Thursday, May 10, 2007

Becoming more like House MD

I want to live in the world of House MD where most medical mysteries are solved in an hour. I'd like to think of myself as Cameron. Though to be honest I'm more like Foreman. I'm a scrappy minority. I really do care but in a medical crisis I'm very detached. My exploits in high risk medical deduction and bizarre medical conditions are confined to my son. But that's enough for me.

But sadly my life resembles House more than any of the other doctors. I deal with constant pain every day although it's in my wrists and not my leg. I took Vicodin for a few months when I broke my toe. But I'm off it now. House says "antidepressants make me fuzzy." Vicodin makes me fuzzy.

But without Vicodin, it seems I must add a new way to identify myself as House. I must use a cane. I doubt I'll go for a cane with flames as House did. But my cane will be cool in some way. I'll show pictures when I've chosen it. Like House, I need a cane to help prevent myself from falling.

Prekids I sprained my ankle about once a year and limped around on crutches or a cane for several months. Annoying but manageable. My neurologists told me that "hypermobile ankles" are part of my rare movement disorder, myoclonic dystonia. I just figured it was something I was stuck with like the jerking.

Then my son started receiving regular physical therapy and then finally walking at 2 years old. And I noticed that like me, my son had moments of great balance and then he'd suddenly fall down. At first falling down involved "a lot of head hits ground". Any sort of hit on the head resulted in massive egg bruises on his forehead due to low platelets. His hematology doctor said he was okay falling down walking, but if he fell from any height he ran the risk of brain bleed. Needless to say I watched him very very carefully.

I developed a sort of safe distance to watch. If I hovered over him he got annoyed. I and his nanny noticed he fell more when tired. I also noticed he fell when distracted or when moving from one surface to another. That's exactly how I stumble and sprain my ankle.

Prekids I used to hike on rough terrain and occasionally ski. Never a sprained ankle. I was being careful. I sprained my ankle or torn liagments

  • stepping down from my house to my garage
  • walking onto fake rocks near the Stanford barn without noticing
  • tripping over a gouge in the sidewalk shortly after receiving a flu shot
  • stumbling while pregnant - okay I think being clumsy comes with being pregnant
I broke my toe tripping over my daughter while my ankle was still recovering from a sprain.
I stumble a lot less with my son, because I have to be a lot more conscious of where he's going. I have never once stumbled while holding my kids.

But Little T's rapidly moving out of the "must watch with constant vigilance or he will hurt himself" stage. His platelets are normal. He has perfected the trot. My body already knows I need to be less careful. Today I stumbled and knocked against him and he merely swayed a little. A few months ago he would have fallen on his head. I was so proud of him. And sad that he needs me less in that physical way.

So I need something new to watch out for. A new baby would solve the issue but has other costs. We're fine with two kids. A cane will do. It will "provide additional sensory input."

I'm on the waiting list for a service dog from Canine Companions for Independence. So at some point I will have another creature to look after. One that I will always need to keep track of. Then I can ditch the cane and I will be less like House again. Being a big fan of House, I know that House kept a dog for a couple episodes. A very poorly behaved dog that chewed up everything even his Vicodin. House could probably use a service dog, but I'm not sure which organization would take him.

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