Nope, I’m not talking about the 80s soap, nor the rehash of it which was produced later. This one relates to me and my life. “How very dull and self obsessed!” you may cry, well, yes but it’s kind of my blog so I shall do it anyway. The photo was taken mid way to my appointment, to the chagrin of Mr RR. It’s also slightly wonky as his shoulder was in the shot and I had to crop it.
I had my Rheumatology appointment today and yes, there was the obligatory taking of blood and other various tests. There is nothing more comforting, I find, than meeting the consultant, practising the traditional social nicities; the shaking of the hand, the inquiry as to your health (clearly not fabulous, otherwise I wouldn’t need to see you) and the gesturing towards a seat, swiftly followed by “I have no idea why you have been referred to me.” Straight talking, I like that.
In short, the consultant does not believe that the pain is related to a rheumatological condition which is reassuring, that’s my silver lining number 1. Number 2 is that the damage caused by the accident has probably since healed. Doing well, 2 silver linings and only one cloud – I like the odds. The cloud is that the nerve damage, Chronic Pain Syndrome, however you want to call it, is here to stay. Not enough is known about it for me to be sufficiently medicated and he repeated what my GP has previously said, that the primary drug I’m on is a step away from Morphine and that for quality of life to be sustained, there has to be a balance between getting rid of the pain and being able to function.
I asked him whether a referral to a Pain Specialist, Pain Clinic would help, he demurred, stating that in his experience they tended to err towards injections and due to the nature of the pain, there would be no guarantee of a referral helping. So this is it. I had booked an appointment with a private Pain Specialist to see if they could help, but I’m cancelling it this afternoon. I feel like I’ve reached the end of the road, medically speaking. I see no point in prolonging the decision.
Emotionally speaking, how do I feel? Well I’m quite proud of myself as this is the first consultant appointment I’ve had in which I’ve managed to stay calm, not cry, or collapse into pieces, hell my bottom lip didn’t even quiver! I’m also quite calm inside, almost like a state of acceptance. The consultant was very kind to me, which in a sense made it easier to bear.
What wasn’t so easy to bear was bumping into the mother of an old schoolfriend, who looked at me with pity and sympathy, as OAPs went whizzing past me in the corridor while I walked at a pace that snails would jeer at. I don’t manage sympathy very well, I always want to collapse into a big , sobbing heap, tears and snot streaming down my face like the eruption of a volcano, wiping my nose on my sleeve like you do when you’re a child whilst wailing that life is soooo unfair. But I managed it, (sorry, I know it’s bad grammar to start a sentence with but), I managed and I didn’t cry.
Two small triumphs for me today, let’s just hope that tomorrow is the same. Tomorrow is the dreaded Occupational Health appointment.