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Author Topic: The Grinches that Stole Goo's Arm
A Guy Named Goo
Carol of the Bills


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Some people have noticed my absence on the board here, and since I'm feeling ranty, I thought I'd rant about where I've been here on the Rantidote board.

My story starts on April 19th, 2005. I was working as a telemarketer at the time, and suddenly I felt a snap in my arm. It swelled up to twice its normal size and I was completely unable to use it. It hurt so bad I wanted to cry, but my boss told me if I left to go to the ER I'd be fired, so I finished the rest of my six hour shift and made a friend who worked with me take me to the ER after his shift finished. Once there, I was diagnosed with a nasty case of tendonitis, sent home with a splint and ibuprofin, and told to rest it for a few weeks. I did that.

I ended up going on worker's comp and losing my job as the weeks stressed on into months. I got a small settlement due to the place I was employed at mishandling my worker's comp claim and lived off of that until September, when I had bills piling up and had no choice but to go back to work. My grandmother got me a job in a job shadowing program at the bakery, where my boss was very understanding of the fact that I couldn't use my right arm much. I still had frequent screaming pains that ran through the inside of my arm, from my elbow down to my pinky and ring finger. The doctors told me it was still tendonitis, or stress, and either gave me ibuprofin or told me to see a shrink.

October of that year, I was sent to physical therapy. The PT wasn't helping at all, and during my last appointment I once again felt the snap and saw my arm swell again, and the person who was giving me PT couldn't get me out of there fast enough. I went to the ER and the doctor denied that the PT had anything to do with the problem, but gave me a shot of Toradol and sent me packing. After that, doctors would gloss over my mention of the PT incident and resume telling me that my problem was either psychosomatic or lingering tendonitis damage.

A doctor finally agreed that it might be carpal tunnel syndrome. The proble mith this diagnosis is that carpal tunnel would effect the opposite side of my arm, as it's a condition of the median nerve, but he insisted that referred pain from carpal tunnel sometimes causes it to occur on the opposite side of the arm. November of that year I was given an EMG and told the results were "inconclusive". The doctors continued to tell me that it was all in my head or still tendonitis. The pain was getting worse.

On the first anniversary of my initial injury, I was referred to the first doctor who actually listened to me and didn't think it was any of the things the doctors had been telling me it was. He was a wonderful man, and he admitted he didn't know what it was, but was willing to run a battery of tests to find out. Unfortunately, shortly after I started seeing him, he transferred to another hospital. I saw a medical student who had been learning under him, and the student was appalled by my treatment thus far: I had a clear-cut case of ulnar nerve entrapment, a condition that, if not properly treated early, can result in permenant nerve and muscle damage and a lifetime of chronic pain. He insisted I get another EMG immediately, this time on the opposite side of my arm that I was tested on, but being a lowly med student, "immediately" became "December 21st, 2006".

I saw another doctor after that, who wouldn't even look at the correct side of my arm, let alone listen to me. She refused to believe that none of the pills I had been given were working (and I was not drug seeking. A look at my medical file would show I had never been given a narcotic pain killer, except for T3 when I had bronchitis, and I couldn't take that because I'm allergic to acetaminophen). She wouldn't listen to me when I said I as allergic to aspirin, apparently still thinking I was a drug seeker and making up excuses to get out of taking non-narcotic medications. The first prescription she gave me kept knocking me out. I couldn't stay awake at all after I took it. I stopped taking it immediately, and she switched me to another prescription. This one gave me hives. When I called her to tell her (this is now August), she refused to see me again, saying I was being uncooperative or a drug seeker.

I haven't seen a doctor or had any medication since August. I can't go to a walk-in clinic because she is still listed as my primary care physician and won't let me (they tell me I have to see her). I go to the ER and they just tell me to wear my splint and see my regular physician. I can hardly use my right arm anymore, my pinkie and ring finger are almost completely paralyzed and have zero strength (I can't even press a computer key with them), and it's taken me over half an hour to write this post. My entire care, from beginning to end, has been handled by Eastern Maine Medical Center, and everyone keeps telling me, in light of the constant mistreatment and misdiagnosis (many of these situations have witnesses), I should sue the hospital, but I don't want to take any action until this gets fixed, or as fixed as it'll ever get.

Now my second EMG is about two weeks away, and I am worried they are going to try to write me off or do nothing again. Terrified, even. I have actually had a doctor who was sympathetic and not from EMMC (I went to the ER at another local hospital) tell me that if I broke my arm, doctors would be more likely to fix it than they would as it is now, strongly implying I should find a way to do just that. I can barely type, I lost my job in October because I couldn't work anymore, and I can't get another job until this gets fixed.

So that's where I've been all this time, and that's why I'm both ranty and terrified.

