This post is part of an ongoing series chronicling my battle with abdominal adhesions.
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In an attempt to not have to figure out if adhesions are truly the only reason I am suffering from GI issues and to delay approving surgery, my doctors referred me to pain management. Accepting that my chances of them ever helping me depended on my playing along I did just that. I had hoped they could offer relief or treatments that didn’t involve a prescription. Before being able to schedule a consultation, my provider requires that I attend a pain management orientation. At first I was annoyed. I just wanted to know if they could help me or not. Well, to my surprise, what I thought was going to be a waste of time was anything but.
Orientation began with a video. Half way through the video I began to realize that this program was geared for people who suffered from joint or muscle pain, which was not what I was there for. I either currently practice or have tried the strategies they discussed for Fibromyalgia and Psoriatic Arthritis. However, not one part of their program appeared to be suited for someone with bowels that are being twisted, strangled, or pulled. By the end of the video I knew this program would not help me and was ready to leave. But then the nurse leading the orientation said something that kept me from rolling out the door. She said that if the consulting case manager felt that the program could not help us they would inform our physician and they would have to resume overseeing treatment or finding the cause. So I stayed and began filling out paperwork.
The first couple of pages focused on why I was referred to the program and what I expected to achieve. Obviously I stated my abdominal pain and GI issues and my main goal was to be able to eat without pain. The next section required patients to agree to different treatments, both prescription and natural, and to agree to not use marijuana. I spoke with the nurse and told her that I could not agree to this as I refuse to treat my pain with prescription narcotics or pharmaceutical meds of any kind. She said that it was okay that I medicated with marijuana. Before I had the chance to ask if not being open to prescription meds was acceptable she asked why I was referred to pain management. She looked over the pages describing my symptoms and goals. Her response? “You shouldn’t have been referred to us, we don’t treat abdominal pain.” Are you kidding me??!!!! Apparently, my doctors just wanted to push me off to another department and this nurse saw through them. Curious as to how my referral had been approved, the nurse said she would look at my referral. Before she did, we talked a bit more about my situation and agreed that I should schedule the consultation appointment anyways. We both figured my doctors needed to hear from a case manager that this was not the way to go. However, I changed my mind after she showed me my referral.
To ensure that my referral would be approved and hoping that he wouldn’t have to deal with my abdominal issues, the referring doctor claimed he was referring me to pain management for Fibromyalgia, NOT my abdominal pain. Funny thing is that not once in the past three years have I ever complained to any doctor within my network about my Fibromyalgia symptoms. I treat it naturally and have had improvement ever since. The only thing I have repeatedly spoken to them about is my abdominal pain and symptoms. It is obvious that the referring physician knew that abdominal pain would not be approved and used my Fibro as his “get out of jail” card. Getting me into program would at the very least keep me out his office for a few months.
Instead of wasting my time, money, and energy I am foregoing the consultation and am looking into other options. I also have a few choice words for the doctor who submitted my referral. Upon my next visit with my primary, I will be discussing what I discovered by following the diet changes that were suggested. One thing that has become crystal clear is that gluten is not my friend. While I experience pain and bloating with everything I eat, the severity increases when gluten is involved. Lucky me, I’ve gone gluten-free. I am also going to inquire about ultrasound therapy to break up adhesions. My son who works with some awesome naturopathic doctors, shared that they suggested I try castor oil packs as they have known to do the same. I plan to begin my castor oil adhesion treatments this week and want my doctor to be aware so together we can see if they help or not.
I am not giving up and am feeling more hopeful than I have in past weeks. I am finally out of the funk that had been holding me down for the past month. You may or may not have noticed, but I am a bit of a control freak. I like being in control of how I treat my conditions and what goes into my body. I also like a challenge. While I wish my doctors would do something, I know better than to wait on them. Whether the methods I try work or not, I will be sharing my results with my doctors and you.
Wishing you a day filled with many reasons to smile,
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