Tuesday, May 05, 2009
I'm Psychologically Distoibed!
Today I went for a 10th(!) opinion on my right arm, to Dr M. As a welcome change, she was polite, kind & respectful. Unfortunately, she didn't tell me anything I didn't already know, nor give me any great hope for the future. She wanted me to see the partner of Dr Schmuck, who's in the same building, for "pain treatment" (e.g., physical therapy and drugs, which haven't been effective this go-round). I told her I wouldn't set foot in that office, nor have one dime of my money go into his pocket. So she referred me to someone else, whose name I've filed away.
Dr M looked at the results of Dr C's EMG nerve tests (i.e., "torture") and, just as he did, told me that the median nerve was doing better. I told her my response to him: "Sez you. If the nerve is 'better' why does my arm hurt more, and why are my fingers more numb?"
"These things take time," said Dr M, echoing Dr C & several others. She repeated that nerve tissue heals @ 1mm/day. My arm is a good 24" (610mm) from shoulder to middle fingertip. I finally did the math: I have to wait 610 days after last June's surgery, i.e., till February 1, 2010, to see whether the median nerve has regenerated. But if it hasn't healed by then, it'll be too dead to repair. So I'll be stuck with a sore arm and perpetually numb fingers.
My quandary: Should I have surgery that might fail & leave me worse off, or wait another painful year & maybe miss the chance to fix the nerve?
Last week I left a message for Dr C, asking for a referral to a neurosurgeon "who isn't arrogant & condescending" like Dr B. His office manager called back with contact info for Dr X. After I got home from seeing Dr M, I Googled Dr X. And--what's this?--he's not a neurosurgeon, he's a neurologist and...PSYCHIATRIST.
Official diagnosis: I'm psychologically distoibed!
Official reaction: Nothing makes me crazier than being told--always by a MALE doctor--that I should see a shrink.
Darling Husband agrees that if he were the one seeking help, he'd have been treated with a lot less condescension, and offered surgery rather than palliatives and psychotherapy. I feel a Third Wave of feminism raging within me.