Friday, July 26, 2013

Ken's Ordeal Part 7: A Mayo Deja Vu

To start from the beginning, just click on the label "Ken's Ordeal" at the bottom of the post and scroll down.

One of the Mayo entrances.
There is little to say in this installment.  Our second trip to Mayo Clinic was mostly for follow-up visits.   

The neurologist had ordered a test Ken had already had done in Sheboygan.  It is a nerve function test, very unpleasant and quite painful.  Ken was not anxious to repeat it, of course.  It was a good thing he had it done again, however, because this time some damage was revealed.  Perhaps the difference in the two tests is because Mayo's is more sophisticated, or perhaps the damage has grown worse and so showed up.  Anyway, he may have a compressed ulnar nerve in both elbows.  This is the result of thickened ligaments/tendons--a consequence of uncontrolled diabetes. Remember the "damned pheo" and how it caused wild swings in blood sugar?  This compressed nerve could be the cause of some of the deterioration, pain, and swelling in his hands and may require surgery.

The front entrance.
He spent time with two orthopedists who examined his shoulders and reviewed the shoulder MRI results.  There is some neuropathy (diabetes again) but nothing that would account for the limit in range of motion and the extreme pain.

As for his general illness, weakness, low hormone levels, low blood pressure, continued weight loss, etc. there were still no answers.

We met again with Dr. Daniels, the internist who started the process at Mayo.  He was dismayed about the Camp Lejeune situation.  He told me he had read the entire article and had then done some follow-up research.  Unfortunately, there are no tests that would, at this late point in time, confirm that the toxins in Lejeune's water had caused any of Ken's problems.  "That doesn't mean they didn't" Dr. Daniels said with a shake of his head, "just that we won't be able to confirm it."

He wants Ken to come back for another round of lab tests that will look for toxins, heavy metal poisoning and other issues and also wants him to visit the Gastroenterology Clinic.  There are other diseases that can cause neuropathy besides diabetes, and some of them arise in the digestive system.

He is concerned that Ken may have neuropathy that effects not only peripheral nerves but also the autonomic nervous system--the delicate workings that we don't think about.  Breathing, heart beat, weight gain or loss, blood pressure, perspiration and so on.  We are trying not to think of the possible consequences of damage to the autonomic nervous system.

We go back in late August, the earliest appointments we could get.

Outside a large street sale was going on with many booths containing jewelry, beautiful artwork, food, and so on.  You can see Ken on the bottom right, waiting for me on a bench.  It was a steaming hot day but the booths were busy.


I took this photo from the 13th floor inside the Gonda Building.  On the left is the ultra-modern Siebkens Building, and on the right is the beautifully historic Plummer Building, both part of the Mayo complex.  Inside the Plummer Building is a little museum with the original Mayo brothers' offices and other clinic memorabilia.  The inside of this building is gorgeous but cameras are not allowed. 


Cathy said...

Thank you for your update - and the prayers continue for you and Ken. Peace.

Diane M. Roth said...

yes, thank you for your update. prayers continue...

Chris said...

So glad to hear from you again, Dorcas.

We'll continue praying for the situation. It's hard to keep going under this much stress, I know. Hang in there, and know we care!

stinuksuk said...

Prayers are with you both. May the peace of Christ be with and among you.