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Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Ponderometer

Today I found myself wondering whether it would be better to receive good news and have no-one with whom to share it....or, conversely, to receive bad news and have nobody who would want to hear it. 
I suspect this idea is closely related to the question of the tree falling in the woods or the sound of one hand clapping.   Fortunately, I was rescued from going too far afield with this mental exercise because my friend Elizabeth called.  She wanted to know all about my visit to the doctor this afternoon.  I was glad she called because I was still sorting our whether I walked out of the doctor with a good news or a bad news story.  I had a twenty minute visit with a highly-esteemed  musculo-skeletal doctor in the Boston area.  He spent a fair amount of time carefully acquainting himself with my history and magnetic resonance and CT images. One of the reasons I sought his opinion was his experience with helping patients with Ehler's Danlos Syndrome - my particular gift jettisoned from the giant wheel of genetic roulette.  The doctor recommended that I return to the pain management specialist who initiated a trial using a spinal column stimulator in me back in 2007.  The trial was derailed when we discovered that, for the past ten years, I had been living with a fractured spine.  Thereafter followed two spinal fusions, two hip replacements ( and a partridge in a pear tree!).  The learned physician I saw today said my spine is severely compromised at numerous levels and my best shot at regaining a bit of normalcy in my life is to return to the trial of the spinal column stimulator.  If I achieve 50% relief of pain, it would be considered a successful intervention.  If I do not gain relief, my team would have to help me better manage pain with pharmaceuticals.  He encouraged me by saying that I was using an appropriate and systemic approach to my care.  He felt I had assembled a fine team, some at the top of their game, to help me in my search to manage this disorder.
I do not want to spend undue time dwelling on the future, what may or may not happen if result A occurs rather than result B.  Finally, a brainstorm hit.  There are pedometers and speedometers.  Why not ponderometers?  They might alert those of us who are prone to ponder excessively -- some might say compulsively -- that we are approaching a level of contemplation that might be hazardous to our health.  The red zone would mean it's time for chocolate.

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