Posts Tagged ‘injections’

Bionic Mama

In one of my favorite childhood pictures I am standing, posed with my fists on my hips, in my Wonder Woman underoos. I have band-aids covering battle wounds on both knees and I am grinning ear to ear. I wanted so badly to be Wonder Woman, but it looks like I’ll have to settle for the Bionic Woman. Amazing legs, but her costume is very disappointing.

I do not have Endometriosis, I also do not have Cancer…perspective is everything. I’m recovered from my surgery and ready for the next solution: implantable pain control.  There are two types: nerve stimulator and drug delivery. The main goal is to control the pain with significantly less medication. I will start a nerve stimulator trial at the end of the month. It basically tricks your brain, making the pain sensation a good one (I’ve had some unmentionable recommendations as to what the sensation might be). I’ll have a wire implanted at my pain site and carry around a super fancy fanny pack for 10 days (maybe the Doc will let me use my Kate Spade instead). If it works, we will implant the pacemaker sized contraption into my back side – Ta-da! Bionic Woman!

Nerve stimulators are not super successful with my type of pain, but insurance likes you to test them. If it doesn’t work, we will move on to the drug delivery system trial. If you imagine the daily medication I am taking now is equivalent to a gallon milk jug, this system would lower it to a teaspoon. It delivers the meds directly to the spine, so you get better results without the mental and digestive side-effects. Same set-up as the last: pacemaker size machine implanted in the backside and refilled with an injection. Implantation can be a bit more dangerous, as it involves the spine.

My last pain clinic did not offer this as an option, telling me I was destined to take narcotics for the rest of my life. I am thrilled to have found another way around the looming dead-end. It feels a little dramatic, all of the procedures and such. But, I remain hopeful and grateful to live in the land of Medtronic. Thinking I need to do some underoo shopping in preparation…

Letdown

I’ve been really struggling to blog about my last few pain treatments for two reasons: they have not been positive experiences and I’m having a hard time putting them into a bigger perspective — giving them meaning. Maybe you will see something I do not.

Since delivering my daughter (4 months ago) I have switched pain clinics. The last one had nothing left for me but narcotics. My new doc came at me with three new injections and Lyrica – promising that he would relieve me of my need for pain killers. The injections did not work, the last actually made my pain worse. The Lyrica did not work, but it did make me feel like I’d been at a frat party all day and it turned me yellow.

I ended up back in the pain office begging for relief. This time I saw the NP. Funny how, when a Doc’s procedures fail, they transfer you to the Nurse Practitioner’s calendar.  I paid my $25 co-pay for her to read my file to me (she clearly had not taken a look at it), look down her nose at me and make me feel like garbage for taking vicodin. She then proceeded to tell me that she could not offer me any plan of action without talking to the Doc. That is when I started crying. I had been waiting two weeks for this appointment, in more pain that I had ever had (thanks to their damn injection) and she was ready to send me home with nothing, after being a complete bitch. To appease me, she produced samples of a new medication, Cymbalta, and promised to call Monday with a new plan of action.

That was a week and a half ago. I have received no phone call and am running low on my samples. The Docs love you when they think they have the super-hero answers, not so much when they have failed you. It makes the patient feel like a freak of nature letdown. This is where I normally try to shed some light on the positive, on the future. I can’t do it today. I am angry at my pain clinic, I am suffering some nasty side effects and I am sad that this is how I have spent my holiday season.

Patients deserve better, I deserve better. Even if you can’t fix me, be humane and stick by me when things get difficult. How can any of these Doctors be surprised when their patients start abusing their narcotics? What options have they left them?

The Littlest Rabbit

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