Monday, November 05, 2007

I called this photo "Slightly battered" which is how I'm feeling right now!

Have you ever done something and then right away wished you hadn't? I did this morning; I went to see my doctor. Well, not "my" doctor because of course you can't get to choose which doctor you see at a group practice these days...but "a doctor".

For many years I've suffered from varying degrees of pain in my joints and about four years ago I spoke to my doctor about it. Various blood tests followed and an appointment with a rheumatologist. At the appointment she told me my blood tests were normal, I was to wear comfortable shoes and "when the pain was bad, don't walk" (very helpful when you children and a job!). At my follow up with my doctor she said it might be "a virus". I left feeling it was all in my mind and vowing I'd never ask for help with my joints again.

Recently I've been getting worse. My knees and right hip are especially painful. Getting off the loo, supermarket shopping, climbing stairs, getting out of chairs, in and out of the car...walking on surfaces that aren't level - it's all getting way too painful. I feel my body is about 30 years older than the rest of me! I am starting to find my low-impact aerobics too painful and so is the gym.

People have said that I must see the doctor again and finally, this morning, after realising I was hurting too much to go to aerobics, I did.

She asked me if I was depressed or stressed. Worrying excessivly about anything. Right away I knew this was leading to the "it's in your mind" as there is no apparent physical cure. To my shame I started to cry - more out of anger and frustration than anything else. I told her I was worried and stressed because the pain was getting worse. That I'd gone on for 4 years on over the counter pain killers but they were no longer very effective.That I was worried it was going to affect my working and my general mobility. She then asked me what I thought we should do about the situation!!!

Everyone who has experienced chronic pain knows that it is something you accept and have to learn to live with. I've done this. I keep as active as I can but I know my limits - no high impact aerobics or jogging for instance. I take supplements.I eat well. I can't remember the last time I took a day's sick leave. I know I'm lucky that I don't have rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia or any of the truly nasty, scary and painful diseases or conditions that cause so much distress and agony.

But every single day I'm in pain and now I'm struggling to do normal tasks and activities and I need a bit of help and advice. I don't want to be offered a screening session for depression or asked what I think should be done. It's hard to have it implied there is no cause, as you are then left thinking "Am I imagining this pain?"

I should never have bloody GONE there! I feel a hundred times worse in my mind and as if there's no hope things will get any better. I feel so stupid.

I spoke to my wonderful K last night; things are no better for her (God, compared to hers my problems are nothing!) but the doctors are thinking of sending her home as they seem to have no real idea how to cure her. As usual she was bright and cheerful and interested in everything - I miss her so much. So now I'm sitting here feeling sorry for myself because of my aching joints...what an idiot. I shouldn't complain. It just helped a bit to write it all down. Instead of sitting here feeling sorry for myself I'll go and do the ironing!!

One thing DID make me smile this of my many SPAM emails had the subject line "Have you ever felt the kiss of a womb? With your new big r*d you'll certainly feel it!" There's no answer to that, is there?


Gledwood said...

O dear me isn't life wonderful in this late age of ours... I really don't know what else to say?!?

Akelamalu said...

Oh I'm sorry to hear you're in so much pain m'dear - I know what joint pain is like and it's no fun! Doctors make me so mad sometimes!

Not sure if you've already done this but how about trying alternative therapies?

I will send you Reiki, and I do hope you find a relief for your pain. xx

mrsnesbitt said...

Hey these spam e-mails upset me too! I am inundated with offers to help increase the size of my penis!!!!!
hell, how can they see the size of it?????
Has somebody been "SPYING" on me?????

I know what you mean about feeling silly when you have had a good cry...I did it in the bank once, a long story but the window cleaner nearly fell off his ladder, being so nosy listening to the conversation I was having with the clerk! Well, when I say clerk I mean somethinga bit stronger!!!!


artisbliss said...

Oh my, your spam emails are definitely racier than mine!

