Friday, October 2, 2015
THE GOLDEN YEARS
In order to keep this diary honest, I guess I need to go back to 1972, which was the beginning of the 'pain years'. The hoops I jumped thru for the next 30 years, is just more than I could convey. Lets just say, tests, psychiatrists, medication and not one full nights sleep in those 30 years. This was over after a surgery on my cervical spine and I commented to my surgeon that I felt better, but wished he could fix the creeping jerking that went on all night every night and he said he could, by sending me to the very office I tried 30 years earlier (who after tests, sent me to a psychiatrist). But, he was correct, just walked in (by this time there were new Dr's) sat down told my story, doctor said that's restless leg syndrome, gave me a pill to take, poof, all fixed!
Now off to the disc degeneration, first in the cervical area, that prompted the first surgery. That was scary, but what is a gal to do, who is degenerating? Several years later, yep, the same diagnosis at the lumbar area and, yep, another surgery. Now, we can travel to the right knee, yep, degeneration and got a new knee.
We are now getting to the 'Golden Years'. We all know, those of us old enough to remember not knowing anyone who didn't smoke, everything that was wrong with you, from a cavity to an ingrown toenail was caused by smoking. I was hooked to the point that it took me to my 60's to finally quit. Being someone who just trades one bad habit for another, I just swapped smoking for eating. Ending up in the category of morbidly obese. So, you got it, everything wrong with me now*see cavity/ingrown toenail* is due to weight.
Finally, it has come to the point, that, for pain, I can't walk, stand, sit or lay down for any length of time with out crying. I live in the world of '8' on a good day to a '10' on the bad days. (see the little faces on the chart at your doctor's office for the pain chart) At the last physical, I was no longer able to rationally explain how I felt and my doctor really listened. How many of you can say that about your doctors????
All this to get to my adventure with pain management and the Golden Years.
Need to record the first visit in this blog because it was about 2 weeks ago and I have a very short memory span. First, you get a 13 page form to fill out at home, with pictures to draw your pain spots. The whole time I am working on it I am betting with myself as to whether anyone will really read this short story, or if it is just to make me feel like I am important in this examination.
Finally the day arrives and you have to be there 30 minutes early. This means that I will have to start at least 3 hours early to get ready, (refer to the places that hurt) including the 20 minutes it takes to get my pressure stockings on, for the lymphedema I just up and got, out of the blue, a year and a half ago.
At the point of my needing a nap we arrived and signed in and had more papers to fill out and sign. We didn't wait very long in reception before I was called and taken to the exam room, where the normal weight, blood pressure and pulse was taken. He left, saying the nurse would be right in. 7 minutes short of an hour later, in a small exam room with no windows, nothing to read and not even 'mu-sack' to hum with, the nurse came in.
Are you remembering the pain level 8 to 10, after sitting for an hour on a nasty little chair, the only bright spot was that the nurse was asking me, with my 13 pages in front of her, questions about the things I had checked off. Within a reasonable amount of time after she left the room, the doctor came in. Again, we went over the things wrong and the places and severity of pain in each place. No matter how bad I hurt, I still have to smile when asked to squeeze their hand and pull their fingers. I just have visions of the old grandpa with his young grandson, asking that same question. What an old joke. I am not sure I passed, because she said the first thing she wanted was x-rays of neck, back and knees. And, she would see me in 3 weeks.
Wait, 3 more weeks ???, I was so in hope that we were all on the same page about my, 8 to 10, and the fact that getting ready to do or go anywhere was always pushing the #10 and we are just going to take pictures and see each other in 3 weeks???? Oh, well, I was on the road to the Golden Years so might as well give it a try, could I hurt any more??
Tomorrow's post, the x-rays. Just how exciting is this journey? Dear diary, will see you tomorrow.
Healthy and happy wishes