Hey Fibro. Can you hear me? I’m a patient, you’re the chronic illness.
Just pile it on, OK? Not that you are asking my permission or anything, you’re not. One diagnosis after another, I figure there’s more to come, how can I not think that way? I feel betrayed by my rheumatologist who said it wouldn’t get worse. Yeah, right. I’m an almost 57 years old, (OLD is the operative word,) woman who is utterly falling apart physically. Nope, not even plateauing. Yesterday afternoon I had an appointment with a neurologist for TMJ, I was referred by a doctor I trust. TMJ causes a great deal of pain, daggers of sharp pain waking me up in the middle of the night, relentless pain. All a chronic pain patient needs, right?
“I don’t have ANYTHING to do with THAT” “I can’t help you at all, said the young doctor. I don’t know why she sent me here, he said, that is not part of my job.” When things are down, and I am tired and feel sick already, I go down and tears started running down my cheeks. Here was my chance to take away one type of pain, I knew it wasn’t going to take away my Fibromyalgia, my chronic pain, my Imbalance, my sleep disturbances or up my energy levels but at least I hoped that something, anything could take away one of my many types of pain I have. I asked him to call the referring doctor, really, the only doctor I trust in the world.
He was gone a good fifteen message and I took the time to “pity party,” now sobbing into my hands and getting red and swollen with a drippy nasty face. As Oprah has described it, I did “the ugly cry.” I cried loud and hard and the people at the desk must have thought I was having a mental breakdown which in a way I probably was. So, after my cry-fest the doctor comes in and says there has been some progress. “Really?, I thought skeptically” I was still crying and he was not acknowledging that in any way whatsoever. Not one, “I’m sorry you are so upset.” Not a :, “I know this must be difficult for you”, NOTHING. He ignored me. I found that appalling. He looked through me. Thanks, Doc. My internist did that too a long time ago. I remember it in detail, she, I’m sure doesn’t, just part of her busy day. DOCTORS: Be human, SHOW EMPATHY. PLEASE
He then proceeds to tell me that I have another condition ( as if he forgot a teaspoon of sugar in a recipe) : ANOTHER CHRONIC CONDITION NAMED TRIGEMINAL NUERALGIA AND it has to be addressed immediately, which means another medicine, probably damaging my kidneys and liver so it has to be watched carefully. Blood tests, follow-up visits etc,
Guess what? Not only did I try it for two days but it made me MORE dizzy and light-headed. I missed a festival in town that I was longing to go to, I missed out. Again. So, tonight I stopped. I was supposed to double the dosage today and I said “No way.” I was tripping over everything and I looked and acted drunk, without have had anything alcoholic to drink. I COULD NOT WALK, EVEN WITH MY CANE. I’m taking over control. Got it?
Chuck the new medicine and call the non-empathic doctor who will most likely call in another script and call it a day. But this time, I’m ready and I WILL NOT CRY. I WANT ANSWERS AND NO MORE DRUGS IN MY SYSTEM. TELL ME WHAT TO DO WHEN I GET THE ATTACK, NOT PREVENT IT. NO MORE MEDS! I’M DONE. I AM IN CONTROL, NOT YOU. ANY QUESTIONS? I’LL BE HAPPY TO ANSWER THEM, OH, AND I WILL LISTEN AND RESPOND BECAUSE EMPATHY IS MY STRONG POINT. LEARN SOMETHING.