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Oops-did your ego get in the way of my pain relief?

Posted Aug 08 2013 8:17am
After quite a tearful and long conversation with the CNP at the radiologist 's office yesterday, I finally received answers that actually made sense of why I'm still in pain. This part of the conversation frustrated the hell out of me
CNP: Wait, are you telling me your pain starts in your buttocks?

Me: Yes, that's what I've been telling the neurosurgeon and the radiologist who gave me the epidural injection. I even pointed to the exact spot where the pain begins, and have said numerous times that I can't sit for more than 10 minutes without pain.

CNP: The epidural injection was in the wrong place.

Me: (WTF! would have been in a thought bubble above my head) Are you saying the radiologist made a mistake?

CNP: No, based solely on the CT scan , that's where I would have expected him to put the injection. But what you're describing means the injection needs to be in a different spot, and not an epidural. That could be why you were in so much pain for three days after the injection.


Christ, really? Are you kidding me? My neurosurgeon sent me to this particular radiologist (who happens to be over an hour away, and Greg had to take off a whole day of work to help me) because he said the doctor who gave me the epidural before I decided to have surgery did it wrong. Isn't that exactly what just happened here?

I know the CNP can't say the MD made a mistake, but I'm certain both of these doctors did not hear what I was telling them, or see what I was showing them. Are their egos so huge that they won't listen to what the patient is saying? I imagine a Nurse Practitioner doesn't have that same "I'm the doc and you're not" attitude. The neurosurgeon kept telling me it was "healing" pain and I needed to be patient, but then changed his mind when he saw the CT scan and said it was an inflammation around the nerve root. I'm just a mere mortal, I can't read a CT scan so I have to rely on their expertise to tell me what's wrong. Why then, can they not take into consideration the CT scan in addition to everything I told them? Is it modern medicine that makes some doctors like this? I remember a Psych who misdiagnosed my daughter. When I said I thought he was wrong, he actually pointed to the diploma on his wall and said "Do you have one of these?"

When I was growing up, I can remember my father's office manager (dad was a GP ), complaining that he spent too much time with his patients. I remember him taking or making calls at night during dinner or after dinner. I'm guessing he listened to what his patients said, I'm not saying he was perfect, I have no idea what his practice was like, but if he was spending time with them, I can only hope he was actually hearing what they were saying.

Now I'm going to try Lyrica for a couple weeks before I decide whether or not to have another injection. The CNP said I could go to a closer hospital, and the injection would be directly into the joint where the problem actually is, and they had an opening on Friday. After discussing it with Greg, who brought up the excellent point of "If they screwed up the last time, what's to prevent them from screwing up this time?" I'll try the meds first.

Trying this, that, and the other thing is what I expect with my mental health. It's amazing to me that with all the tests, studies, and fancy equipment that physicians have available to them, they still have to fuck around and play the guessing game of "Let's try this and see if it works."

Maybe I need one of these


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