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“I really feel like this is part of my life's work....It's part of what I want to do with my time here....So if I can make a difference at all by talking openly about myself, I'm glad.” - Anthony Rapp, Without You, pp. 206-207

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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Oh. My. Lord. I'm glad to hear from you but so sorry to hear all of that. I wish I could do something to help you. I was aware in the past of some problems you were having but had no idea it was that horrible.

Love and hugs.

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

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DadOf3
Jingle Bell Hock


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Wow, Goo, that's terrible. I have no advice to give, but I certainly hope things work out for you. I'll be sending the standard prayers, hugs, vibes, good wishes, etc.

Let us know how it works out.

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Goo, I'm so sorry. Good luck on your EMG. I'll be thinking of you.

That drug that put you to sleep: An NSAID, maybe? Naproxen, perhaps? Or as I call it, NAP-roxen?

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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A Guy Named Goo
Carol of the Bills


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Lainie, it was an NSAID (I have been on literally every one they make). I just grabbed the bottle to check, and it was Diflunasil. I am thinking it's probably the acetaminophen in it, since my allergy to it causes me to pass out (I have a lot of really bizarre allergies).

ETA: And thanks for the support, everyone. I actually just got a call from my neurologist after I posted this. It was just to preregister me, but weird timing.

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“I really feel like this is part of my life's work....It's part of what I want to do with my time here....So if I can make a difference at all by talking openly about myself, I'm glad.” - Anthony Rapp, Without You, pp. 206-207

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Most rx anti-inflammatories make me sleepy. I miss Vioxx. I know it was dangerous heart-wise, but damn, that stuff knocked out the pain, and with no side-effects.

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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bthyb
WiFi Christmas


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Hugs, goo...

Regarding suing them - maybe you can talk to a lawyer and get some advice, because it's possible that threatening them (legally) in the right way could get you some results.

I wish I had more advice to give - but I would definitely complain about the current doctor at least, and perhaps you can switch primary providers.

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If you say you love ice cream, you better be dreaming of an orgy with Ben, Jerry, and one fine-ass chunky monkey.

-- My sister and poet extraordinaire, Joanna Hoffman

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Isn't there any way to change your doctor or go to another hospital? I'm appalled.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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A Guy Named Goo
Carol of the Bills


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Thanks, bthyb. I already spoke to a lawyer, and although he's not involved in civil law (he's a public defender), he told me it would be best to wait until after my arm is fixed to do anything, because then we can take an assessment of possible long-term damage. He said that hospitals tend to be quick to settle out of court, just to keep things from going public, so if I can get them to offer a decent settlement it's likely I'd never see it get to court.

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“I really feel like this is part of my life's work....It's part of what I want to do with my time here....So if I can make a difference at all by talking openly about myself, I'm glad.” - Anthony Rapp, Without You, pp. 206-207

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A Guy Named Goo
Carol of the Bills


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trollface, welcome to the wonderful world of American healthcare. I'm welfare scum. Unless I'm in an ER, I have to see a health care provider that my state insurance covers, and in my area, the EMMC system is pretty much the only full-service medical care system that can take care of me.

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“I really feel like this is part of my life's work....It's part of what I want to do with my time here....So if I can make a difference at all by talking openly about myself, I'm glad.” - Anthony Rapp, Without You, pp. 206-207

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Since this is work related you should see a personal injury attorney that handles work comp. You should be able to find one that will work on a contingency. I don't know what you have already signed, but that needs to be reviewed by a lawyer so that you can start getting the treatment that you need.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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glass papaya
Jingle Bell Hock


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Gosh, Goo. I hope you get relief soon!

A doctor actually implied that you should break your arm??? [Eek!]

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Dog Friendly
Carol of the Bills


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Nothing much to add, except "Dang!"

Vibes and a one-armed e-hug from North Hollywood, CA.

Dog Friendly

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"Nobody ever got stoned and beat up his old lady" -- Spence, snapdragonfly's friend

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Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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That is completely horrible that anyone would be treated like this. But then I'm beyond horrified that insurance companies, not doctors, decide which patients need treatment and what form that treatment should take (preferably the least amount of fuss for the most amount of money). HORRIBLE!

I hope you're feeling better soon, Goo. In the meantime, if you want to travel to Virginia, it can't be any worse than what you're going through now.

A job that threatens to fire you for seeking medical treatment that is OBVIOUSLY necessary? If you start suing people, start with them!

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They just don't make crazed, beserk robots like they used to. --Sheen Estevez, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius

If I manage to post something swipe-worthy that you would like to make your sig, you may do so with my blessing.

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PallasAthena
Xboxing Day


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Oh, Goo, that is terrible! I am so sorry to hear you are having to go through this. Others on the board can give better advice, but I wanted to drop in and send you vibes from Missouri.

