My cancer saga started when I was diagnosed at 38 with Stage 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I have a twisted sense of humor and have tried to continue that laughter and optimism on my journey...

Pain Mgt

I finally... and by finally, I mean FINALLY went to the pain management doctor.

I truly dreaded this doctor's appointment. It was not because I have anything against pain medication or doctors or the stigma that all of that entails. It was because it was like admitting defeat. It was the fact that I had gone through all my options and I was still not well. I felt like some of my hope (the hope that I would get back to normalcy on my own) was gone... for now.

The pain management clinic was like any other doctor's office. Though it had one of those red number dispensers that you get when you have to wait in line. It was crowded, but wow!

The office was full of all types of patients. There were old people, young people, well dressed people, not well dressed people. And then there was me... with my 8 year of daughter. I felt like mom of the year!

It was not like I have not taken my daughter on a number of doctor's appointments and she has seen more medical procedures preformed than most kids her age. I will say this one made me feel pretty bad. She had no idea, to her it was just a doctor's appointment, but for me it was like the cherry on my crappy defeated sundae.

We spent a long time in the waiting room. Even the typical child distractions (phone, talking, reading, toys) were not enough to keep boredom away. I think if I heard "How much longer?" out of her mouth I might have passed out. And thankfully we were called before that happened.

I worked my way from the general nurses stations getting all my vitals and weight taken to the back waiting room where I answered a bunch of questions. Mostly the typical questions asking about your pain scale rating, medical background, concerns, and what I was prescribed previously.

I print out lists now to take to doctor's appointments. I have such a long surgical/hospitalization and medication and symptom lists that I print them out and hand them to the nurse. First, I do not want to write that much. Second, the few multiple lines you have will not do and I do not want to continue on the back of the page. Third, I cannot remember all those dates and dosages and multiple symptoms anymore. I feel like I am doing us both a favor by just handing them a multiple page document explaining my health history!

Afterwards, I had to pee in the cup. Time to check if I was legitimate or trouble! Of course I could not hear the nurse completely so once I was finished I walked out pee in-hand asking the front desk what to do with it. And no I did not carry it casually by my side... I held it proud and high!

After having to put it back in the bathroom, I went to my room and waited. My daughter had brought her earphones to listen to some music, as my appointments are quite boring. I agree!

I am not sure, but I think I saw the doctor's NP. Heck, I do not even care anymore as I have seen too many doctors. She was very nice and basically had to repeat everything I said to the nurse. She looked at my records and said that the bone scan showing spinal degeneration was enough to be seen. The nervous system, lymphedema, and other issues were also reasons to be seen, so I easily qualified for pain medication. They also discussed shots to help in my spine.

For now, I was going with my standard Hydromorophone. So far that has been my only pain medication option that has helped and not caused me to get ill. While it is uncommon, it works for me.

The doctor's office also has a pharmacy, so I decided to use it because Hydromorophone is not easy to find and I did not want to wait for the medicine to be shipped to the pharmacy. I was grateful when they had it on hand and that the appointment was over.

It was not a bad appointment. I think it was just the appointment I knew was my final straw. It was the last of my options. And being there made me feel like I had given up... in a way. I knew I had not, but I was just sad that I did not recover as explained to me by my Oncologist. However, I knew it was my only option to dealing with the chronic pain. I had to get some parts of my life back.

I will say the pain medication did wonders for me. After I took the medication and I was actually able to move without constant pain I had wished I had gone sooner. Of course, I had tried during the winter (Dec) but the pain center that the doctor referred was horrible and did not make my appointment until the end of July. That is a 7 month wait! I would still be waiting!

Making my own appointment at the other pain management center was something I should have done seven months ago and maybe I could have survived winter without feeling as if I wished I had died than deal with the severe pain. I might be changing my attitude - the pain medication was not the end of hope, but actually providing a small taste of hope.
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About Amy Brock

Amy Brock is a cancer fighter and survivor. Diagnosed with Infiltrating Breast Cancer at 38 she has gone through chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, hormone therapy, and other procedures since 2013. Post treatment she has been diagnosed with lymphedema, chemo-induced neuropathy and bone degeneration in her back, as well as other issues including dysphagia, bilateral hearing loss, and arthritis. From being completely healthy, to having a variety of issues, Amy began blogging about her experiences as a way to help others. Read more about finding humor in the craziness of cancer at her blog www.tatawarrior.com Amy is the mother of two children and has worked for various non-profit agencies. In addition, she is a fine artist creating works in multiple mediums which can be seen at www.amybrock.com

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