctor) as a new patient. They give me an appointment for Thursday the 11th with Dr. W
Thursday 11 Oct:
Finally I meet Dr. W who tells me that she has "stopped" accepting new patients and that he receptionist had made a mistake by giving me an appointment. I had barely given her a hint as to why I was seeking a G.P. (albeit, I was in a wheelchair). To atone (I guess) she gives me a prescription for Celebrex and suggests that I get an appointment with one of the other doctors at the clinic who "might" be accepting new patients.
The receptionist tells me that, yes, Dr. S is accepting new patients and gives me an appointment for Monday the 15th
Later on, I research Celebrex on the Internet and find that it could be lethal with my history of High Blood Pressure and previous strokes. (She prescribed it without even asking if I had any of these.)
Friday 12 Oct:
I see my Urologist who after examining me (Ouch and triple-Ouch) orders some blood work and a PSA test and tells me absolutely nothing, although he believes it might be the Femoral nerve rather than the Sciatic one. His office phones the radiology department at the hospital and is told that the report on the MRI is not out yet and that he will eventually get a copy.
I'm asked to schedule a follow-up for the 6th of November.
Monday 15 Oct:
I finally get to meet Dr. S. However this is a "meet and greet" visit where I'm being interviewed to determine whether she would "accept" me or not as a patient. She does. She will -also- be requesting a copy of the MRI and I'm told to come back around the 30th of October. Hopefully she will have received the MRI report by then.
Now, before anyone jumps down my throat and tells me this is the price we have to pay for getting FREE medical care in Canada, let me point out to non-Ontarians, that the last Provincial Government we "elected", had no sooner been sworn in than it instituted a new Health Tax (they called it a premium because they had promised no new taxes). Therefore I (we) are paying for this FREE care.
I haven't been in the water since Sunday 23 Sep. and have no idea when I'll be able to, again. I manage to drug myself enough to bear going to work and back. The pain never really goes away. Driving is OK. (A couple of days ago, I only worked half a day. I got to the office and then realized I had forgotten my prescription pills at home; no amount of OTC pain-killers could help.)
I miss my swimming (and the Season is just re-starting). I also miss one particular (she)swimmer (but that's another story).
I'm just about ready to