When All Else Fails


Sad as it is to say, it helped

I’m a bit embarrassed by the most recent meltdown in a meeting with one of my doctors. But it helped.

I’ve been having an issue for some time either being heard by my physicians or they were actually stumped on how to help me. Which it is I’m not sure but it really does not matter now that I have some proactive doctor’s on board now.

It has been a struggle to get to this point and maybe that was why those irritating tears came. I’m not sure about that one either.And normally I’d be so mad at myself I could spit. Not this time though.

This time I am grateful I suppose that the tears came, because without I’m afraid my sincerity in what has been going on with me pain wise would not be taken as seriously as it finally has been.

I’ve been plugging about on a daily, and nightly basis on a pain scale of anywhere from 6 to 9. To those of you don’t know what this means let me briefly explain. Physicians  use what is referred to as a numerical pain scale for their patients to explain how much the pain hurts. It’s all subjective anyway, what pain is to you and to me, but it gives the doctors and patients a point of reference they’ll both be able to relate to. With the pain scale ) is no pain at all, and 10 is the worst pain you have ever felt in your life. Think beyond natural child-birth for the 10. (sorry, I could not resist)

Yesterday when I saw the doctor my scale number was sorely at about 8.5. I was at my wits end pretty much and although convenient for a doctor’s appointment it is exhausting. To keep one’s self together emotionally takes a lot of restraint and work when you are in any kind of pain but chronic pain makes it even harder. Think about your worst headache in your life, and magnify that times years. That will give some idea what the day after day can do to someone.

It was actually serendipitous that this took place the way it did. Thank you God!

I’d been heard finally.

This was just the second time to see this new doctor who is now part of my team. I’d been told about him some time ago but for a lot of reasons hesitated to make that appointment to see him. At the urging from my “Bestie” friend, and my internist who both recommended the same doctor, I finally made the move to get an appointment. Who knew what a fiasco that would turn out to be, and the Bee that I would create in a few bonnets. When I phoned to make the appointment I was first put through a 3rd degree process on why I was wanted see this person when I was already established with a Physicians Assistant at the same clinic. This was a bit discerning bu I have learned to go with the flow when dealing with different clinics and doctors protocol. I suppose they have their reasons. However I was not allowed to make an appointment with this man. I could not get it through his guard desk that I was only wanting to see him for two reasons. One that my own primary doctor wished me to see this person, and two, I needed a second opinion on what my prognosis is, and what options I had. Because you see, I had been told there was not much else that could be done for my pain and more importantly what is causing it.

So. I was told I could not see this doctor. Now what? In th end it all worked out fine, the doctor in question somehow was communicated to that I was not number one looking for drugs; (This is always the first concern) and that number two  I had been vetted by my own primary doctor and physicians assistant. After a little bit of let down, great frustration, I had put it away, let it go to God, and went on vacation with my Bestie friend to the coast. It was while there not even thinking about my health concerns that my husband had received the almighty phone call that the doctor I’d been told to see would in fact now see me. No explanations, no apologies. Just an appointment. I and my dear friend who had helped me through hours of sharing and had helped me put it away celebrated the appointment. My husband & I celebrated the appointment albeit long distant from one another at the time.

The first appointment was less than rewarding, but it did leave me feeling more hopeful than I have in almost two years. That’s how long this battle of a flare up in symptoms have been going on. Not anyone should ever have to fight for any length of time to find and receive adequate timely treatment. Whether it’s for a broken hang nail or pain. Not in the great U.S. if A.

At this first appointment I was given options no one had given me before. Options? Now there is an original thought, no? I made my first of many to come decisions to make then and there; I had a diagnostic injection, which was telling in that it helped none In no way. We set about a primary plan of action and I felt at least that there was someone who would help me move forward in this life around pain rather than just spin my wheels.


