Thanks so much to each and every one of you. I knew this family would be here for me. Thanks for just letting me whine a bit. I haven't told anyone else about
the thyroid stuff. My "friends" disappeared a while back, after chastising me because I wouldn't just "get over this back pain stuff already." And my family, well most of them don't get it either. And for the few who really try to be there for me... I guess I just can't bring myself to tell them I have yet another health problem. Truth be told I'm probably sort of afraid this would be the thing that would put them over the edge and into the "get over it already" group. It is such a comfort to know that I can come here and talk about
this to people who really understand what I am going through. I just can't thank you enough.
As horrible as it sounds, there is a tiny part of me that thinks "well if I have cancer, at least then maybe my PM will decide I deserve to have pain relief." There's another thread here about
pancreatitis, and if you read it you saw that my father suffers from the disease. Over the past seven years, there have been several times when my father has taken me to the ER b/c of a flare with my back and then other times when I've taken him to the same ER b/c of a flare with his pancreas. I have been absolutely appalled at the difference in treatment. And this is at an ER that I consider to be very good.
The hospital really does seem to treat me pretty well. But each time I end up in the ER I have to fight the "frequent-flyer" label and it is really a battle to get treated. Each time I have to re-tell the same medical history despite the fact that they KNOW me. Each time, I am made to feel like I am being a wimp and melodramatic and that if I ask for more medicine that what they give me I am drug-seeking. Each time I am under-medicated and my father is forced to advocate on my behalf and INSIST that they give me enough medication to treat the pain.
But the last time I took my father to the ER for a flare of his pancreatitis, it was a different story. We went to the ER b/c he seemed "off" and felt nauseous and uncomfortable, and it was after hours at the GI doctor's office. They told us to go to the ER to get blood work done. My point is we did not go there b/c he was in severe pain. When they went through the H&P they asked him how he would rate his pain. He said "oh, maybe a 2." They pressed on his belly and asked if it hurt. He said "not really." They asked him if he felt like he needed pain medicine. He said "no." Then they got the blood work back. It showed that he was having a flare of pancreatitis. At that point, a doctor came into the room and said he needed to be admitted and asked him again to rate his pain. Again, he said "2. doesn't really hurt much." And you know what the doctor said???
"OK, we are going to get you an IV and the nurse will give you some morphine. Let us know if it doesn't help that pain."
It struck me that they really didn't care what we SAID. His illness has a NAME. According to all the research, pancreatitis hurts. And yes, there have been times when my father really did hurt. A lot. And he needed pain medicine then. But on that day at that moment, he didn't need it. He wasn't asking for it. He was fine. But b/c his illness had a NAME, the doctors believed he deserved to be pain-free. They believed that 2 was too high on the pain scale for him. I only go to the ER when my pain is at a 10 and has been for at least a day or two or else when I literally cannot sit up or walk (at which point my pain is also always at a 10). Even then, I have to fight, beg, for pain relief. And usually their "goal" is to get me down to a 6 or 7. By their standards, not mine. That is to say, they try to get my heart rate and breathing back to normal and the cold sweats to stop. Never mind that being very still can accomplish those things w/o any pain relief. I've learned to do that much. But see, my pain doesn't come from a NAMED disease. So it seems that the doctors (and my "friends" and sometimes my family) do not consider it legitimate.
I don't want to have cancer. I don't want to have thyroid problems. I just want to have a day, a moment even, when I don't hurt so much I can hardly think straight. I guess all of that just came rushing to the surface when I got this news from the doctor. And I hate that I feel that way. I am ashamed that I feel that way. It makes me disappointed in myself that I can't rise above this pain. And if I am already drowning with just the back stuff, how can I deal with one more problem? I'm sure I'll figure it out. Having all of you here really helps. Thanks again. Sorry for the ramble here...
Post Edited (ryand) : 11/9/2008 10:26:30 AM (GMT-7)