Chronic Pain Centre, Day I

Yesterday was my first official appointment with the CPC and I am rather hesitant to say this: I think it may have been a rather insightful visit, to some degree. This doesn’t mean that I’m happy about those manditory classes which I am still required to attend before some of the treatment will be started, but it does mean that there is a possibility of making things more tolerable.

The first surprise was that it wasn’t two visits in two hours, with two separate doctors like I was led to believe, but one appointment with “my whole team” all at once — doctor, psychologist and nurse.

I think what’s making me feel a little less ambivalent of the whole experience is the team’s belief that they have an actual idea as to how to make things more manageable. As a side thought, I’m starting to tire of the word “manageable”, it’s a term that’s constantly being drilled into your head.

I realize that it’s the CPC’s job to deal with patients with chronic pain, but I’m so used to all my doctors telling me that there is no cure for my illnesses (SALLY, Lupus, Lungs, etc), “we’ll just watch & see what happens over time”. Being told, “We think we have an idea as to what might be causing your pain. We have a tentative plan of action, but first we’re going to deal with A before moving on to B & C.”, completely stunned me.

So what really happened yesterday? Lots of Q&A action.

So there’s talk about me possibly seeing a social worker…

It’s sort of to find me a therapist/councillor or something and it’s been brought up a couple of times now. I guess when at first it was brought up (3 years ago?) I was just not wanting to talk to anyone, I just wanted to be left alone.

Now, I’m kind of.. I dunno. Fam Doc for the most part is also sorta kinda my councillor for a lack of a better term. I see him once a month and we talk about pretty much everything:How my pain is going, how it’s affecting me, how it’s affecting The Hubbs, and it’s also one of those things where I just didnt want to have to rehash the whole history of everything.

Some days it was/is still a little too raw to deal with and I just want to be left alone to be honest.

Now… I still don’t really want to rehash the history of everything but Nurse Sandra has been most recently the one to bring it up. The first time it was brought up by a complete stranger, occupational therapist in fact, who I had no rapport with. I’m comfortable discussing stuff with Nurse Sandra on a one to one level, just like Fam Doc. Bonus is that she’s female, so obviously some things are slightly easier to talk and joke about.

Anyhow, she brought up the other day that she’s super concerned about how I’m doing psycho-socially. She doesn’t want to assume under any circumstances that I am in fact coping with any of this well on my own. In her opinion, I’m not even normal by a ‘chronic disease normal’. Having 3… no 4… no 5(!) chronic diseases isn’t normal by a long shot and considering all the medication I’m on, there’s a good chance that stuff with me & The Hubbs is no longer normal either like intimacy, sex, and just day-to-day living. Factor in dreams that we may have had at some point which are no longer possible given my health, that’s gotta be rough, in her opinion.

So she wants to make sure that if I need someone to help me get through things emotionally that I have the support there — as much as friends and family are great, they can only do SO much. I have the support medically all over the place, but she wants to make sure I have proper support mentally.

… And now that I’ve actually written that out in front of me, I guess that makes sense :/

My biggest worry of seeing someone is not being able to jive well with them. I’m not saying I want a therapist to be my best friend or anything, but I sure don’t want to have to deal with say, someone like Rheumy or Cow-Stamp Doc. That would kill me right on the spot. I sure as hell don’t want to be dealing with someone with MIL’s personality either where everything in the world is bright blue skies and white fluffy clouds with unicorns. Yanno?

I don’t really know what I expect from something like that, to be honest, but it does scare me so. I’m not saying that I’m invincible, but I probably really should face up to the fact that The Hubbs needs me to learn how to deal with things on my own without constantly burdening him with my fears and disappointments in life.


I guess I should do what’s best for our relationship, pull up my big girl pants and say yes to seeing a social worker -_-;;

So yea, that was the biggest conversation with my appointment with Kidney Guy on Thursday. Oddly enough, I didn’t see him for most of the appointment until about the last 15-20 minutes of what seemed to be an hour-long appointment. Totally unheard of appointment time for me!

The other conversation we had of pretty big importance is that Nurse Sandra has asked that Kidney Guy make a referral for me to see the people at the Chronic Pain Centre. She had sent one of her other patients who’s been dealing with a lot of stuff, just like me, and has since had an incredibly huge improvement in her quality of life. Since that discovery, Nurse Sandra’s been keeping me in her thoughts about seeing if we can do the same for me.

So at some point, I guess I’ll be seeing another whole new set of specialists and hopefully come up with some more productive treatment options. Not that there hasn’t been a lack of trying on Family Doc’s end. He’s definitely been doing an admirable job of trying to find solutions, we’re just not coming up with great results :(

Final thing we spoke about — I asked if I could start the water pills again. I just feel so puffy and ew. There wasn’t a huge concern about me starting it again, just some slight reservation and caution because the body can become lazy and dependant on taking a water pill once you start using it on a regular basis to flush out excess fluids in the body. Other than that warning, as far as I know everyone’s a-okay with me taking it. I just had to write an emai on Friday checking to see what the doseage should be to start with and when I should take it. The prescription label is rather vague with it’s instructions of 1/2-1 pill daily as needed.

So yea. I guess when I get an email back tomorrow about the water pill, I’ll take a deep big girl breath and ask Nurse Sandra once more on her thoughts about the social worker, maybe get her to give me 5 minutes of cyber-hand holding while she gets the ball rolling and we’ll see what happens from there. I guess my biggest thing I’ll have to make she knows is my discomfort with speaking with someone I may not feel comfortable with. Given that I told her that she’s pretty much the only other person on my awesome list that I feel totally comfortable talking to about all my stuffs going on, I think she’ll understand my worries and hopefully be able to forward that information onto whoever I see in the future.

…. Does this mean I’ve essentially committed myself to seeing someone….????

Ouf o_O;;;;;