Tuesday, February 27, 2007

day 509

The neurologist's visit blew dust.

He was 1 1/2 hours late getting there and offered no apology. I was sitting in the coldest exam room in the office listening to a confused male cardinal repeatedly hitting against the reflective surface of the large window which was, coincidentally, across from the tree he had chosen for him and his love. Apparently he was having trouble distinguishing tree from glass and cardinal from reflection.

Then he proceeds to tell me that all he can tell the disability people is that I have atypical facial pain...today he was of the mindset that if they pump enough drugs into me I can work again...that if they can manage the anxiety I've lived with my entire damn life and give me a high enough dose of Methadone I can go right back to being Nancy Nurse in spite of the sensitivity to light and sound and the tinnitus I deal with on a constant basis.

Doctors can be real asses sometimes.

So now I'm checking hubby's list to see if there's someone else maybe a bit closer or a bit more sympathetic and understanding of chronic pain caused by an invisible attacker.

He wasn't like this last time. In fact, he asked me last time I was there if I'd filed for disability yet. I don't know what kind of bug was up his butt but I really don't need that right now. Not at all.

I talked to a real honest-to-God lawyer on the phone yesterday. His wife, it turns out, has trigeminal neuralgia, so he understands some things a lot of other people wouldn't. He says he thinks we can do this in time for the as-yet-unannounced hearing. He said in Missouri the average wait for a hearing after you file an appeal is 14-18 months so it could be very soon. He also said the big firm I had initially chosen might not be able to get my stuff done quickly enough considering I haven't even talked to a lawyer yet. I think the selling point though was knowing his wife has similar pain to mine. It makes a difference.

I feel horrible. The pain is bad today. I was wishing more than anything that someone was with me because driving in my state of mind and level of pain was a challenge at best. I just stayed in the old-fart lane.

I am frustrated because I think that maybe the neurologist thinks now that I have a diagnosis of PTSD and OCD that this is all in my head. He's convinced that if they get me on psych drugs and pain drugs it will all go away. Well, excuse me, but I don't think he's right, and I'm not going to let his opinion determine what I do. I know that I'm in pain; whether or not it's purely psychogenic or if it's physiologic is inconsequential. If the pain was caused by an eventual snap of some kind due to years of living with 3 separate anxiety disorders, then so be it...the fact remains that the pain is real and it needs to be handled in a compassionate manner, and my neurological status is still that of a patient with atypical facial pain no matter what caused it. I felt like he blew me off today and it really upset me. It's got me in a monster mood. I hate it when doctors treat ANY patient like that. I know he was 90 minutes behind and he needed to catch up and not all his patients were being as patient as I was, but still that was no reason to blow me off. I saw him for less than 5 minutes after that horrible long wait with cold air blowing on my head and face and that, of course, compounded the pain...

What a mess.

I look around sometimes and I feel like my own struggles are so trivial compared to those of others...and then on days like yesterday when it finally hit me hard that I can't do factory work, or anything else that requires concentration and focus for more than 1 or 2 hours at a time, it really hurts. It sucks that my hubby has to work so hard. It hurts that I can't make money to help him out.

The nurse practitioner student who interviewed me this morning didn't help, either...she kept telling me how depressing this all is. Like I didn't know. Like it was a flash of insight. I wanted to ask her to go but I know she has to learn so I tried being patient with her and she ended up admitting I was too complex for her. That, too, was a real ego-booster.

How do I keep my faith?

Because God never promised me an easy time of it.

He only promised I wouldn't be alone when I hit the walls and the fire and the rivers overflowing with sewage and the other struggles. He promised to hold my hand, not take me over or around or behind.

Ecclesiastes says the sun shines on the field of the wicked and the field of the godly, and the rain falls on the just and the unjust.

I guess some of us just get muddier fields than others...or dustier fields...or fields with crappy dirt...

I wonder how God sees me, with all my dreams over there in a heap as I struggle to get from day to day without falling to pieces...which, for the past few weeks, has been a real challenge...

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