So today was the big day. I had to wait for over 2 months for this appointment with a Rheumatologist. During this time I was holding on to some hope that this doctor would be able to help me with not only my muscle and nerve pain but also the not so lovely pain in my arrss. For those who have asked about my tail bone condition, it is called Coccydynia. If you have ever broken your tail bone you would understand the pain I am in. If you haven’t, just imagine what it would feel like to have someone try to rip your tail bone out while kicking it non-stop with steel toe shoes.
My appointment started off rough with the nurse wanting yes and no answers to vague questions. I told her I refused to answer without adding explanations to why I have certain symptoms. I began to cry as she left the room. All I could think was “here we go again, they are not going to listen to me”. The nurse practitioner was the next to enter my room. This woman was so sweet and took the time to not just ask questions but she actually listened to me. I began to feel hopeful as she left the room and I waited for the doctor. The doctor was friendly. He was the first doctor I have met since moving to SoCal that not only listened to my account of the hell I went thru with Lyrica, but had agreed not to push that or like medications on me. So far so good. First we discussed my pain and depression and he asked if I would be willing to try an antidepressant. I shared my past experiences with them, including the one that I ended up being highly allergic to. He named one that I had not tried and I agreed to give it go. So far so good. We then moved onto my tail bone. His concern for the amount of pain and what little I could do physically was almost non existent. He did agree to send me to a pain clinic in hopes that an injection may reduce or relieve my pain.
So far this doesn’t sound all that bad. It was when I asked about managing my pain until I was able to get into the pain clinic. I have yet to meet anyone locally that was able to get into one without a two or more months wait. He said I would have to go back to my primary care Dr., because he does NOT prescribe narcotics.!!!???? Are you kidding me???? It was my Rheumatologist in AZ that began my pain treatment with narcotics. I replied that the reason I was referred to him by my primary is because my primary doesn’t like prescribing them for conditions I should be seeing a Rheumie for. He said sorry for the miscommunication but the answer was no. In a condescending tone he went on to say that the pain meds will not fix my problems. I told him I knew that but with my tail bone pain they are the only things helping me hang on to my sanity.
As I have mentioned before finances are beyond tight and now I need to figure out how to pay to see my primary next week in hopes that he will prescribe the pain pills I need for my tail bone. In the meantime I am out of meds and my pain level is soaring.
I am beyond frustrated. Never in all the years that I lived in AZ did I ever feel like I had to beg for pain relief. I seriously wonder how anyone in Southern California ever gets the help they need. Until today I have put the thought of going the medical marijuana route far back in my mind. It is not that I am against it, in fact I am all for it. My reasons for not wanting to go that route for pain relief are: 1. It bothers me that it is still Federally illegal. 2. It is not a method that I can travel with. A California card is not valid in AZ and vice versa. 3. Last but not least it is not cheap. The cost of getting my recommendation and card is my major road block at the moment and the cost of the marijuana itself is higher than paying for a prescription. But after today’s appointment I do not believe I have any other choice, if I want to find any sort of pain relief. I hope my family likes ramen noodles and mac and cheese, because my grocery budget is all I have left to trim to pay for my hope of pain relief.
I am sad and surprised at the lack of empathy towards patients who are in pain. Even my husband who is not a fan of medical marijuana agreed that the medical community is not giving me any other option. He hates to see me in such pain just as much as I hate being in pain. But until I can scrape up the money to get my card I have to hope and pray that my primary will cooperate for a few more months.
As for tonight, I just feel defeated. I am tired. I am in extra pain from going to my appointment. The only hope is that somewhere down the road the pain clinic may be able to help. I won’t count on it, but won’t completely give up. My brain is mush. Crunching numbers and trying to figure out how to feed my family on next to nothing will have to wait until tomorrow.
Btw: If you live in SoCal and have or know a Dr. who is not afraid to treat patients who are in pain, please send their name to me in a private message.