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"How do you make chocolate? You take dark chocolate, you mix it with white milk, and it becomes a delicious drink. That is the chocolate I am talking about." --Ray Nagin

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by A Guy Named Goo:
trollface, welcome to the wonderful world of American healthcare. I'm welfare scum.

You are now, but that's because of your injury! I will never, ever understand the arguments that the American system is better.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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vfwchick
Deck the Malls with Boughs of Money


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Oh Goo,

If I were you I would just go down to that place and raise such a fuss that they'd fix me just to get rid of me. But I suppose since you do have the appointment you can wait and have the temper tantrum if nothing happens after the test. Best of luck to you.

Oh, and have a friend dress in a suit and go with you. He doesn't have to say anything, just be there looking all lawyer-like.

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God bless our Troops!
If you can't stand behind our troops, please, feel free to stand in front of them.

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Phil'sGirl
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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So sorry to hear of your problems, Goo.

You were missed.

Hugs and vibes and good luck.

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"Nobody ever looks like McCarthy, sir. That's how they get in the door in the first place" Toby on The West Wing

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Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
quote:
Originally posted by A Guy Named Goo:
trollface, welcome to the wonderful world of American healthcare. I'm welfare scum.

You are now, but that's because of your injury! I will never, ever understand the arguments that the American system is better.
Who said that? Let me at 'em! Let me at 'emmmmmmm!

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They just don't make crazed, beserk robots like they used to. --Sheen Estevez, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius

If I manage to post something swipe-worthy that you would like to make your sig, you may do so with my blessing.

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A Guy Named Goo
Carol of the Bills


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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
quote:
Originally posted by A Guy Named Goo:
trollface, welcome to the wonderful world of American healthcare. I'm welfare scum.

You are now, but that's because of your injury! I will never, ever understand the arguments that the American system is better.
People really say that? I guess they're the ones with money for good health insurance. My employer where I hurt my arm actually told me I couldn't use my insurence through there, claiming I hadn't worked there long enough to get benefits.

Thanks for the good vibes, everyone. Here's hoping someone finally gets off their ass and does something. If not, I'm seriously considering hightailing it across the border and taking advantage of Canada, Land of the Socialized Medicine.

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“I really feel like this is part of my life's work....It's part of what I want to do with my time here....So if I can make a difference at all by talking openly about myself, I'm glad.” - Anthony Rapp, Without You, pp. 206-207

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Buckleupp
Away in a Manager


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quote:
Originally posted by A Guy Named Goo:
I'm welfare scum. Unless I'm in an ER, I have to see a health care provider that my state insurance covers...

Goo, sorry to hear of your troubles. I can certainly understand the challenge of getting proper health care while lacking decent insurance. I also know the frustration of doctors who assume patients are drug seeking or malingering. The DEA has cracked down, some would say inappropriately, on doctors prescribing narcotics, and it has punished pain patients the most. Unfortunately one tactic that true drug seekers sometimes use, is to claim that they are allergic to just about everything BUT their narcotic of choice. Very few people are allergic to tylenol, for example, so a doctor might assume you're lying, even if they have no other evidence to suggest that.

Don't take this the wrong way, but I think you need to give up on the hope of getting adequate care from an ER. Even medical practitioners who work in ERs will probably tell you that they're just no good at dealing with chronic & serious issues.

I recommend that you get thee to a pain specialty clinic. Most towns of decent size have at least a couple of them, and they usually have the most sympathetic, experienced, thorough, and truly helpful doctors and nurses in the biz.

You might have to save up a couple hundred dollars to pay for the initial consult. Call around to the pain clinics in your region. See how much a consultation costs, see if you can negotiate a discount since you're paying out of pocket, and be brief on the phone when you give the reason why you need the consult.

If paying for this in cash is just not possible at all, and you think legal action is a likely course for you to take in the near future, your attorney will probably be able to refer you to a pain doctor, although I don't have much experience in the legal area.

I hope these suggestions help you. Be well.

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HA! That's so funny I forgot to laugh...excluding that first Ha. -Stewie Griffin

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NZUL
Deck the Malls


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Wow. I'm just glad you still have your arm. Given your subject, I was expecting to read at the end of the story that they'd had to amputate!

Any system that prevents you from choosing your own health care provider sucks.

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"We don't keep a certified whale-vomit expert on staff." - Larry Penny, Director, Natural Resources Department, Town of East Hampton

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Syllavus
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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What a horrible predicament Goo, I really hope you can get your arm taken care of soon, and I'm glad to hear you've been talking to a lawyer. I'd hate to think that your doctors would get away with this negligence. *hugs*

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"That would be really dangerous, you know. Indiscriminately extricating someone from the petrified corpse of a supernatural creature." - My Husband

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A Guy Named Goo
Carol of the Bills


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Thanks for the advice, Buckleupp. I mostly gave up on ERs, I just saw another one recently because I took a header on a freshly-mopped floor and landed directly on my arm, and I thought it might have finally broken from the pain that caused (that's what lead to the doctor's broken arm comment). I know there are a few pain management clinics in Bangor (close to where I live), the problem is being unemployed an currently mooching off of others, I can't really pay for the consult. The only lawyer I've spoken to is my uncle, because I wasn't sure if I could get a lawyer to talk to me when I have no cash.

