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
- Scientists created a pain measurement scale by burning the hands of women in labor [Secret History] (io9.com)
- Previous Post (fullcircledme.wordpress.com)
- Patient’s “Bill of Rights” (fullcircledme.wordpress.com)