Yesterday afternoon I had my three week follow-up appointment with the Pain Management Specialist. I have yet to come up with a bloggy nickname for the guy, but so far I really do like him. In fact, I really wish he'd come into my life a few years ago. I think it would have made a world of difference to me.
Initially, I wasn't going to write about my visit with him but I've changed my mind for two reasons.
The first: Knowledge is Power
The second: The Torturer
First, I've learned information I provide here on 24 is often helpful and empowering to some of my readers. I've had so many people learn from what I've gone through since my accident. If I can make anyone's journey even slightly easier than mine, I feel like I've done a huge service.
Honestly, I'm finding this whole world of pain management very interesting. I always assumed pain docs just threw tons of narcotics at their patients. In fact, that's the primary reason I was so hesitant to go to a pain specialist. Now I'm learning there's a lot of new scientific developments in the world of pain management. I guess I'm a nerd because I find it really interesting.
In any case, remember the medication he put me on to tell my nerves to calm the hell down?
I've been increasing the dosage every week. Yesterday he informed me I'm going to keep increasing the dosage every week for several more weeks to come. The bad part is it makes me very, very, tired and I get bouts of Whoa! Dizziness! on it. The side effects aren't as severe after about five days of taking the medication, but then I have to increase it on the seventh day and the cycle begins again. Ugh!
The positive is, my pain impulses have already calmed down a little. In truth, only a teeny, tiny, bit – but it's a beginning and the medication takes awhile to build up in a person's blood system so I should see more and more benefits over time.
The doc was actually very hopeful based on my body's initial response to the medication.
He's going to see me again in four weeks. At that time he'll be tweaking my medication levels more, adding a new medication, and who-knows-what-else.
In the meantime, I'll keep taking the stuff to calm my damaged nerves down and the same pain meds I've taken forever when I need them. I guess he might be moving me to a time-release type of narcotic down the road, but not yet.
Who knew they even had such a thing?
(I'm hoping I end up not needing it.)
The thing is?
It all left me feeling hopeful.
Hope is an important commodity for me.
He believes, without question, he can get me more comfortable and living in less pain. He is so certain, he doesn't even question whether or not this is possible.
How can that be?
Seriously, why – why, why, why?! – didn't anyone get me to this doc sooner?
Several times while I was with him he'd mutter, "Six surgeries!" and shake his head as if to say, "You poor thing!" or perhaps, "How could they do that to you?" or maybe even, "Why haven't I seen you sooner?"
Then he sat with me for the longest time explaining to me his plan to help me. He even told me what Plan B and Plan C and Plan D are … so I would understand upfront, if one thing doesn't work, there are other options.
It will take time …
But I left his office feeling excited, hopeful …
I really think my life will be changing over the next year.
And oh yes, there is a part of me that is trying not to get too hopeful because I definitely DO remember thinking each and every surgery would be the one to return my life to normal.
Yet … I am hopeful.
The second part of this saga is – physical therapy.
The doc scowled when he heard about my experience with the new PT.
So guess what he did?
He referred me to … The Torturer.
Oh yes, he did!
He's got "The Torturer" pre-printed right there on his physical therapy prescription pad.
He told me The Torturer would be his "first choice" for my physical therapy.
I hemmed and hawed and told him I didn't know if it would be possible for me to go there.
He looked at me dumbfounded as if to ask, "Why the hell not?"
What I knew, but couldn't say is this …
The Torturer is not a person to forgive (real or perceived slights) easily.
He is also a person who can turn and walk away from people without ever glancing back.
I've known this about him for years.
He is who he is.
And yet, I am the opposite.
I am a person who will forgive, and forgive, and forgive yet again (even when I only end up getting hurt as a result).
I do this because I'm not a person who easily walks away.
I keep glancing back as I walk away … and with every glance back – I want to make everything better.
It is who I am.
It was with misgivings, and mixed feelings, I texted The Torturer as I left the pain docs office.
I informed him the pain docs "first choice" for my "new" PT is him.
And then I typed, "Is that even an option?"
After a delay, The Torturer texted me back with the phone number of someone else for me to call instead.
Just like that, all the earlier hopefulness of the day came crashing down, smothered by a host of hurt feelings.
And that is what the final nail in a coffin (of a long-time friendship) feels like.
© Twenty Four At Heart