I called Dr. Wonderful’s office yesterday on the verge of a break down. My pain was out of control. They fit me in today. Where Dr. Wonderful finally treated me like a person and more importantly like a chronic pain patient in need of help.
I talked to my primary earlier this week and changed my anxiety medication because Clonazepam interacts with Vicodin and makes it less effective. With me being in crisis because of pain, Dr. Wonderful saw me today and treated me like a person in pain that needed assistance.
Today, we made a new game plan. I was put back on Vicodin, 3 a day for now. I have something systemic causing pain, he is unwilling to settle on CRPS at this exact moment, but at least it’s not just fat and old anymore. It has also caused my sympathetic nervous system to overreact to stimuli.
This pain crisis was brought on by a needle stick and some contrast dye, neither of which should have caused me to spiral into so much pain that I was thinking about dying, yet again, because, that seems to be the best way to end my pain when it’s that bad – I’m not talking about suicide, just not waking up after going to bed – my family and my writing is too important for me to take my own life no matter how miserable I am. Plus, I am a bit of an optimist and think that eventually I will find some semblance of my life again.
The labral tear and swelling makes more sense to both Dr. Wonderful and myself today. For whatever reason, my sympathetic nervous system is reacting to that tear. Until it gets healed, controlling whatever is wrong with me is going to be an up hill battle with mostly bad days, like it already is, because my nervous system is reacting to the tear and any other stimuli like… well, my immune system would to a serious infection. Except your sympathetic nervous system isn’t supposed to react to stimuli like that.
So, while it may complicate matters later down the road, we decided not to do physical therapy. He is concerned that the strain of therapy on that tear may make it worse not better, which would cause my body to overreact even more.
Meaning, I’m not crazy, it is nerve pain and not a tear in my cartilage that’s causing me pain. He got to see it today first hand. I have a neuropathic twitch that I thought was a muscle spasm, but as I sat on the stupid beds he has waiting for him to come in, I noticed my foot kept jerking forward in time to how my muscle was spasming at my hip… except that’s not a muscle spasm, that’s a nerve twitch and I know that because I also have those in my hands, sometimes worse or better than others… That sentence doesn’t make sense but I can’t figure out how to fix it. The twitch in my hand can be annoying or it can be incredibly painful. There, that makes sense, same with my hip it seems.
Unfortunately, this means the best solution is surgical. I meet with the surgeon for the consult next week. Dr. Wonderful doesn’t think this will cure my pain, but he thinks we’ll be able to get it under better control once the tear has been fixed. He is even optimistic that with some outpatient treatments of Toradol injections and steroid injections, we will be able to get the swelling down.
Today, he put me back on Vicodin. He also increased my Lyrica to three times a day since I can’t handle the 150mg pills twice a day, but do fine with the 100mgs twice a day right now. So I’ll get to take one in the morning and one in the afternoon and then one at bedtime.
I could tell he was shocked that after 19 years I wasn’t addicted to my clonazepam, especially since alcoholism runs in my family. He asked if we were tapering my clonazepam and I said no, there was no need. I go stretches without it now where I might only take one every couple of weeks, enough to keep me from being agoraphobic and freaking out of everything that causes me stress. Mostly it stops me from having bad dreams, sleep anxiety is my biggest problem. However, if the new medication doesn’t help with sleep anxiety, a Benadryl does pretty well.
And of course, there is still the option of looking for a new doctor. I am getting a second opinion from a rheumatologist. Which is meeting with a little resistance it turns out. I was referred to the director of rheumatology in St. Louis that works for the main company that owns my local preferred hospital and all it’s doctors. She isn’t fond of giving second opinions on cases that my rheumatologist consulted on, because as it was put to me today by the referring system – Dr. M is one of the most respected rheumatologists in the state and only works here because Minnesota is too cold, which is code for she was offered a job at the Mayo clinic and chose to stay in Mid-Missouri. I know that no one is infallible, particularly doctors, so I am pushing for a file review in an effort to get me the appointment to do retesting for any and all autoimmune disorders.
Dr. Wonderful was even nice enough to tell me he didn’t think sticking a needle in my hip and trying an injection today was a great idea since that was essentially what they did on Tuesday to cause this flare up. I’m working today to get it under control. And since he wasn’t a total jackass to me today and actually listened to me and made an effort to understand where I was coming from, I’m willing to give him a shot. I can have Ketamine as well as anesthesia with surgery, that way if it is CRPS like Dr. M thinks, the risk of it becoming worse or spreading is lowered considerably. Dr. Wonderful even talked to me today about how ketamine treatments might be a possibility for future management. I’m not so sure about it. I don’t respond normal to a lot of medications and while my sister handles Ketamine just fine, I’m not sure I will.
In other news, I have cut back my caffeine and soda intake. I’m only a few days into it, so I won’t brag too much because I don’t know how long I can keep with it, I really really hate the taste of water, tea, and coffee. However, since this is a nervous system problem, cutting down on my caffeine may help some of my pain and I’m willing to try it. I cannot handle being this miserable for much longer.