Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Week In Black & White

I hemmed and hawed about posting this - but decided that, since the issues are, like it not, a large part of my life I would go ahead.

Thursday I braved high winds & unrelenting rain to go to the mainland  My new doctor (because my fav left as you may recall) had new requests. One of the requests was for an updated MRI . Since the last one I had was from 2002 I thought that an update seemed like a reasonable idea. What you are looking at here is my lower spine - a transverse view. I was finally educated on what it all means. I have several herniated discs & what the doctor termed severe narrowing of the spinal canal a/k/a severe stenosis. The second request was to have a consult - another one. I went through a tedious round of treatment & consults in 2002. One would think that my records (all at the same medical center) would give any doctor plenty to review as far as where I had been previously & what I 'd had done before! This consult was no different. Try injections. I told them that I had already done that and that the results had been very painful &, most of all had not worked. Hummmmm - well, that should not have happened. Any surgeon is going to want you to have had shots. Surgeon? Who said anything about a surgeon?! Yes, the MRI indicated advancing degeneration. I mentioned the severe arthritis that I have in my neck, shoulders & hips and the doc said that  having severe arthritis would be reasonable to expect because of the way my spine looks. Nice to know that it all makes sense. Oh ! and had I mentioned the Fibromyalgia? Yep.  Paraphrased  - or perhaps just my interpretation "....I will know when I need surgery - my legs will no longer work too well... "Yippee! Now that is news I can use! Argh! It all just means that pain is an every day issue to which my proprietary sense of physical agelessness will hold no ground. It is is what it is and I am darn well going to have to learn to go with the flow of it all.

Problem with shots - aside from the fact that I had a bad experience the first time - is that I have no way of knowing how much of a difference in the total panoply of issues - these things would make - or how long they might last. I keep feeling that it's a series of dollar signs dancing across my eyes. I guess it's not possible to get a really economically disinterested recommendation without having a qualified doctor as a relative.

So - nothing is different other than that I have fulfilled the latest doctor's list of things to do for me. I doubt I will make any rash decisions - or that anything is likely to change tomorrow. In the mean time I know that when I whine I have a reason to be uncomfortable. Aging, it has been said, is not for the faint of heart. No - it isn't, but I am  grateful for every second of every day that I have - pain or not. I have the days to enjoy while some of my friends - who passed too young - never had the opportunity.

Does anyone else ever wish for a financially disinterested 'family doctor?!!

Now - it will back to our more regularly scheduled programming ! Promise.


Jeannie said...

Yes! I would love to find a doctor like my fav who left 8 years ago. One who is interested in finding the problem, not just treating the symptoms, throwing more medications down my throat, or expensive tests. I am going in for a 2nd opinion on the 30th and I am hoping that this physician will fit the bill - no pun intended! Wishing you pain free days, a joyous heart, and time to spend creatively. Hugs.

sandra wyman said...

Oh, Marie, I feel for you, I really do: I do hope you get satisfactory treatment soon. And I'm afraid that financial considerations may affect treatment even in the UK where the less expensive treatments sometimes have to be tried before the more expensive ones (Though having a National Health Service helps - a lot!) Thinking of you with purrs from the felines, especially Bixy.

And - I'm really sorry about this - but I couldn't help thinking - interesting quilt pattern?

phonelady said...

i will take a financially disinterested dr where do we find those ? LOL !! sorry you are having such a hard time dear hope you feel better soon .

Joyce said...

Once again, I am so thankful for our medicare up here in Canada. It makes every doctor financially disinterested. And the visits, procedures etc. are free.
I hope you are able to work your way through all this successfully.

Ruth said...

Isn't our medical system the pits? I used to work in the medical system as a physical therapist but just couldn't stand it anymore. In my experience, there are quite a few people who do not get better from the shots. Essentially, the shots put an anaesthetic and anti-inflammatory into your spinal canal. It is supposed to decrease swelling and inflammation but if your pain is not from these causes, it won't help much. I would definitely wait on the surgery until you are having pain or disability that you can't learn to live with. Surgery isn't always the best option. There are some really good physical therapists out there that might be able to help but it sounds like you've probably already tried that route. I wish you the best and hope you find a physician that is on your side.

Fibreartist said...

Hi Marie, Thank you for sharing such a personal issue, your health. I do have a suggestion, regardless of what you hear about the Canadian Health system, our doctors are not interested in finances when they see you, move to Canada. I can't imagine worrying about getting the health care I need and how I will pay for it! Imagine I complain when my drug benefits run out! I wish you all had the Health care that we have here in Canada, it is amazing! And I don't take it for granted. My husband had triple by pass surgery last year and it was all free and we had the best doctors and hospital you can get!They saved my husband's life. Marie all the best with your health and I love reding your blog, Donna

Karoda said...

The bits of humour make it all worthwhile sometimes but if I'm not transferring too much here, I can also hear all the tears through this post. I can say I wish it wasn't so but instead I'm going to put my energy into wishing you continued creative outlets so the pain doesn't get to define all or even most of who you are...hangeth in Marie ;)

Sandy said...

Marie, it all sounds so painful-treatments and tests included. I'd love a dr. who didn't think money first, but it is the fastest growing industry now.

Guzzisue said...

I agree with Sandra, thank goodness for our national Health Service!
I also saw the x-ray and thought quilt, maybe I'm just weird but I think you may already know that :-)

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