I too have pretty chronic joint/foot/hip pain. I know there's a lot of osteoarthritis in my family so it's not a surprise but it's no fun, either. I find I feel much better when I take calcium carbonate and naproxen sodium. If you want specifics, I'd be happy to provide them for you.

JAM said...

I love the photo, but I'm sorry to hear about the chronic pain.

I've lived with it for years now too, and though it's not getting better, it's not getting worse.

There are many things I miss doing, and some things I try, but have to cut the time short. I run out of pain tolerance when I've done too much and just have to stop.

I whine and moan from time to time on my other blog, so don't feel alone. I felt bad when I did that but I would invariably get such encouraging emails that I felt good knowing there are others trying to make it through similar situations as well.

I'm fortunate that I have a doctor that I've seen for years and understands what I've been through and why I hurt, so they let me have real pain medication and muscle relaxers for when things get too much to handle. When it does, I take them and am thankful for them. They are careful to monitor how many I take over time to ensure that I'm not going overboard, but last time I went, he said he thought I was being too macho and not using the medicine enough. Go figure.

Anyway, I've said all of that to say this, work as best you can within the system to get some pain medication. You have to stand up for yourself, and yes, even pay-through-the-nose American doctors will many times begin to hint that it's all in your mind. That's one advantage of being a big man, I can look them in the eye with my meanest look and make it clear to them that I'm not imagining the pain.

Anyway, you're in my prayers.

CG said...

Thanks for all your comments. it's good to know I'm not alone (well, not good to know others are suffering!!)I'm going to try to get some help with the pain management i think!

photowannabe said...

First, find another Doctor or get a second opinion. You shouldn't have to accept such a wishy washy answer as you have gotten. As John says get some pain management meds. Wish I could do more than say a prayer and give you lots of {HUGS}

picperfic said...

email the gerbera and you made me choke on me coffee at the last bit!

Kerri said...

Wow... that Dr didn't have much of a bedside manner. I would certainly get a 2nd opinion! I beleve there are many issues that can effect the joints.

I have had some major pain issues over the past 9 months - and I have taken over the counter Aleve for them. It seems to work wonders for me.

I think your flower shot is just BEAUTIFUL!

Lori Schmidt (LoriProPhoto) said...

I am so sorry to hear you are having such a hard time, pain is very debilitating and saps all of your energy, physically and mentally. I would definitely say seek help from someone who specialises in Pain Management. Unfortunately these doctors of today just dont care about anything but the bottom dollar. If you do take that route, hope they dont prescribe Gabapentin (a BIG orangy/red capsule) that is meant to be for neuralogical pain and I think is something quite new. Larry was started on them and had dreadful side effects from them. I think they are the same ones that Talj was taking.

Know that you are always in my thoughts (((((Huge Hugs))))), I just wish doctors werent so insensitive these days.


Lori Schmidt (LoriProPhoto) said...

Meant to add, I get stacks of those dreadful e-mails but my spam filter puts them in their own folderm unfortunately it sometimes puts some genuine e-mails there too but I can at least see them and delete what I dont want and reinstate what I do without having to click on any of them at all.



JoAnn - NL "My digital eyes" :) said...

Hi dear Julie,

Lovely flower to start with!!

Hi I red about feeling body-pain, like not being able to go to arobics, knees whatever, pain is something you can get used to I know, If anyone understands how it is to live with chronical pain, its me, not that I want to have anyone's pity, nor I want to complaining.

Anyway I just want to say THAT I UNDERSTAND YOU and wish you all the best, to deal with it,

Hughs JoAnn:)

Lilli & Nevada said...

I agree with the others get a second opinion if you can, what a jerk of a dr is that.
But i too know what its like i have a lot of pain in my feet as i don't have much of a arch and the foot dr says that i have to eventually have surgery, but not a choice i want to make. I take 4 advil when i can't take the pain anymore, does help some but not as much as i would like.

RUTH said...

It seeems crazy that in this day and age and with all the medical advancements that any one should have to be in pain. I wish your doctor had been more wonder it upset you! Sending gentle {{hugs}]