Thursday, July 11, 2013

On Finding the Right Back Doctor

Every so often, the Universe blesses me when I need it the most. Yesterday was that day. My back has been hurting again, and I have run out of the medicines that Dr. Back gave me after the epidural and steroid shots. I DO intend on getting the shots again in the future when I need them, but the pain I have right now isn't at the Extreme Level. I don't want to get the shots without Extreme Level happening because a.) there are great risks with these shots and b.) they're expensive and c.) I don't want to somehow become immune to them by getting too many (I don't even know if that last one can happen, but it happened with the hydrocodone, so I don't want to set myself up for failure).

Dr. Back gave me some non-narcotic pain pills and muscle relaxers after my shots and told me to take them as needed. As the shots wore off, I steadily started using them more and more and then they were gone. POOF. No happy.

It's quite amazing how much chronic pain can affect one's mood. I was very depressed and angry and hopeless for over a year, and I don't want that to ever happen again. I've noticed myself becoming rougher around the edges as the back pain has crept back into my life. I'm a little more snappy, a little less patient, and meaner to myself and others. I'm *probably* not really that mean, but I feel that way. I'm sure some of this energy is radiating out of me. Boo hiss.

The prescription from Dr. Back was good for almost 3 months of regular use. I was able to stretch it out to 6 months, so that was good. I was terrified to call and ask for more medicine because every doctor I've been to about my back has treated me like I'm a drug addict at some point. But here's the magical thing about Dr. Back: He's a specialist.

This is the key to getting the help you need. Dr. Back knows all about backs. He knows how much they can hurt and ruin your life. In fact, he told me he also has the same back problem I do, and he's even had his own special shots. PRESTO MAGIC! The solution to back pain is to find someone who REALLY, REALLY GETS IT. Not the general doctor who will tell you "backs are a mystery." Not even the physical therapist who will tell you "we don't medically understand a lot about backs." Not even the ER staff, who will load you up with shots to make the violent jerking stop and ship you out the door with no true remedy when those kinds of shots wear off (been there, done that -- many times).

No, what you need is a true Back Dude. A dude who studies backs all day and night. If you can find one who has also blown a few of his discs, you're even better off. Because this guy? He will listen. He will understand when you start bawling in his office. And then 6 months later, he'll refill your meds without being an a$$hat about it. In fact, he'll tack on a few refills.

I've been worried about my upcoming trip to Chicago for BlogHer '13 because my sister and I will be driving there together, and it's a LONG drive. Compression isn't my friend. Sitting in a vehicle one way for 10 hours there will be challenging. Without my meds, I was afraid I was going to have a repeat of last summer's New York BlogHer, when I blew out my back in the shower and could barely breathe for the next week. This worry has been creeping up on me. Each day it was getting worse. The "what ifs" were killing me. No more.

Now I have a safety measure. I'll have my back pills with me. Let's hope I don't need them. Let's imagine my back feels fine the whole time because that's my goal. I'm going to be partying and pain-free. But just in case, just to be careful, I'll have the prescriptions I need. They'll save me if anything goes wrong. I can't even begin to tell you how RELIEVED this makes me.

When I saw the prescription information in my online pharmacy account, I actually started crying. I'm not really a Tears of Joy kind of gal, but there I was, blubbering with happiness. I was so grateful for Dr. Back and all of the help and understanding he's given me. I needed it. I really did.

So get ready, Sis Big. Instead of your grumpy, annoyed, pained, usual Sis Lil, you're going to end up with a goofy, ridiculous, giddy, silly partner in crime for the road trip. And watch out, BlogHer Babes, because Blondie needs a vacation, and she's ready to ROLL.


Melanie said...

so glad you found a good doctor, I agree the right one makes all the difference

Brenda said...

I'm with you. I was so bummed when my last shot starting wearing off. Take a pill when you get in the car, take a pill when you arrive.

Then take in case you need them. An mg of prevention can prevent a a LOT of pain.