On Monday I finally had my long-awaited appointment with the physio, who as my GP said, was 'fascinated' by my story. She was exactly the audience a beleagured former patient wants -- interactive, very expressive, and extremely disgruntled with the medical profession herself ('bar a few GPs, there are no good doctors. None of them know how to communicate'). She had also had a patient who had developed a DVT in an arm after doing a physio exercise with a piece of tape looped round their arms, so she was quite prepared to believe that I'd developed a clot from sleeping with a cat across my shoulder. I told her that the doctors had decided that I'd gotten my clot from standing on my head, and she made a face: 'What?' 'They were trying to find parallels between my life and that of Grant Kenny,' I explained. (The theory is that sportsmen and manual labourers develop this type of clot from strenuous overhead arm manouevres, by pinching the vein between various structures (including overdeveloped muscle) in the shoulder. One of the inducements for me to undergo (what turned out to be unnecessary) surgery was: 'Grant Kenny had what you have, and he had first rib resection.') 'Grant Kenny is overdeveloped and muscly like a bull terrier!' the physio said. 'You don't have the testosterone to become like him.'
Anyway, the physio was appalled by the state of my shoulders and back, and did some kind of light pummelling which does seem to have been effective. I saw the same excitement in her that I first seen in the Scottish Doctor -- the novelty patient that breaks the daily round. She wants me to see some sportsmedicine guru who occasionally comes to town:'one of the few good doctors', who's 'like a terrier' and will 'get to the bottom of things.' She was so keen on the idea that she was going to ring him specially to tell him about my case. I do feel a bit odd about the idea of going to a sportsmedicine guru, given that cause of arm clot was probably due to love of felines rather than of sport. Also, she seems to think he might refer me on to some other exciting place elsewhere in the country in the 'quest' for answers ... I've become rather used to the idea that there are no answers about this one, in the way that there just aren't for some things in life, and I don't really warm to the idea of more medical expenses, more scans, possibly more radiation, over something the cat probably did.
I have been awfully good since I saw the physio, managing to stay away from computers for a whole two days. I was on a work trip to Darwin, but I resisted the lure of the internet cafes. I have to say that I think some of my nutty, hypochondriacal reactions to putting my neck out recently may have been a form of PSTD, so maybe I do need to get to the bottom of things, once and for all, and find some peace of mind about my arm and what I can and can't do with it.
I remain somewhat ambivalent about blogging about things medical, and have wondered if I should hive it off into a separate blog (or blog within a blog). Or even a private blog. Apart from the abstruseness and potential tastelessness of the subject matter, I think this stuff belongs more in a confessional style blog (of the type that Americans more usually write), whereas much of this blog is in more of a social observation mode. Really don't agree with what that idiot girl said on Critical Mass months back about there being a universal blog voice -- I think there are some quite distinctive blogging styles and genres.
Funnily enough, I recently saw a short article about an Australian Olympian who now plays baseball for the Yanks. He'd had the rib removal operation and was praising it to the skies. But then, what wont sportspeople do to their bodies?