February 5, 2014

About me...let's get this over with!

  Part One

  I want to tell you about me, myself, and I.  I am married and have two children.   My boy is a preteen and is already preparing me for his teenage years.  My girl will be starting kindergarten this fall.  I am a stay at home mom and I must admit that I am excited to have some time to myself when they are both at school!  Shhh, don't tell anyone.
  Now for the rest...I had planned to go back to work around the time my daughter was two.  I did this with my son and it worked out well.  My hubby and I always agreed that we could make do until our children were old enough to talk.  We wanted to be able to ask them about what was going on at daycare and things like that.
  Right about the time that I started looking for a job I started to have pain in my neck and upper back.  I had a horrible headache that lasted at least a month and made me very sensitive to noise.   I begged my doctor to help me. She referred me to a pain management doctor.   So I had to wait for an appointment...and wait.  In the meantime my headache (just one never ending one) continued and my neck pain worsened.   It hurt to move.  Driving was very hard for me. Turning my head to look over my shoulder was so painful that I would try to stay in one lane for as long as possible.
  My first experience with a pain specialist was not so great.  The place was very busy and that made me feel uneasy.   I looked around and wondered if any of the people there really didn't need to be.  I later learned that they had on site physical therapy.   The worst part was dealing with so many people. They each came in and out of my room before the doctor spent her five minutes.  One person took my vitals, and another had me do some test.  A few minutes later I saw two more people doing two more tests.  The doctor gave me a prescription for a Butrans patch and Lyrica.  She said that they would order an MRI and to expect a call from the facility the next week. Well a  week went by and I called the office to remind them that I needed the MRI.  Another week and yet another call.  In the meantime my pain was no better and I was absolutely miserable.   My headache was making me feel crazy with the sensitivity to noises. I wore ear plugs just to be around my own family.  I called my primary doctor and went to see her.  She would not help me with my headache because I was seeing the pain doctor now.  Finally the MRI was scheduled, but Thanksgiving was later that week.  I went back to my doctor's office and saw a nurse practitioner instead of my regular doctor.  She examined me and listened to what I was saying.  Her advice was to get the MRI quickly because it would show the source of my pain.  She was so sweet and prescribed a Medrol dose pack to help with my headache.  It relived enough of the inflammation in my neck and shoulders that my headache finally started to fade.  I could go to Thanksgiving dinner without wearing ear plugs!   Why couldn't one of the other doctors do this?

I finally got the results of my MRI back.  I had herniated discs in my neck and she was going to refer me to a neurosurgeon.   She didn't think I would need surgery (boy was she wrong!) and wanted me to start physical therapy.   She even asked me in this very same appointment if after they "took care" of my neck would she be done with me.  Wow! Trying to blow me off after only two appointments!!  I was full of so many different emotions.  I cried all the way home.  It hurt so bad to move and I worried that nobody was going to help me.
  Needless to say, they never called to schedule the consult with the other doctor.  I researched pain specialists on my own and found one that sounded great.  I also found my own neurosurgeon.The new pain doctor required a copy of my records to determine if they would see me.  I was called back the same day to schedule an appointment!  Of course I had to wait a couple of weeks to get in.
  My first appointment was very different.   There was nobody waiting in the lobby.  It was quiet and very professional.   I had hope for the first time in months.  I am still seeing this doctor to this day.
  I'm stopping part one here.  It will be a three part story I think.  A huge thank you if you read this all the way through!  Please leave a comment if you have had a similar experience.

Added a little color to help this show up.
The two dark blobs are the herniated discs.
They were touching my spinal cord.  

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