How Many of Us Want to Kick our Pain Doctor?
Just when you think you’ve got him understanding you he does something stupid. I thought this guy was one of them that understood the “whole body” theory. You know, everything effects everything: your emotions effect your physical, your psychological ills effect your physical and those effect your emotions and vice versa. I thought he understood a bit more about my rare bone disease too, that “bone disease” is a misnomer; that the disease effects every part of my body – including adding pain. This doc IS supposed to be a chronic pain doctor after all.
Then he goes and treats me like I’m an idiot. I mean, yes I realize he has more patients than just me, but how many times do I have to tell him I am a licensed professional, too. I put myself through college and I have a degree and I can counsel and diagnose people with illnesses, too. I can diagnose Mental Illnesses. I know all about how they can contribute to chronic pain, and I know how the depression/pain train works. It’s always the same question; which came first, the depression or the pain? People who are depressed complain of pain, often in the form of headaches or muscle aches. Yet there are people who have pain who are not depressed, yet most doctors will convince them that they are indeed depressed and that is what is causing their pain; because indeed the pain MUST be all in their head if a doctor can’t find an immediate reason for it or the pain is exacerbated suddenly and the doctor doesn’t feel like dealing with you yet again.
This is where my chronic pain doctor headed. I. Am. Angry.
I forgot to schedule my usual every 4 months appointment, and it was way past due so I called to see if I could come in. I asked if I could get my usual injections in my shoulders. I will not regale you will the long list of medical problems for why I get injections. HE prescribed them, along with other pain medicines that I do not take as much of as he says I could take if I needed/wanted to. Suffice it to say my shoulders had got to the point where I could no longer drive further than 1 and 1/2 hours without my shoulders swelling painfully to the point where I couldn’t lift my arms at all. I could not on a daily basis put my arms on an arm rest without incredible pain and swelling. I could not sleep at night. I was useless at daily chores. I was miserable. This was increasing my migraines, too. So, obviously I needed the injections.
Now, among people with my bone disease, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, it is known that we live with a higher tolerance for pain. We just simply live our daily lives with pain and we are used to it. What is a level 5 pain level for us would be a level 10 for anyone else. Understand? Research has been done on this. We just accept this. We fracture a leg walking across the floor…oh shit that happened. Splint it up, get in the car, drive our-self to the doctor/clinic, walk on the leg into the clinic and tell them it’s broken while they stare at us. I actually did this last week with a broken foot. Anyway, that’s just an example of how much pain we can handle. Doc says to take this much of that for pain. Nah, I’ll take it only IF I can’t handle the pain at all. So…if I am calling my chronic pain doc asking for injections for my shoulders that means I AM IN PAIN YOU ASSHAT!
Why am I yelling “asshat?” He started talking to ME about “central sensitization” and changes in the central nervous system and being more sensitive to pain. He said I should read the book, “The Body Keeps the Score” about how people are over-sensitive to pain and patients really aren’t sure that the pain is worse than it “should” be, because there is nothing to compare it to except their own memories of pain. He also mentioned my childhood and asked about adverse childhood emotional experiences that could be muddying the waters making “pain hallucinations” or pain that makes no sense or pain when you’re not supposed to. … … …
Excuse me while I take a few deep breaths…inhale…exhale…scream…inhale…exhale…
He is assuming I don’t know how to read my own X-rays. Assuming I can’t see the calcium nodules sticking out along my spine that are honestly causing pain in my nerves. This is neurology, this is part of the nervous system, and yes I understand nerve damage. Having calcium deposits all over my body HURTS! Having spinal stenosis, spinal bone spurs, rotator cuff injury, 5 lumbar herniated discs, vertebral compression fractures, scoliosis, osteoarthritis, chronic migraines, fibromyalgia, asthma, ankylosing spondylitis, stress fractures, tendonitis, sesamoiditis from fracturing those foot bones, Bursitis, carpal tunnel, hypermobility syndrome and I just won’t go on listing more. These are actual real medical diagnoses of real things that cause real pain. I am not having “pain hallucinations” and I am not thinking the pain is worse than it should be. I don’t take the amount of pain pills that you have prescribed, because if I did I would be a zombie. I do not want to live my life that way. Actually, that would not BE living at all.
Please, just give me the cortisone injections so I can lift my arms.
I understand that stress will only make my pain worse. That’s why I am writing this here, instead of giving you a roundhouse kick to your face. That’s why I am telling myself that giving you that kick to your face would only hurt me more than you, because I can no longer get my leg up that high without causing myself further hip pain. That’s why I went home and took a hot soak in the tub after you gave me the injections, while I smiled and imagined the kick to your face. It was both emotionally and physically therapeutic. That’s why I didn’t go home and sweep the floor as it needed, but instead thought of using the broom to hit you in the face instead of the kick as I knew I could wield that better than do the kicking anymore. I Rested, instead of sweeping. See, I take care of myself. I don’t overwork myself. I know my limitations and I know my stress levels. And…now I know I can’t trust you. See how I can say that with a nice calm serene face, now that my pain level is down without using all the pain pills you prescribe. All I had to do was picture you getting kicked in the face. YOU stressed me out, not the pain. The pain is real, and you’re a jerk.