Thursday, June 14, 2012

No News Can Be Good News Too

The Problem is a Pain in My Neck
It turns out that no answer to a question can be good news. What happened (is happening) is that a sore throat started bothering me last week Friday; the 7th of June, or so. Over the weekend it was making the entire side of my head and neck really ache. It felt pretty lousy.

Self-Medication Didn't Work
I picked up a teeny tiny bottle of ear, nose and throat liquid antbiotic drops. I was putting them into my ear every 7 or 8 hours. and it seemed to be making me feel some relief; sort of anyway. But Monday morning, it was pretty clear that the pain was not settling down. It was steady and it was starting to keep me from doing anything but lay around and think about how much my ear hurt. So I called Dr G a bit after lunch, left a voice message and she called back.

The Exam was Ultra-Thorough
Dr G wanted to see me first thing in the morning on Tuesday. I would have gone in Monday afternoon, but I managed to get a decent night's sleep. Dr S is a new resident and her interview and exam were super thorough. In fact she took a lot even more time than Dr G would have. The exam must have lasted 30 minutes. That is a lot for a sore throat, I think.

Dr G came in and checked on the highlights of the interview and did her own physical exam. By that point, I was really trying to be super clear so they would be as clear as possible about what I was feeling somewhere deep in the center of my throat. I was relaxing my neck and pushing my fingers halfway around the back of my voice box to allow them to follow my finger and identify the exact/precise location of the spot that was hurting. They seemed eager to touch it and after a bit, my throat was getting pretty darn sore. Well, that was what I was there for, right?

But What Is It?
No matter how clearly we could feel the spot and no matter that I was totally certain they had found the exact spot with their own fingers, they could not identify the tissue with enough understanding to diagnose my trouble. So I was going to get a CAT scan.

Back to Hoboken University Medical Center -- Femi's hospital! 

By a couple special requests and a few dear friends attention, I was inside the CAT Scan machine less than 3 hours later. That is the advantage of having connections! They added me on to the very tippy tip end of the Imaging Master's work day and he agreed to stay an extra 15 minutes to make sure my images would be waiting for analysis on Wednesday morning.

The Images Clearly Show... my neck
And the Radiologist read them right away. The news is that there is no news. There is nothing out of the ordinary in that area. Whatever is causing my pain is not causing my tissues to appear unusual. And there do not appear to be any unusual new objects or tissues there that are not the expected and typical ones.

So it is good news that there is nothing there.

So No News is ... a Mystery
It is just a mystery what is causing my neck to be aching like this.