Let me tell you a little bit about my last 3 years…
It all started January 2011 when I tripped on the steep stairs of my Dad’s rental property putting away Christmas ornaments. Because I was holding the ornaments I couldn’t catch myself and slammed head-first into the wall at the bottom of the stairs. It knocked the wind out of me and I couldn’t move.
It was terrifying because nobody knew I was down there and I didn’t good reception down in the basement (don’t get good reception in Suncrest period). When I did get through nobody was answering their phones. I finally got a text out to an interested tenant who was coming to look at the house. I told him ‘please come help me’. Thankfully he did and we were able to reach my Uncle Jon and go to the emergency room.
They took an xray at the time but it wasn’t a very accurate one. I was in so much pain I couldn’t lift my hands above my head without literally screaming. They said it was just muscle pain and I should push it as much as possible for it to recover. They claimed the last thing I wanted to do was rest, so I worked hard and yet the pain persisted.
My body got more achy as the days persisted and so I went to my regular care doctor. He was at least honest with me and said he had ‘no idea’ what was wrong. I felt achy in my ribcage, lower back, and my exercise recovery was terrible. I would spend hours in bed sometimes after a simple workout.
Dr #3 (and 4)
I was assured by so many people that it was just muscle aches that I wondered if it was some kind of flare up with my PCOS. I had been seeing an endocrinologist in Salt Lake but I wasn’t very happy with him. He treated me like a drama queen and didn’t answer my questions. Based on one blood sugar reading after I’d had candy he said I was diabetic, freaked me out (I cried) and then retracted it the next time saying it was just so he could prescribe me the right medicine (which I hated see Victoza is Evil) I still can’t believe he would make up a diagnosis just to give me some prescription.
Then I found a new endocrinologist that I loved. He would talk to you for literally an hour. Unfortunately he shut down his practice because of Obamacare (his letter said it not me). Sigh…
Because I was feeling pain in my ribcage I along with my back I wanted to make sure it wasn’t something serious like cancer. I decided to try an internal med doctor and she was pretty good. We did do an MRI and that’s where we figured out about my ‘healed fracture’ to my thoracic spine. I thought this might have been the trigger for the chronic pain (usually is a trigger for it). Then we tried some thyroid meds and they seemed to help a lot.
It was actually a nurse practitioner at this doctor’s office that I loved. She had fibromyalgia herself and so she understood chronic pain. Was very sympathetic and thorough (we tested for everything). I also refused to take pain meds because I didn’t want to get hooked on anything.
Well, just as we were making headway they fired the nurse practitioner and the doctor tried to prescribe a weight loss drug and didn’t tell me that it was also used to treat epilepsy and could lead your brain to be foggy and unclear….That was the end of that doctor for me. I couldn’t believe she wouldn’t tell me something like that.
I refuse to take medicine that alters my brain. I respect those who make that choice but it is not for me.
In May I saw an ad for a place called Utah Chronic Pain Center. They said they treated the patient from the inside out and that you got 2 free laser massages to try it out. I figured why not? I went in a little skeptical but I learned that it was doctor supervised not some hippy mumbo-jumbo.
What impressed me the most was their dual approach. We did all the normal blood work, increased my thyroid meds to a more aggressive approach and started a treatment with laser massage, compression and other techniques. It was hard but almost immediately I sensed a difference. I started going 3 times a week, than 2, and now 1 time; however, if I miss that 1 time like I did on my trip to Cali I have serious pain.
In fact, I was having so much pain after Cali that Dr. Luddington suggested I get some x-rays just to rule certain things out like scoliosis. I went to the US MRI and the xrays only cost me $65 (I don’t have pre-existing condition coverage from my job with Poler until November). Isn’t that a good deal? We did 4 x-rays and they put it on a cd-rom for me to take to the dr.
Today I went for a treatment with Dr. Luddington and looked at the x-rays. The treatment went way better than last week (amazing what a difference it makes if I miss one). After examining the x-rays he showed me how the disk in the lower back did not have the fullness of the other disks and that they were ‘degenerative’ meaning basically they had been flattened by an extreme event- like falling down a flight of stairs. This had led to the chronic pain.
The good news is the doctor is confident if I keep with the treatment, keep swimming and stretch like I should than it will continue to grow and heal.
But just think what this means for a second- we now know for sure that I fractured a bone in my upper back and hurt a disk in my lower back and yet I kept on training? How crazy is that? Who says this girl can’t handle some serious stuff…
So now I’m armed with knowledge and a doctor that will treat me as long as I need (you pay up front for treatment until you are pain free!). I also have the comfort of hearing a doctor finally say
“So all that time you weren’t making it up. You were really in pain”.
I really was. I knew it. I was just waiting to find someone who believed me.
Oh and I also had surgery on my eyes twice during this time. Mama Mia!
Have any of you experienced this type of injury or related chronic pain? What has helped you? I’d love to hear your stories.
And to all you doctors maybe you should treat people like they are real human beings and believe them when they say they are hurting. They aren’t drama queens and they don’t need you making up diagnosis, prescribing them weight loss drugs, telling her she needs gastric bypass and treating her like a child. This is not an assembly line no matter how many patients you see a day. This is 3 years of my life. 3 years!
Have any of you experienced this type of doctor drama?