Sunday, November 21, 2010

Frustration

Many things have happened in the last weeks.  I ended up back in the hospital for pain management of my stomach pain again.  Only this time my lipase wasn't elevated so they couldn't attribute the pain to pancreatitis.  Once they figured this out they all but shoved me out the door.  The "hospitalist doctor" (who I am pretty sure got her medical license via a correspondence course in the mail) backed off all my pain and nausea medication to all but one Vicodin every 8 hours.  Really?!?!  That's like throwing a Tylenol at a patient who just had their leg amputated and saying "Good luck with that!"  She also refered me to a pain clinic and directed me to follow up with them for care.  I didn't even wait for the courtesy wheel chair to leave, I just gathered my things and walked out the door.  This was a Saturday.  Come Monday morning I called the referred pain clinic.  This is what happened:


"Hello, Bla bla bla Pain Clinic"

"I would like to make an appointment with Dr. so and so please

"Well you need a referral for that."

"I was just in the hospital and was told to call and make an appointment.  The doctor their said she would be my referral."

"Well she needs to call here before we can make your appointment. Where is your pain anyway?"

"In my stomach."

"Oh well we don't treat abdominal pain.  You should go see an OB/GYN for that."

"What? Why?  I have already had a total hysterectomy.  What would a gynecologist do?  What am I supposed to do now?!"

"Not sure but abdominal pain is really hard to do anything about anyway."

CLICK

What the F(RIC)K???

I lost my will to live for a brief moment then called Dr. GI and told the not so very pleasant MA what happened.  She said she would call me back.  After cursing her under my breath for not giving me acceptable answers to my dilemma immediately, I waited for the return call.  Hours later she called me back and gave me the number of yet another pain clinic.  I called them and they do treat patients with abdominal pain but needed a referral from my doctor's office before they could book an appointment for me.  Why the delightful MA didn't already take care of this I have no idea.  So I called Dr. GI's office back and had to leave a message asking them to please fax the referral so I could make an appointment.  That was two weeks ago and I have yet to hear from either office.

Meanwhile, I was running out of pain medication and needed a quick fix so I called my family doctor to make an appointment to try and get some drugs.  (That sounds way worse that what it actually was. I was leaving for North Carolina for a week and didn't have enough to last.)  Couldn't get in with my doctor but they said the Nurse Practitioner was in and she can write prescriptions so I took the appointment with her. 

She came in and asked how I was and I broke down.  I was more than a little stressed. I told her what had happen with the pain clinic issues and how I was in pain and how not only my stomach but my whole body hurts all the time and it hurts when people touch me and I can't sleep and I'm just so tired all the time and I went on and on and on.  She listened quietly to everything I had to say and the more that I talked the more that she was mentally putting the pieces of my physiological puzzle together.  She asked me to stand up and said, "You are not going to like me but I have to do this..."  She started pushing on the Fibromyalgia trigger points and about dropped me to the ground.  She explained that I did, in fact, for sure, have Fibromyalgia.  She said the majority of my painful symptoms, sleep issues, tiredness, mental fog, etc were all classic symptoms.  She wrote me a prescription for Lyrica and Xanaflex (NOT Xanax, mind you) and wants me to come back in four weeks.  She also said that she would get me in with the pain management clinic but so far I still haven't heard from them. She explained that since I have such fair skin and fair eyes that I probably make a ton of scar tissue and since I have had more that 8 abdominal surgeries I am most likely experiencing at least some scar tissue/adhesions in my abdomen and that could be attributing to some of my recurrent pain that is not pancreatitis related.  She said there is really only one good way to deal with that and that is to get pregnant. I was so glad she brought up THAT failure!!  I hate reminders of the fact I couldn't have my own children and will never get the chance because of my much needed hysterectomy. (Heavy sigh) Once she realized pregnancy wasn't an option she said the pain clinic would probably help.

It's only been about a week since I started the new medicine but I do feel a little better.  A little. I am on my way home from North Carolina as I write this. My parents allowed me to tag along on yet another trip. I got to see my aunt and uncle who live in NC and got a chance to relax a bit before tackling more pain clinic issues. The Blue Ridge Mountains are very pretty though we just missed all the colorful foliage by about a week or two. :(

One more thing before I end this very long post. I finally scheduled my state boards so I can get my nursing license. I go on December 1st. I seriously need to study.

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