Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Spine Post

So, I saw a spine guy.

I've had back pain for years, since childhood. I never had it addressed by a doctor because when it would flare up, I could give it a nice big dose of IGNORE (and maybe some ibuprofen) until it passed, which was only a few days at most. Over the years, it's gotten worse, more easily triggered and the flares last longer and longer every time. I kept thinking to myself that I should get it checked out, but then the migraines started and I had no further concern for my back. There are only so many doctor's appointments I can handle.

Recently, it's become more of an issue. When we moved, my hips took on a persistent ache in chorus with my back and I was having trouble sleeping as a result. Then, I bent over to pull out some laundry and my back gave a snap and I couldn't move. This has happened three times now, since we moved, and I end up laying in bed for days, barely able to take a step without crippling pain. It was obviously time to see a doctor, right? Actually, no. I still put off making an appointment, UNTIL the opportunity to participate in a spine-related clinical trial (involving implants of some sort) fell into my lap. I couldn't turn down the opportunity for a free exam, x-rays, and evaluation, so I applied and was accepted for screening.

A week or so later, we went to the spine clinic. They put me in a room with the a spine guy and he was very friendly and called me smart and said I seem to have a good grip on my crappy head situation, which are pretty much my favorite things to hear from doctors, so we were best friends. Then he had me walk and bend and didn't say much about what he saw, which I hate, so we were this close to being mortal enemies.

He ordered a thousand x-rays of my back, so we were again besties, until I arrived at the appointment to evaluate the films. The office had no power (windstorms took out most of county) so the doc took a quick look at all ten or so films in front of the window, pronounced "nothing wrong", and their office has been blowing me off since. We've called several times; my boyfriend tries to get some info out of the nurse, the nurse promises to have the doctor take a look and call us back, and then he doesn't.

It's been frustrating, and I'm not sure what to do. The last phone call led to them suggesting that we come in for another appointment, which I'm rather hesitant to do at this point. The last I heard about my x-rays, there was "nothing wrong", so why would I ruin up to a week of my life recuperating from an unnecessary visit to their office? I don't particularly need useless news in person. But I would like my x-rays back, if they aren't going to help me. I've had increasingly painful back problems as long as I can remember, and I think that warrants more than a glance.