Thursday, November 15, 2012

Two Thumbs DOWN!

Well, folks, I told you in the last post, that I'd give you an update after my doctor's appointment this week, so here goes nothing...

I've never felt great about this pain doc, but I wanted to give the guy a chance or two or three. No mas. All done. Chances-used-up.

I'm sure this guy knows his stuff, or enough stuff, but his bedside manner is #$%#$^$%&#$%^. Was that too harsh? Yes? Well, I don't take it back.

Today he made me feel small. Super small. We all know I'm not small. 

He thinks (and said over and over) that I need to do a nerve block. He's not happy that the CRPS isn't getting better. He doesn't like that it's moved to the other foot. He wants it taken care of now. He explained the nerve block quite logically. He made perfect sense. Still, I don't feel right about it. I don't want one. I wasn't ready to make a decision today.

So, I asked him if he had something written down or typed out that explained this nerve block--explained what he had just told me. Because, come on, who really remembers everything the doc says when you leave the office? Not this girl.

He looks up from his laptop for half a second and dryly says, "No, you want a pen?" 

(I couldn't even make this stuff up.)

But, did he even offer me a pen then? NO. I searched through my purse. My mom searched through her purse. We finally found one, but didn't have paper. Did he offer paper? Nope, he just waited. Mom finally pulled out an old receipt and I sat there waiting for him to speak.

Which he did--kind of--in half sentences as he typed other stuff as if I was inconveniencing HIM.

(I'm shocked I wasn't crying yet.)

So, after my half scribbled receipt explanation of the nerve block, I said I still wasn't ready to make a decision. I told him I'd call the office and let him know after I talked to a few people. We talked a bit more about medication. He then asked if I wanted to make an appointment for the nerve block or to come back to the office. NO NO NO. Weren't you listening? I'LL CALL YOUR OFFICE!

He then proceeded to tell us that he wouldn't be offended if we got a second opinion. Great. So, Mom asked if anyone is doing anything with CRPS down at UCLA or USC. She wanted to know where he'd suggest we'd go to find this second opinion--if anyone was doing any new research with CRPS.

His response: Well, there are pain doctors all over. A lot of them don't like dealing with CRPS. Lots of doctors just like to stick needles in backs.

WHAT?!?!?! Isn't that what you're trying to do???

Pain Doc: If you're unsure, just go ask some patients in the waiting room. See how well I've done with them. 

Mom: I just asked because you said it would be okay to get a second opinion. Is anyone doing anything innovative with CRPS?

Pain Doc: Everyone is just experimenting. It's like you're asking us to do Calculus when we haven't learned basic math yet! 

Ok God's-gift-to-pain-patients everywhere! REALLY? Get off your high horse. 

Pain Doc: You to be proactive. If this takes over your life, I wouldn't want to have to ask you what you actually did about it. 

Is that the doctor's way of saying I told you so? Ok, now it's my fault. Or it would be. Whatever.

And if WHAT he said wasn't out of line enough, HOW he said it was close to infuriating. I went into the appointment confident that we'd figure out some sort of plan. I came out freaked, on the brink of tears--feeling angry, confused, ridiculous, small.

Why would I want someone who makes me feel like that to stick a needle in my back?? And not ONCE, but ONCE A WEEK FOR A MONTH! (Did I forget to mention that part?) Oh yah, it would take about an hour or two once a week for a month. Sign me up! Not.

They always ask you how you'd rate your pain. What they should ask is how you'd rate the doctor: TWO THUMBS WAY DOWN!

Perhaps I was a bit sensitive, but he was way out of line.


I cried the whole way home....especially when "Even If" by Kutless came on the radio: 

Even if the healing doesn't come 
                                                                   And life falls apart 
And dreams are still undone 
You are God You are good 
Forever faithful One 
Even if the healing 
Even if the healing doesn't come 

I cried some more when I got home. And then determination set in. Ok, God, what next? Show me what to do. Give me Your wisdom. Help me here! I don't know what to do, but you ALWAYS do! You are the forever faithful One. 

So, I emailed Krissi (for those who don't know, I know Krissi from college and she actually has dealt with CRPS for years and years). She's amazing and wise and compassionate. She emailed back shortly after and really put me at ease. She chose not to do a nerve block, :::huge sigh of relief::: and gave me  different ideas for what I can do. She spoke so highly of the UCLA doctors and is going to get some references for me. Thank you, God. 

Maybe I will have to do a nerve block eventually. Maybe I won't. But, I know that there are options out there. I know that rude pain doctor isn't the end all. Perhaps my next step is a trip to UCLA. 

I pray for wisdom and discretion. Will you please join me? 

You are God. You are good. Forever faithful One, even if the healing doesn't come. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Bad Case of Foot Jealousy...

Apparently Sir Lefty over here got a bit jealous that Righty was getting all the attention--what with CRPS and all. 

Soooo, Lefty decided to get CRPS too.

Yup, the lovely syndrome is now occupying both feet. Thanks a lot, Lefty.

Of course, Righty wouldn't let Lefty steal all of its glory, so the majority of the CRPS is still in Righty, but the crazy shiny skin and redness and burning has worked its way on over. Joy.

We always knew this was a possibility, but I was counting on Lefty to be solid--it already had its time to shine.

I go back to the pain dude this week. Maybe he'll have some insight (although most people don't). I'll keep you posted. :)