Part3 - How many Opinions does it take from who many "Physicians" before you feel at ease? Peering into the Looking Glass of Autoimmune Illnesses, and deciding where to begin.... and where to END?Can you put your "health" in the hands of those that are supposed to be "educated", who have been through testing, who have taken a "vow" to - "Do No Harm?" - and these days what does that small sentence truly mean.... "Do NO Harm"?
Trust... Trust who? Well from what I've experienced over the past 3 to 4 weeks, I am not sure who is the real insane person around? The doctors, the insurance company, me... or whom... but I do know NOTHING is getting better at all.
I called my pain physician's office yesterday. The pain that has decided to plague my body for a 3rd time in about 18 months has reared its ugly head again. I tried to tell him last week, when my medication for the pain pump to be refilled was NOT THERE! It was sitting in some office in Phoenix AZ! So, I go without my "extra boluses" so I do NOT run out over the weekend and the pump start "beeping"... and run out before Monday. I had already been "hurting" worse for days before that. Given the fact that I was NOT given my biologic when it should have been given, then surgery, then not being able to do anything for 6 weeks because of the surgery, then I got sick and was ill for weeks, turned around and low and behold the beginnings of not just ONE flare but TWO! RA and Lupus! Then another 14 days to try to get SOME KIND of BIOLOGIC the insurance WOULD pay for, and then waited for the prior authorization that went to the wrong pharmacy. So, that all had to be redone and sent to the proper place. All the while I knew my body was in the stages of rebelling. I felt it each day getting worse. Worse to the place, that once again I could sit in this floor, scream, cry, and beg... but that would not do a thing, but cause me to hurt worse.
So, after NO call back from my pain doctors office yesterday, I knew something was "wrong"... where his head is, and why after going through ALL he has watched me go through. Knowing my extreme health issues, or supposed to be knowing them, I get a call from his "nurse" who is a jackass anyway. I already had issues with her a couple of months ago over NOT getting my medication called in, before I ran out. Well, today was the day for me to call it in. When she called, I knew something was up. She goes on to tell me, that my doctor is calling me in some.... and he thought it would help with the "inflammation"... Well red flags went up everywhere... so out of my mouth came is it an NSAID? She paused, said wait a moment, and of course came back to say yes, Well, right back at you NO! Now this doctor has been seeing me since 2008, knowing ALL of my issues, and he knows I've had not just ONE heart attack but TWO! That is NOT including the GERD and all of my stomach issues. So, why the hell he became so "weird" about all of a sudden NOT upping my pain meds for a month is beyond my capacity to understand at this moment. After ALL he has watched me go through, and also portions of this beyond my control, their own crap with my medication not being there, thus I had to cut my meds "way back" for like 5 days... I already was in severe pain due to the entire biologic stuff... and now all of a sudden, for no reason, he decided to try to give me an NSAID? Hell, I would BE ON THEM, IF I could! I just looked at the phone as she said, well, I will call your other meds in Monday? What the hell? I am supposed to run out Monday, and they MAIL THEM FROM DALLAS! She knows that she cannot wait until the last moment to do that. OMG, I was ready to explode! Conveniently, he is out of the office "today". mmmmmm, he always is when you "need" something. I am still just blown away by his attitude, and I had even picked up on it, when I was at the office both times. Something at his office seems "off" now too.
What the hell is up with doctors all of a sudden? I've never seen so many weird changes of attitude, of how they treat their long term patients, and the plethora of "lack of caring"... that I've witnessed in just three weeks.
Honestly, I trust my OWN judgement at this moment. more than I do several of my own physicians. I get the impression that their "realms" of health care have just about flown out the window when it comes to any patients who are on Medicare, Medicaid or a Medicare Advantage Plan. I've said it once, twice, and three times, plus... the government has their fingers so tied into all of it, that doctors cannot possibly do their jobs taking care of patients, all the while either the DEA, FDA, Medical Board, Medicare, Medicaid, other insurance companies, the government as a whole as ALL breathing down their necks.
I believe at last count, I've seen and heard at least 5 or 6 articles about "bad pain medication" in just the past week. Everyday over the course of this week there is yet another "gripe", whine and bitch about "pain medications" and addictions. Let me tell you right now, unless you have walked for ONE DAY, hell ONE HOUR in the severe amount of ever growing pain that myself along with so many of us deal with, you cannot imagine what that feels like, You cannot imagine in any way shape or form, how your entire body feels like it is a hot burning coal of fire.... from the tip top of your head, all the way down into the bottoms of your feet.
Then let's see. You have a job, you need to go to work. You need to take care of your home, your kids, your LIFE! HOW can anyone stand up and "deny" something for someone that they know will IMPROVE their quality of life?
The saddest thing about all of this.... it is just getting worse day by day... you have no where to turn anymore... family gives up, spouses leave, you are in nothing but a place of despair. Where do you go, which direction will lead you to an answer?
NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE should have to SUFFER THIS TYPE OF PAIN! Not one soul, should have to endure the kind of brain rattling, aching, like someone took a baseball bat and beat you from your toes to your head type of pain.
