On August 30th I had my blood draw for thyroid levels and they came back still supressed which I guess means I'm still hyperthyroid. They were at the borderline level though so we're going to keep me on the 125mg I'm taking now for 4 more weeks, do another blood draw, and if I'm still borderline or more then I'll be going down to 112mg.
On September 1st I had my appointment with the pain specialist. What a crock to say the least. Very nice man but either very stubborn or he just doesn't care to listen at all. I told him I stopped the Zonegran as I was having allergic reactions to it. I also told him how the Cymbalta was making me feel. He didn't say anything about the fact that I'm in even more pain but instead prescribed me Keppra which is another anti-seizure med that is used for pain, kept me on the Cymbalta, and then added ANOTHER anti-depressant to help me sleep at night.
This was very discouraging and I left in tears. He also keeps pushing the depression thing and seems to get frustrated when I say that I'm fine. He even said that if the Cymbalta doesn't start working then next he will refer me to a psychologist. FOR WHAT??? This is just becoming a nightmare. The new med is also suppose to take about a month to start working so that will be four months I have been left to hurt nonstop and it is truly wearing on me.
I have not filled any of the prescriptions yet and actually started tapering myself off the Cymbalta before the appointment. I truly did not think he would keep me on something that was causing severe mood swings and not doing a single thing for the pain. There is no reason for me to be on it, I will not further upset my family by having someone who is usually the cool headed quiet one acting like a witch with a B, and it has had 6 weeks to do it's job. It's not, he's not listening, so I will be the one with a brain here.
I will fill the Keppra script and try it but I will not put myself on a second anti-depressant to sleep. I am not sleeping because I hurt. If he would take care of the pain then I could sleep. I feel very uncomfortable being on two anti-depressants when I don't have depression in the first place and the first anti-depressant is not working for pain in the second place.
At this point Vin and I are discussing firing him and figuring something else out.
On September 2nd I had an appointment with the new general practioner, Dr. B. I figured it was time to get set up with a primary care doctor plus he knows our history, has been "onboard" since the beginning of all this because it was his physician's assistant that saved our lives, and he is already Vin's PCP. Dr B is also an osteopath so I knew he wouldn't just shove pills down my throat if I asked for something else.
So I went to him to ask for alternative ways to help with the pain while I wait for this "long term" bull, to get an emergency inhaler because since we've moved in here I've been having asthmatic symptoms (first time in 4 years but no surprise considering there is mold under the sink), see what his thoughts were on the Cymbalta and what Dr P is doing, and also to tell his PA thank you for saving our lives.
Dr B is going to try to get me in with the only accupuncturist in town to help with the pain. The guy usually doesn't take new patients but we're hoping he will bend this once. I am completely excited about this and keeping my fingers crossed because I have been wishing I could see an acupuncturist for a long time now. I just have more faith in alternative meds than I do "advanced" at this point. Anyway- I should know Tuesday or Wednesday on that. He also gave me the card for a guy that does what I guess you could call "visual meditation". He is in Atlanta but will do a consult over the phone to help out someone like me. I have to see if insurance will cover that one though. Not too sure but it sounds like a great idea too.
For the asthma problems he not only gave me an emergency inhaler but also started me on Singulair for a month to see if that helps. He said with the fact that my immune system is supressed it only makes sense that environmental nasties would be getting to me too. So the Singulair is to help build a "bubble" for me and strengthen me against the environment thus keeping me from becoming a sick wheezing ball.
Dr B said that it sounds like Dr P is doing everything he should be as far as what he is prescribing me for pain. He said that while nice, Dr P is very stubborn and that I just need to keep trying to get through to him that I'm not happy with the Cymbalta and want off it.
A thing that shocked me is that Dr B told me to get in for a pap test (gynecologist) to check for cervical cancer. I wasn't expecting that one but he said it's a possibility for me and I trust his judgement.
I also finally got to thank his physician's assistant, Brad Ridge, for saving my life. I was in tears and he was almost in tears which was kind of cute considering he's a tough looking guy that you wouldn't expect to get teary-eyed. I told him "I was so mad at you for forgetting that pregnancy test because back then even though realistically I had no reason to worry, that was the worst thing that could happen in my world. Now... well I'm very thankful for you and I'm so glad you ordered all the tests that truly mattered". I thanked him also for saving my children and he asked how things were going and said they had kept up to date on us and followed our story. He asked a few other questions and then said if we needed anything at all to let them know. It was honestly very humbling for me considering how irate I was a year ago and how badly I bashed him. :(
By the way, I got to thank Brad exactly one year to the date after this all began. It was September 2, 2004 that I walked into that walk in clinic and he ordered that ultrasound. Kind of neat I thought.
Anyway- so that's the update for now. I have an MRI on Tuesday (September 6th) on my neck to get a clear picture of what nerve damage I have in my neck. Dr P actually ordered that when I told him about my pain in my hands and legs. On September 7th, Bret has a blood draw and if his calcium level is still good then he can go off the Rocalcitrol/Calcitrol. Then we will test again in three more weeks and if still good then he's off for good. So please keep your fingers crossed for him. We're really wanting that poor boy to not be hypoparathyroid for once.
In a few weeks I will be getting the pap test for cervical cancer, heading back down to Tampa to get this thing out of my forearm, have to schedule the surgery for the intestinal tumor, will also try to toss in a hysterectomy in there for several reasons, and will be getting another draw for my calcitonin levels and intact PTH. I keep hoping they will just stay where they are for once and quit rising. That would be nice wouldn't it?