(This is a shorter version of what I posted on HW Chronic Pain, go there if you want to see the entire post)
First 15 minutes was spent
with a male nurse (don’t see many of them).
Very nice, and from India. Aside
from vital signs, he went over a lot of my medical history, and was please when
I gave him a 3 page chronology of all my major events, plus a page about the
meds I was on, meds I had tried without success, and meds I was allergic
to. Also gave him a detailed description
of my regular chronic pain, the severe pain days, bladder pains, and even these
“burning patches” I have suffered over the years.
Then the doctor came in. She was also from India. I spent 45 minutes with her. After giving her time to catch up on all the
reading parts, and looking at the various scans I have taken the past year or
so, she was ready.
First, she gave me a very
thorough physical exam. And I mean from
head to toe. Some of it actually hurt me
quite a bit, and she was finding out all the major pain spots. It didn’t take her long to figure out that
the scope of the pain was extensive in my body.
She even found places on my left side that didn’t normally hurt (except
on the most severe of days).
We talked about my
relationship with my oncologist in depth, she wanted to know everything he did
and didn’t do, and felt like I was in good hands with him, and she respected
the fact that he wanted a more extensive opinion on my widening pain issues.
She said I had a very serious
pain situation going on, and that she too, suspects that I have CRPS, and that
it is already probably full-blown, to which she said will be difficult to
control and treat.
She is having me try one more
prescription med (non pain med) to take along with what I am taking, for 3
weeks to see if it even remotely helps.
Forgot the name, so will dig up the script and post it later. She said based on the other meds that didn’t
work, she wasn’t too hopeful that it would help, but it wouldn’t hurt to give
it a try while she arranges some nerve related tests.
She gave me a choice of
letting her clinic handle all my pain meds, or to stay with my current
doctor. She recommended that I let my oncologist
continue to handle the pain meds, because as a cancer doctor, she said he had
more latitude to work with me. She said
she would assist him in the future with other pain med recommendations, kind of
do a team approach to the meds.
She also strongly agreed with
my doctor, no more physical therapy for now.
She said that if after 2 plus years of having PT – that all I was doing
was making the pain worse, not better, so it wouldn’t prove anything to continue
at this time. She wants me to at least
consider acupuncture in the future.
As far as pain meds right
now, she said to leave things the way they are.
She’s not a big fan of Lortab for long term use, but however, since my
body well tolerates it, and since some of the other pain meds didn’t work well
for me, to leave it as is for now, until they can conduct some other tests.
I am to see her in 4
weeks. She is arranging two nerve related
tests for me on the next visit, to begin the process of diagnosing CRPS
correctly. She said it’s a hard
diagnosis to make. One of the tests is
some kind of spinal stimulator test, and the other was a type of nerve block
test. She said it is a question of
eliminating everything else to get to the proper diagnosis.
Sorry, even after a 3 hour
nap, my brain is dead tired, I will remember more later on.
She did said, that I was a
very responsible and knowledgeable patient, which made me feel good, and that I
was very in-tune with my situation and my body.
I liked her a lot. She was very sharp and had very good “bed
side manner, and she was both a good listener and good talker. And she was very thorough in her approach.
I was nervous about this visit;
afraid it would turn out to be a disaster like that Doctor “S” I had seen previously. But was very glad it all turned out well.
Her final warning, was that
CRPS is a very serious dx, and can lead to more and more pain spread, and could
leave me in a wheelchair or bedridden if left untreated and if it gets a hold
of even more of my body.
She agrees with my doctor,
that the root cause of my chronic pain, is severe nerve damage caused directly
by the flawed radiation, and that the trauma of some of my other operations
have triggered the symptoms of CRPS.