Our bodies are marvelous machines... when they are well oiled, taken care of , don't get knocked out of alignment, they can do some magnificent things. Yet, you allow your body to get run down, draw upon some strange illness, whether it be a bacteria, a virus, some kind of chain reaction in our nervous systems, or just decides it is just going to run on 4 cylinders instead of 6 or 8, you are in one screwed up mess.
Just as I took a break for a few minutes, I saw an email come in from MedPage. I had been taking their newsletters for a long time, then stopped for awhile. About 2 months ago, as the latest and greatest news kept breaking about this, that and the other, when it comes to the health care industry (should say profession)... industry... yes, just another "brickness" in the wall I fear...
I come across this article. Much of it sums up exactly what I have been trying to portrait through my own words in these (parts... up to 3 now) posts about all of the crap that flies around throughout the entire medical world.
I will post the URL in this when I get my own "fogged" wisdom out of a brain that feels as if it has been drug through the mud... and not much med for sure... Why is it that Medicare in itself had doctors spend BILLIONS of dollars on "electronic systems" that now cause MORE red tape, MORE work, MORE PAPER, more time... and MORE Of everything BUT the ONE thing doctors are to do. spend TIME with their PATIENTS! In the "age of technology", when "phone" messages fly through the air, and not over a wire... when you can connect your computer to the internet and never plug in a wire, does it NOW take more papers than ever to see a doctor? I've been seeing my same pain specialist now for at least 6 years, for all of the exact things... yet I had to "fill out" an entire new set of paperwork that was about 10 pages of crap, they already knew and had on me. It was a waste of time, money, and they probably never looked at it what so ever. I would be willing to bet it went right into the recycle bin. Now my husband is a first time patient, and he sees the doctor for the first time, I can see "filling out" forms. But, my gosh, about 10 pages of that was just "stuff" to either initial or sign. And it is just exactly what the article I read talks about. MORE of a doctors and the professionals time spent screwing around SIGNING CRAP that means nothing to a patients level of care! When your physician has to spend more time looking down at a "whatever kind of lap tablet" that thing is they carry around now typing on, rather than examining you the patient, listening to you the patient, checking your heart, lungs, looking over your skin, everything else on you.... but honestly, I have watched my doctors lately squirm when they see me coming with my yellow or hot pink piece of paper they know is "my list", I can see them wanting to jump out of the window and run. Mine know I am GOING to have questions that I fully intend on getting answered before they leave that room. No more of going "unprepared". When I am off to the doctor, especially for a follow up that I've had the appointment for now for months, or I am seeing a new specialist for new symptoms, I will have them in that office until I feel I am satisfied with the answers. Yet, I've watched my own PCP one time set there and talk for an hour with me, then the next he stands with his hand on the door knob just waiting to catch a moment, that he can quickly escape. I realize he has other patients. I also know he does, thus I will not "over step" my grounds. But, I feel I deserve my "allotted" time. What they do though, is "allot" that same amount of time to about 6 patients, then that is there fault. If they overbook, just like the airlines do, then someone is going to have to either wait, or be hurried through. Normally, I find I am either the one being hurried through, OR I am the very LAST one called in for that "time slot" for sure. And what about this new thing of bringing you back to spend another 2 hours in that damned ice box cold exam room, when you could be sitting at least out in waiting area, catching everyone's germs as they come in! Nothing burns me up than for me to walk in, and 3 or 4 people come in behind me, all stating their appointments are scheduled the same time as mine! Hell, mine can't even see me and make a decent diagnosis and treatment plan alone with just me, much less 4 or 5 other "sick" people in the mix. Then of course here comes the nurse, asks all the questions, half way gets down what you say, takes your vitals, and says "okay" I will get all of this logged in and he/she will be in within a bit.... yeah right.... a bit my butt... more like 2 plus hours later, you have worn the seat completely out of your pants, you have stretched, walked, watched the same pictures of their kids go by in a digital frame that have been there for years, looked out the window, listened to their elevator music/radio and all of the whispering, crying, hollering, and just about the time you are ready to explode, here they are "cordially" explaining about the emergency, and being "sorry" for being late... yeah right where the hell is my $25.00 you would charge me for being late? Some how that shoe never quite fits over on your foot, but it certainly does theirs.
I am so totally, utterly, completely, within, without, absolutely SICK AND TIRED... OF THE ENTIRE MEDICAL SCENE, that I could literally jump off this house, land on my two damned hurting legs... and I probably would feel better than I do right now!
What makes this even worse for me, is that this time the "brain fog", is more like a brain super mud... no transparency, no light, no even haze, just a thick mass of, I am not sure what I am saying or meaning from one moment to the next. I am catching myself repeating things in my postings, emails, even to what I say to Jim and Mom. Honestly, I cannot remember that I did just "write that" in the last post. Or that I told Mom that on the phone yesterday. I can't remember I saw this movie a month ago, or there would be no way for me to ever get home without a list. Whether I need 5 things or 50, nothing seems to "stick". All just seems to be sucked in a black, muddy sludge... along with all of the intense physical pain that surrounds me, and engulfs me.
