The medical kind not the paper and pencil kind
  1. In the last 2 1/2 years I have had more medical tests than I had in my previous 61 years
  2. I have had three MRIs of my lower back to identify the abnormality before surgery and then to look at it again after surgery twice to check how it was doing
    So that showed that I had spinal stenosis and needed surgery and the surgery did open up the passageways for the nerves but the nerves didn't heal
  3. Two CTs of my chest and one more in a week or two
    Because I cough all the time and there are some weird ground glass opacities in my lungs which can mean dozens of different things
  4. A laryngoscopy
    They found a damaged and paralyzed vocal cord and with a permanent opening between the two cords and a very small narrow larynx
  5. Swallow study and esophageal study showing that I have a swallowing abnormality and weak swallow muscles
    I do not have reflux but this is probably why I'm coughing all the time especially after I eat. They have a no idea why. I have gotten a clean bill of health from a neurologist so I don't have any neuro diseases
  6. At least six or eight pulmonary function tests that always show my asthma is stable and I have upper airway obstruction, from the paralyzed vocal cord, no doubt
    They do this test every time I see the doctor probably because they can bill insurance or something because it never changes
  7. Three EMG tests where they shoot electricity to your muscles to see how well they respond
    Mine are permanently weak in both legs
  8. Various x-rays of the chest, lower back, hips, and knees documenting my arthritis
  9. A full and complete cardiac work up including three weeks of continuous EKG monitoring, various echocardiograms and other tests all of which were completely normal
  10. Repetitive blood tests and urine tests to make sure that I'm taking my narcotics as prescribed
  11. At least three or four sleep studies the most recent one being last night
    I stop breathing periodically overnight because of the medications I'm on so I use oxygen while I'm sleeping. They want me to wear a CPAP mask but I don't seem to be able to tolerate it.
  12. I must sleep flat on my back. Any other way that I might want to sleep will cause me to wake up with excruciating back pain that will last all day. Plus the back surgeon has said absolutely not for sleeping with my head raised more than just on a pillow
  13. When I'm laying flat and the CPAP mask is on me the pressure pushes against my already weakened swallowing muscles. It's irritating so I have to cough and swallow and can't do either. Something about the pressure on my throat makes it impossible for me to do.
  14. The same thing happened during my last sleep study when they try to put the CPAP on. I told my doctor what happened but I think he thought I didn't try hard enough or something so I went back to try again last night
  15. I had a different technician and I imagine he read about my last situation because he was making a very wonderful attempt to be calming and soothing even though I was not nervous and I was cooperating. I took some nasal decongestant spray to reduce my secretions before the mask went on to increase my chances of success
  16. He sat with me and then boom - the pressure started, triggered a cough, and made it impossible for me to swallow. Of course we had to do this multiple times to show my good effort. Also I showed him how I was fine if I could sit up with it on. It was harder than normal but I could swallow. As soon as I lay down the dynamics in my airways changes
  17. The technician said he felt confident that I had given it an honest try and that I was experiencing something that he hadn't seen before. He felt my throat tighten up when the pressure was on it. He said he would email the physician and write an extensive note explaining how calm and cooperative I was so he would know I really just can't use CPAP
  18. So another failed test.
  19. I decided that after the CT that's already scheduled I'm not going to do anymore of these tests except for bloodwork. I'm so tired of it all
  20. I'm done. Tired
  21. Done
  22. Done.