This comic from Bloom County keeps coming to mind. (Copyright 1983, the Washington Post Company. Used under the “Get with It, This Is the 21st Century” interpretation of the Fair Use clause.) See http://www.berkeleybreathed.com/.
Today I received numerous answers from my doctor; unfortunately, they were all along the lines of “Those results were negative,” or “I don’t know.” I do know that I’m still running a fever (even after 5 days of antibiotics), but it seems to be slightly more controllable with medication, and it is nearly impossible for me to walk, even with Vicodin helping to manage the pain.
On the bright side, my echocardiogram concluded that the enlarged heart shown on my chest x-ray was simply a test anomaly. This also concluded that, if I do have rheumatic fever, it hasn’t done any damage to my heart. Still out there is the possibility of Lyme disease.
One ironic thing is that I have a severe vitamin D deficiency—just like what incapacitated Nichelle for many years. (See, there would have been ROI on that cube with a window view I recently requested at work.) However, the vitamin D deficiency isn’t likely to be the cause of my symptoms, as it wouldn’t cause the localized swelling, nor fever, and wouldn’t have set in so suddenly. (It’s also easily treated.)
I see an infectious disease specialist tomorrow, and I see my rheumatologist again on Thursday; we hope for more definitive answers. So far a large number of things have been ruled out. I’ve had so much blood and fluids drawn in the past week, that my weight has dropped 3 pounds.
I am grateful for the dedication my ever-growing medical team has shown. My fellow church members and family members are praying for my recovery. My wife and children are incredibly helpful. Nichelle keeps life manageable, and the kids typically function as my extended arms and legs, without complaint.
I have gotten much support as well from my co-workers. Many have called or e-mailed to see how I am doing. “Tovarich” Gary Dlugy is going to feed my tarantula, Susan (named after one of our VPs at Kronos). Sarcasm master Joe Royal sent these words of encouragement, which would have left me rolling on the floor if I’d been able to do such a thing:
Things are a little dull without you. Meetings start on time and stick to the agenda. Management is starting to be worshiped. It’s becoming a very unproductive work environment.