I know people must be just thinking "oh, she is just having a bad few days", I am not one to "repeat" myself or forget what I just said. I do at times, but this is so much different...
continuing now on Sunday the 9th of March
I've tried to decide exactly how I want to handle the several glaring issues staring me down this next couple of weeks. I've thought about everything from getting my teeth fixed, and how the heck I was going to get into that specialist in Dallas BEFORE they all fall completely out! This is NO LIE! I put the coffee on at 2:00 am this morning... yes the clocks rolled back and rather sleep you would think, but nope not me, I am wide awake. I happen to hear some of the neighbors coming home, opening car doors and slamming them, and their music just a blaring... yet my household, other than myself knew nothing. Jim has been "ill" again with flu like symptoms, so I decided or we decided I did not need to be exposed anymore than I had to. So I've been disinfecting everything. So, I went to take yet another BC powder, and I always have to have a small bite of something after I take one. they are quite unpleasant especially if any of it does not go down with the first drink. So, I grabbed a tiny piece of dark chocolate that was sitting there in the fridge. Now of course it is cold so it is a bit harder than not being out for awhile. But, just as I put it in my mouth and began to chew down on it, I felt something hard in my mouth. Well, it was not that bite of chocolate, because nothing was in it. So, I go "digging" around and find an entire back piece of one of my top back jaw teeth out. About the time the coffee is ready, I pour a cup and still something felt "odd" about that time I feel another piece of something hard, like a little sliver of some kind. Yes, sir it was another piece of tooth, BUT it came from a different tooth on the other side of my mouth. Then I got to my computer, went to take one of my medications, and again I feel something "hard" in my mouth (not the pill) ... and again for a 3rd time off of another tooth, a chunk fell out!
So, here I am at 2:30 am standing in my kitchen, literally watching my teeth fall apart. That was NOT the way I intended on spending my Early Sunday Morning. In fact, I had the intention last evening of possibly going to a new church this morning, depending on how I felt. This severe pain in my legs has just about sent me to the nut house, honestly. My head is not on straight, the brain fog is just beyond belief, and I am so utterly disappointed with the entire world right now, I am not sure where to even begin,
My story sounds like child's play compared to some I realize. But, I tell you when you have been through what I've dealt with in the past 8 weeks or so, and don't forget it is just now a bit over 6 weeks since I had double hernia surgery. In fact this is really the 1st weekend I've been able to feel like I can do some things I had not been able to yet. I did vacuum the house, and I've done some bending over and picking things up out of the yard, trimming back some of my bushes that will hopefully come out soon... I still have not been on the exercise bike yet but that is due to the leg pain. I fear that my legs may hurt worse. With the entire situation with my pain doctor and his witch of a nurse, I assuredly do not want to get to hurting any worse if I can help it.
I have SO MUCH I NEED & MUST get done, or I won't be able to make the trip to DC. That will just break my heart. I've even thought about shortening the trip for myself, and coming home Friday. then let Jim stay until Sunday. That way the dogs only have to be watched after on Thursday and Friday until I get home whenever, and then Jim would fly in on Sunday and I'd have to go and pick him up. I am just not sure I can go yet at all, not in the shape I am in at this moment. But, it could be I would be able to at least make the Fly In... get to meet his Mom, and then they could have a really good visit, and catch up. It's been over 10 years since they have seen each other in person. So, it is totally important for him to try and go. Of course he also has so many issues with health, mainly severe arm, neck and back pain, I am not sure he will go and can withstand the trip either.
His idea is "well I hurt if I am at home or in DC... well that is true but when you are at home... you can have your own "nervous breakdowns" without someone else knowing it.
There is a great deal more I want to say here; so this post may have a 4th portion to it.
I am not sure if I will do it that way, or just call this one "finished".... and begin anew ... probably begin new. Due to "perspectives" I realize that not everyone will "agree" or "disagree" with me on some things I've said, and believe....
But, I do believe that "WE" all of us .... talking now about the Chronically Ill Patients, with illnesses that take away all that is good in our lives, and turn us inside out and upside down... Autoimmune Arthritis... and all of the other Autoimmune Illnesses... along with Chronic Pain, people suffering from FM (which I still believe is an autoimmune illness)... Chronic Fatigue Syndrome... and the other things like my friend just discovered... she has "Chiari"... where a portion of her brain stem is literally gone down into her spinal canal and is being "crushed"! It has taken all of her life of fussing, crying begging, screaming, tests after tests, and in a "test" for something else, they "found" this syndrome she was born with.
due to the nature of this malformation... and the unbelievable story that it has taken over (I think she is about 50 years old, but she looks like she is 35) :):) for them to find this... she also has Lupus... of which she is being treated for... Here is a link that explains this malformation... she does not know yet if she faces surgery or what... but by gosh anyone would be totally freaked out if they got this diagnosis after all these years.
Please comment.... I want to hear from YOU!!!!