Yesterday those plans of actions moved forward a bit more. And what a good thing too as I was at my wit’s end as I said. Not certain I could take another minute feeling physically what I was feeling, and having it all exacerbated by my exhaustion which led to an emotional meld down. The next steps in the plan is a series of two more injections; In my cervical area and under a fluoroscope, so that the doctor can see exactly which nerves are involved. Once he finds the exact nerves that are the problem children in my spine he will then inject numbing agents and steroids to hopefully calm the inflamed nerves down. It is that inflammation that is causing the nerves to swell and become irritated hence forth causing all my cervical pain. This pain which also radiates down into my left shoulder and arm and up into my head is what’s doing me in. If I get any relief from these two initial injection this will be diagnostic in terms of this tells which nerves are involved and then the actual treatment can happen. That treatment is called a Cervical Ablation. All this means is the nerves will be cauterised with laser lights, killing off the nerves ends. There by removing the source that tells my brain there is pain.

I know it all sounds rather science fiction. But I know from living with someone who had a Lumbar Ablation as well as other people in my life that this can be a really good treatment. For my husband it helped in the end. It took some time for the nerves in his low back to “die off” after the treatment. This is not unusual from what I’m told. So I’m going for it. It is the least invasive treatment offered that will have positive results, with the littlest risk and side effects. Right now I would be willing to have my neck amputated except for the small logistic problems this would likely cause. So this Abalation sounds like a cake walk.

In the mean time I knew I could not face another night of no sleep and hurting until we get to that point. I needed to know what my options were to get me by until this happened and the efficacy was in place. I’d not make it till then if I had to attempt to keep going as I was. The doctor saw in my tears and pleading my earnest attempts to be doing everything I can to help myself. Not to mention this second attempt at PT/OT for the second round in less than two years. The first 9 week period did little to help my pain, a lot to keep my upper body strong. This second attempt is a lot more proactive at treating the pain symptoms, although it also proves that those upper body exercises were so worth it.

I left the doctors yesterday feeling absolutely washed out. But I also left with a great plan of action, and some immediate pain relief. It’s just temporary and not what I’m looking for as a long-term solution, but for this week, this month, it will help get me through until I get passed the two diagnostic injections and then the actual treatment, the Ablation.

So this night while those around my world are sleeping I’m awake writing. And praising God & the Universe for not just the practical skills this specialist of a doctor has, but also for his people skills. And lest you all believe I am throwing my PA under the bus please know that I know her hands were tied. She sadly is not a physician and there for does not have at her finger tips all that is available to a doctors. Even her prescribing privileges are not those that a doctor has. I really adore my PA. I wish that she could be the one providing 100% of my care. But since that it is not a possibility I am grateful for this man. I’m grateful that my awful display of emotions were not seen as anything  more than it was.

Tears can be seen as a way of manipulating. especially by some men who don’t have the understanding of how women’s nature tends to work. And the people skills to analyse where there are coming from. But these tears, and all of my tears, are never something I use. At least I am not conscious if I am. Instead I am always embarrassed and angry that I cry. And although I tend to tear up easily lately it is not my nature to normally do so. I’m grateful and pleased that this doctor saw what they were about. I’m glad he could see that I am fighting as hard as I can to stay on top of the pain that riddles my small world. I’m grateful he can see that  I am doing all within my own powers to get by, to keep functioning. As he told me, ” You have a lot of reasons to be in physical pain, and just a few to be in emotional pain from what I can see here today. I’m here to tell you Toni that we are going to get you out of both.”

And more tears flowed….tears this time of extreme gratitude and relief that someone who can help is doing so.

copy write tjhelser 2012

13 thoughts on “When All Else Fails

  1. Physical pain is a terrifying thing for anyone. You are a real hero in my books for withstanding it, addressing it, writing about it and finally, hopefully, getting some relief from it. Emotional pain is nothing compared to this – you really are amazing!

    • Jules you have one of the biggest hearts I know. And real,raw, and honest. Because I trust what you express this that you say to me holds so much meaningful signfigance. Because you don’t blow smoke just for the sake of doing so, what you say has such sincerity in it that I’m touched deeply by your words.
      That despite everything that encompasses your life you still reach out to others is just another reason I see you as my hero. If there comes a day that I should have to deal with even a fraction of what you re dealing with due to the men we love I hope against all hopes that I do it with just an ounce of grace that you do it with.

