So yesterday was my monthly appointment with Fam Doc.
It didn’t go even remotely close to the direction that I had hoped for — because of the weather, I was totally Moosed up and couldn’t drive myself and so had to get Mom & Dad to take me. Bummed me right out. I actually look forward to my appointments with Fam Doc because 90% of the time I have the ability to go on my own and the visits are generally a nice excursion, so to speak.
Yesterday, was not so much. As soon as he walked in the door, he paused and looked at me and said, "How’re you doing? You’re not looking as good as last time I saw you."
That’s never a good sign. If Fam Doc, who sees me once a month without fail, says I am not looking good there’s something up and most likely whatever Hawt Doc’s on the lookout for is most likely presenting itself more visibly than I originally thought. He said I was pretty puffy looking and my skin condition’s looking a little weird/off. Not normal, I guess.
What came about the whole visit was that he thinks Sally is in flareup mode and if Hawt Doc’s got all these tests booked for the next week and some, there is definitely something going on. Having said that, he also thinks that my redonkulous amounts of pain from the last month and some is very much a product of Sally’s temper tantrum flaring. *sigh*
Somehow, I don’t know how it happened, but we spent an entire hour talking about:
a) my pain
b) my Moose useage
c) what our other options are, if there are any, anymore
d) surprise to me: the scared feelings and anxiety that I have of the Moose useage being as high as it is.
We’ve often visited this conversation in its various permutations and combinations. I am still (and have always been) less than thrilled at the fact that I am taking some pretty hardcore pain meds. The fact that as time goes by I am increasing both my baseline meds as well as my fast-acting stuff leaves me feeling rather scared and to some degree extremely vulnerable.
As it stands currently, I am sitting at probably one of the highest thresholds for pain medications that Fam Doc’s comfortable prescibling for. He has lots of experience with patients dealing with chronic pain and this isn’t really the problem, what is, however, is dealing with Sally. That’s where things become slightly murky and uncertain. Just to clear things up a smidgen, and we’ve both come this agreement, if I am in pain and the Moose is what helps for me to live a more comfortable existance which increases my quality of life, then he has no issues with prescribing the pain medications I need.
What we’re both extremely concerned about is: at what point does the amount of the Moose become extreme and dangerous? At what point in time have I become over-medicated? Where is that "line" which defines too much and not enough especially when dealing with a progressive disease like Sally which is what is causing all the problems to begin with?
Are there any more options out there for us? It’s not like we haven’t tried other avenues for pain management. We’ve had this discussion so many times and he’s at a loss. The reality is that if my liver is starting to have problems due to the immuno-suppressants, and as much as I dislike admitting Mom may be right, there is probably a very good likelihood that The Moose isn’t making my liver very happy either.
So Fam Doc is going to call the CPC to see if he can’t talk one of the specialists into seeing me without having to go through the assinine admitting process of the CPC again. No educational classes, no psychiatrists, no stupid group sessions where I have to listen to a bunch of other people dealing with chronic pain recount their own tales of woe while bawling their eyes out in front of complete strangers. All he wants is for a Pain Specialist to see me or at the very least, throw him a bone as to what we can do under his care if I can’t see anybody.
We also discovered during our talk is that I am scared. I am scared of being at a point where we won’t be able to prescribe anything for me and I will be in constant pain with no relief to be had. Or I’m in a position where I won’t be able to get access to my pain medication in a timely fashion because I am in an uncontrollable situation — like being admitted to the hospital, which is the example I gave Fam Doc, and it’s a scary experience which I’ve already had to deal with once before and I really would care not to do it again.
I already dislike the fact that I am in a position where some (okay, one) of my doctors raise an eyebrow as to whether or not I actually "need" to be taking the drugs that I am on because let’s face it: I’m taking a fuck-ton of medication and there is a very high likelihood that they might think that I am abusing it.
That’s the hardest thing — pain is not a visible symptom and chronic pain is even harder for people to understand if they’ve never experienced it before, either first-hand or even by someone near and dear to them. *sigh* And now I am starting to sound like one of "those people" that tries to explain why a normal person just can’t understand the situation unless they’ve been in the same position. I hate that. Blech.
So that’s it, that’s what happened.
I have another appointment booked in 2 weeks time after I’ve done all my tests for Hawt Doc and then we’ll see if Fam Doc managed to come up with anything by then.
As for today, I did my PFTs and for some reason I’ve been having an absolute monster of a time trying to breathe. I don’t know if it’s the crazy Chinook that Calgary’s experiencing or what. Breathing is hard and my chest is not feeling at all good. It honestly feels like I’m not taking in any air for some reason and it’s quite a scary feeling.
Let’s hope that tomorrow’s a better day, as The Hubbs tries to remind me.