Sunday, May 25, 2008

An appointment with pain

I had a full hour way for my appointment with the Pain Specialist, so I played spot the pain in the waiting room; most people attended the clinic accompanied by someone, so I was guessing which of any given couple was a patient there. You should be completely unsurprised by the fact that I had no idea so long as they were all sat-down, although I did suspect that the other wheelchair-user, who was visably wincing every now and again and took some pills at one point, just might have been less comfortable than her partner or friend who wore running shoes and a London Marathon t-shirt. Although you never can tell.

Oh, at one point I went to the loo and they had a toilet that flushed when you waved at it – you have to understand that I don't get out much and this was incredibly exciting. But then I picked up a glossy magazine about Weddings and proceeded to sleep through the rest of our wait.

I fell everso slightly in love with the Pain Specialist. She happened to be an extraordinarily attractive woman but she was also one of these excellent doctors who talk to you as if you are two experts conferring about a problem; she is an expert in medicine and I am an expert in my condition (or at the very least, the way it is for me). We talked about different drug options, which was a tremendous relief; turns out there are loads of different ways of doing this. I mean, all the drugs are pretty icky, but there are degrees of ickiness and ways of taking the same drug which could reduce side-effects and the risk of addiction or tolerance.

I can just about live with the side-effects*, addiction would only become an issue if I experienced a significant remission, but tolerance frightens me.

We even talked about methadone, which shocked me somewhat. But of course the whole point about methadone's use in heroine addiction is that it shouldn't get you high and you shouldn't build a tolerance to it. Unfortunately, it is a controlled substance which stays in your system a very long time and the doctor had the not unreasonable expectation that a twenty-seven year old might want to have babies and/ or travel the world at some future date, whatever her current protestations.

Anyway, upshot is that I'll hopefully be able to get something which is slower-releasing, perhaps even a patch (a patch would be so cool – no more pills, no drug-induced ups and downs - imagine!). Meanwhile, I've been given some exercise sheets (more yoga, basically) and set on a project to research how I might take the strain off the particular muscle which hurts the most.

Promise I won't write any more about pain or life with the Dreaded Lurgy for at least a few weeks. Your patience is appreciated.

* Although I am getting rather sick of my current diet of bran flakes for breakfast, salad for lunch and bran flakes for tea, with lots of fruit, yoghurt and the like in between. Especially as I have to take laxatives on top of that. But that's the last time I'm going to allude to my digestive system on here for a long time too, hopefully ever.


Anonymous said...

"...[S]he was also one of these excellent doctors who talk to you as if you are two experts conferring about a problem; she is an expert in medicine and I am an expert in my condition (or at the very least, the way it is for me)."

They should ALL be like this. Every doctor. Every kind. Everywhere. ALL OF THEM. And yet they are not.

Whenever I find one, I just want to hug and hug him/her. I don't, of course, but I want to.

I hope you get a happy patch soon and that it works for you for a very long time without the necessity of adding more fiber or active cultures to your diet.

Wheelchair Dancer said...

When you wave? That's cool. [Waves wildly. Do you think it happened?]

Seriously, this is wonderful news. Glad for your doctor and for her gentle expertise. Brings added meaning to "patch you up." Hope it comes soon and that it *works* for you.

Oh! The digestive diet deets and larger lurgy narratives are important, really; I appreciate the honesty and often relax with feelings of recognition.

seahorse said...

I'm so so pleased for you. This is a major result and you must be feeling very encouraged.

You know, it's okay to write about life with the Dreaded Lurgy. We love it when you write one of your many truly brilliant and perceptive comment or exploratory pieces. But really it's okay to share what you want to share.

I'm just so glad this proved such a positive experience for you. These 'good at their job' types are very rare to find. And to be treated with respect is also very rare.

D Phoenix said...

I'm with Seahorse and WD: when you write about your pain and your experiences with The Lurgy your readers--all of whom have had pain at some point and many of whom have it all the time, like you--learn things about you and themselves. They see their experiences reflected. You needn't ask our patience or promise to hold back on writing about this big part of your life.

I am so glad to hear you have found a good doc. Pain management is such a complex thing and you need someone who sees you as the intelligent, engaged expert you are.

Sage said...

I'm often surprised when I write about stuff I'm going through that's not so cheerful, that people enjoy reading about it all - it helps them relate or cope or not feel so alone in their misery, or at least feel better that their lives don't suck as much as mine once did. One of those. So I don't apologise for my whinging anymore. Read it and enjoy for whatever reason, or click off, I say.

(Psst, happy birthday AJ.)

Diane J Standiford said...

a good doc, pretty too, eh, makes a world of difference. Grapenuts and cold Starbucks mocha keeps me a regular babe.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you've been suffering: hope the pain gets better for you soon. But never mind that, I've got more important concerns...

...toilets that flush when you wave at them? I want one of them! I've seen taps that come on when you wave at them but not toilets you can wave at.

...oh, hang on... you weren't having a piss in the sink, were you? :-)

The Goldfish said...

Thanks very much folks, you're all very kind.

Jack P - I only wish I had the mobility... ;-)

Cusp said...

I know what you mean about the doctor. Last time I met a doctor like that I almost cried because I felt at last I was being treated as an intelligent equal rather than as a dumb symptom carrier.

Please can I have a lavatatory that flushes when you wave at it ? Is it a general wave, a sort of 'goodbye' wave, a regal 'Queen Mum' wave or something more desperate as in 'not waving but drowning' ?

On the last point.....linseeds dear, linseeds. So much better for you than bran flakes and twice as effective ;0)

Ian Hewitt said...

But you don't have to promise us anything... it's your blog!