Taking What Action I Can As I Wait
Monday, January 24, 2011
Today, I devoted to bringing my migraine/chronic pain management doctor up to speed on what has been going on with me over the last month. (A doctor who was doing a fellowship with her department was the person who sent me to the acute pain management doctor who gave me the epidural in my neck without doing the MRI first.) I didn't actually speak directly to her because she was seeing patients but I did have a long talk with one of the nurses there who knows me. He took notes and asked me to fax him a copy of my MRI report because he was going to sit down with the doctor during lunch and discuss my issues with her. He promised that he would call me back this afternoon and tell me what she said and try to answer my questions if possible. That sounded very reasonable to me, so I faxed the report, got a few things at the grocery store and came home.
True to his word, around 3:15p.m. he called me back. He and my doctor reviewed everything I had told him about the procedure that I had on December 21 and my reaction to it and my current condition. She reviewed my MRI report and agreed that I should move my chronic pain management treatment away from her (due to the distance) to an acute pain management treatment closer to where I live. This was due to the fact that I have difficulty driving long distances now and I need stronger pain medications than she likes to prescribe. (She would rather fix the problem than put a band aid on it. I agree but I'm currently in a holding pattern here with loads of pain.)
The nurse said that my doctor feels that I definitely need surgery. If the Mayo Clinic doesn't work out for me, I need to either get my primary care doctor or my new pain management doctor to refer me somewhere else for surgery. The nurse told me to come up with a plan B just in case, so that I'll get the surgery that I need. The nurse made that very clear. This is the third doctor to look at my MRI report and tell me that I need surgery. The first two doctors also looked at the MRI films and said that they saw other things on them that the radiologist didn't put in the report. I know from the way that I feel, that this is something that won't go away by itself and hearing the doctors say it validated those feelings. Now I know I'm not crazy.
What was good about today was that when I was making telephone calls, I felt like I was taking back some element of control over my life. I now have an appointment set up with a new acute pain management doctor for February, I still have support from my migraine staff (even though they now think I might not have migraines once I have surgery) and I didn't feel like I was twiddling my fingers as I wait to hear from the Mayo Clinic. All in all, a successful day.