Sometimes I think that if it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. Where's Rodney Dangerfield when you really need him?

I was supposed to have surgery last Tuesday morning to remove the right half of my thyroid because it has a growth on it. But over the weekend, the Chiari decided to give me some serious grief and sent me to Urgent Care for a check-up. Last Monday morning, my surgeon called to ask if I had an infection anywhere because my white blood count (WBC) was elevated from the 8-9,000 norm to 16,000. I felt fine and had no clue where an infection could be.

Add insult to injury here. While my WBC is elevated, the Pheonytin (Dilantin) level, which is always lower than it should be anyway, is at 1.2 instead of the lowly 14 that it normally is. Of course that means a greater risk for seizures. Dr. Oz asked if I would be okay with having the surgery performed under a local instead of a general anesthesia, and I said that I would. Makes no difference to me to be honest. With that settled, I was instructed to show up at the hospital between 6:30 and 7:00 in the morning, prepared to get my blood drawn and tested again. Sounded fair to me, so I agreed.

Not two hours after speaking with the surgeon, I got a call from the surgery scheduling staff who told me that although I was scheduled for the morning, I may not have surgery at all if the WBC is still elevated. Not wanting to hang around the hospital all day only to be told that I still had an infection, I asked to do the blood work right away. After all, how much could change between late afternoon on Monday and early morning Tuesday? Turns out that was a smart move on my part -- the second blood test showed that the WBC was still elevated to a level with which the surgeon was uncomfortable. So no surgery for me until we can figure out where the infection is.

On Thursday morning, as I am doing the Thanksgiving cooking, I start to feel the signs of a cold. By the afternoon, it was obvious that a cold was what had elevated the WBC. I felt terrible and ended up not eating or enjoying the Thanksgiving dinner I had cooked. Totally sucks!

Colds and Chiari simply don't get along well together. Sneezing and coughing trigger some of the nastiest headaches a person could ever get and because all the gunk was tightly packed in my chest, I was coughing like mad with no results. Add to this a seriously stuffy and running nose that led to sneezing, and I was doomed to live in the land of the headaches for a while. To make matters worse, colds are caused by viruses and do not respond to antibiotics. This means that I had to fight it on my own.

It wasn't until Monday afternoon that I realized nothing was improving and that I should probably seek medical attention. Four prescriptions and a handful of diagnoses later, none of which mentioned a cold, I am left dealing with the residuals of the dreaded Chiari Cough.

I'm not one to sit on the pity pot over Chiari, but this past week has really tested my patience and ability to deal with it effectively. I think I need some toilet paper because this pot is becoming quite comfortable.
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