      I know your husband is so proud of you, even if he’s not avle to express it completely now, I can see iit in his face that you share – just how true this is.

  2. A good cry is a great way to relieve energy, frustration. Good for you. Sometimes we need to just let it all on the table and it sounds like you did so in a safe environment too. I sure feel for you!!! You are really going through it. I really hope and want this treatment to work for you. You so deserve to be living pain free. Much love.

  3. Hello again Cee, I just sent you a novella via email and then saw this comment from you. Its so awesome having someone know what its like. Not that I would wish this, or what you live with, on anyone,.But knowing that someone just gets it makes me feel okay with what it;s been like this week.

    I’m feeling the positive and healing energies that you re sending and know thos os something I want to know more about.
    Thank you so much for your awesome love and wishes. Means so much to me your support.
    Love to you sweetie!

  4. oh my dear friend—i pray that this treatment will work and that you will be able to get it soon. The pain you endure and the grace with which you do it are true inspiration. I am certain at this point, though, you would much rather have an end to your suffering than be an inspiration! I pray that your pain will abate some between now and your treatment. Gratitude fills my heart knowing that there is hope for an end to your suffering on the horizon. What a relief it must be for you to know that. Love you~

    • Hello my sweet Kate again. You have to know just how much you fill my heart with love and gratitude. It’s because of prayers from those like you who put their hearts and souls into caring for others with such passion. I know that is what is making the difference in my life. The outcome with my local community has been less than stellar up until recently when something turned the cog like adding oil to a noisy machine.
      There is no need for further explainations that I need.

      Thank you for your kind and gentle words which lift me higher than I can express. You have become to be a very signifigant woman of faith of my life, this is importnat to me Katie, to surround myself with people of faith and postiviness. It’s because of those like you that I’m able to keep a smile in my heart 99% of the time. That 1% I do have and deall with also by writing. I love you sweetheart. Have an awesome Sunday!

  5. Awwww Toni, I can so relate to what you are going through, the tears ,the pain, the frustration, the politics of dr offices…. I am so glad to hear that a plan has been made to help ease your pain, I have heard of the nerve procedure before, in fact my PA has talked to me about it. I do pray that it brings you relief my friend…. I’m so sorry I’ve been so absent lately, a lot in my world is not good right now and I’ve just been trying to hang on…. Losing our fur baby and the depression that has put me in, my carpal tunnel flaring up to the point where it’s been extremely difficult for me to crochet which is my outlet for dealing with both the physical and mental pain, and finding out I need a diagnostic procedure done after going for my yearly exam this past week, and dealing with all of this while trying desperately to prepare the best I can for the show that I’ve already paid to be in that is quickly approaching…. Sorry to just blurt this out like this… Guess this is why I haven’t been too present on WP lately, I try to stay positive on here…. So anyways, just know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and I do hope that your new dr can help you to find relief my friend…. Know you are not alone my friend…. Sending love and hugs your way….
    PS. I really like your new blog!!

    • Oh sweetie and I have not known what is happening beyond losing your sweet fur baby. I’m so sorry I have not been in touch. You should not be dealing with so much, especially all at once. It breaks my heart that I can not be of any help to you.

      Please never say you are sorry to me for being real, eaw and iopen. What you are dealing with is reality and it is yours. This is meaningful to me that you are hurting and had the courage and grace to say something to me about all that is eneveloping you. I know how lost you are, and then not to be able to use your hands to work through all this with your needles and yarn? Absolutely a crushing time.

      Please if you can, carpel tunnel, and heart tugging emotions, write to me and lets talk. You have so much going on beyond what we should be discussing opening here at WP. You would be doing me an honor, than I could feel at least like I was helping you vent a little. Sometimes talking with someone you don’t also have to see after in person or who is so much part of your life helps incredibly. And if you are not up to it please know I understand that as well. I would never take any personal slight. I just need you to do what Karen needs to do to get through this too. I know you will, look where you have been and where you are nw. You are a miracle.

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