Mostly at this point I just want the problem itself dealt with, to whatever extent it can be dealt with at this point (the prognosis so far has been pretty grim, but the general consensus has been I could have made a complete recovery if it had been diagnosed and properly treated sooner), and worry about how to deal with the pain and what, if any, legal action to take from there.

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“I really feel like this is part of my life's work....It's part of what I want to do with my time here....So if I can make a difference at all by talking openly about myself, I'm glad.” - Anthony Rapp, Without You, pp. 206-207

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TallGeekyGirl
O Read, O Read, The Manual


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I'm so sorry to hear of your problems, Goo. I wish I could offer advice or something that you could actually use, but all I can give is my sympathy and ((hugs)). I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

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See, if I tell you about it, it won't be a mystery. It'll just be a fact, an ugly, moist fact, squatting on your brain like an octopus. And you don't want an octopus squatting on your brain, do you, son? -- Stan Smith, American Dad

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FuzzDuckie
Happy Holly Days


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Daaaaaaaaaang.....that stinks...

If you come to Georgia- I know of a GREAT doc who WILL listen and do everything in his power to help... Too bad he can't take out of state patients....

Here's hoping it gets resolved. No person should have to suffer pain on a daily basis. It isn't fun and it isn't fun to watch either [Frown]

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frogpond
Jingle Sales


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Goo, I'm sorry to hear this. I'm sending good vibes.

I'm really grateful for my doctor. I think I've got one of the few that actually listens to patients.

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So many books, so little time.

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Starla
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by NZUL:
Wow. I'm just glad you still have your arm. Given your subject, I was expecting to read at the end of the story that they'd had to amputate!

I was afraid of that too!

I am so sorry you're going through this, Goo. You deserve nothing but happiness. I'll be thinking of you as your test date comes. Hopefully you finally get a good diagnosis and can start healing.

Please keep us updated.

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This used to be the life, but I don't need another one.
MyBandwagon

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RingKeeper
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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So sorry to hear about all that has happened, Goo. Wow. Just wow. Hopefully you will have a positive experience after your EMG and they will finally find out what is wrong and fix it.

Tons of vibes.

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There are just some things a dog can't explain to a monkey.

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FullMetal
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Purple Iguana:
quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
quote:
Originally posted by A Guy Named Goo:
trollface, welcome to the wonderful world of American healthcare. I'm welfare scum.

You are now, but that's because of your injury! I will never, ever understand the arguments that the American system is better.
Who said that? Let me at 'em! Let me at 'emmmmmmm!
His name is Ralph Klein... He's the former premier of Alberta. who at one point threatened to change our healthcare system to one similar to the US... Thankfully the feds nixed that plan. or else it would have killed his career and our healthcare system...
Posts: 153 | From: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Purple Iguana
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by FullMetal:
quote:
Originally posted by Purple Iguana:
quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
quote:
Originally posted by A Guy Named Goo:
trollface, welcome to the wonderful world of American healthcare. I'm welfare scum.

You are now, but that's because of your injury! I will never, ever understand the arguments that the American system is better.
Who said that? Let me at 'em! Let me at 'emmmmmmm!
His name is Ralph Klein... He's the former premier of Alberta. who at one point threatened to change our healthcare system to one similar to the US... Thankfully the feds nixed that plan. or else it would have killed his career and our healthcare system...
YOINKS!

My husband and his family have issues with the kind of health care that's in England and Canada, but quite frankly, I don't understand it so I'm not going to try to explain it. All I can say is that HMOs are destroying the idea of decent medical care, and something has got to be done about it. Anyone who thinks that it's a GOOD idea for someone other than a doctor to decide what's the best course of medical treatment has got their head up their butt so far, they're burping farts!

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They just don't make crazed, beserk robots like they used to. --Sheen Estevez, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius

If I manage to post something swipe-worthy that you would like to make your sig, you may do so with my blessing.

Posts: 2486 | From: East Stroudsburg, PA | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
TrishDaDish
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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~~~Bumping the thread, because I've been off the boards for a long while~~~

Dang, Goo! How are you doing right now?

(((((Lots of belated hugs and healing vibes coming your way)))))

Keep us updated when you can!

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I would prefer not to.
My blog

Posts: 4789 | From: Rhode Island | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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