It is ironic to get a shot to relieve pain, but that’s what happened (inevitably) at today’s doctor’s appointment.
The reason I love my doctor: He was able to find stuff that so far had gone undetected by other doctors, including three bone spurs on my vertebrae. He noted some degeneration on one of my discs, which isn’t new information; I had been warned/alerted to this before. However even with the new information he says that the shooting pain down my leg more indicates nerve compression, which is what I suspected it was from past experience.
So he’s given me a muscle relaxer and some Melixocam, told me to use wet heat for 30 minutes at a stretch and gave me some exercises to do. I go back in a month to see if the conservative treatment plan has worked. If not, then he’s thinking an MRI to further identify the underlying problem.
There are two big problems with this.
Here’s the thing about “Private Pay”… every single thing rings up in your head like a cash register. Four X-rays, KAching. Shot for pain, KAching. The total for today’s visit was $271, which was a whole lot less than the $800 I’ve been billed at an ER for the exact same treatment. The difference is with a doctor I can follow up and actually deal with preventative/long term care rather than just walk out with a very expensive prescription for pain pills that never really *fix* the problem as much as make it livable until the next flare-up.
But needless to say I want to do everything possible to avoid something like an MRI when I don’t have an insurance buffer.
(People who say that the uninsured can be treated at an ER for acute problems and thus there is no real need for low-cost alternatives to high-priced treatment really can bite me. They obviously don’t live what they preach, or else they’d know that there needs to be another way for those who aren’t poor enough to get aid or make enough to afford private insurance/medical treatment.)
The second reason I want to avoid an MRI at all cost is the little matter of my being extremely claustrophobic. Been there, done that… don’t want to do it again.
Just knock me out. I don’t want to deal with the Tube of Doom.
(Yeah I’m a baby. Don’t judge me.)
Anyone who might be concerned about such things will be happy to know that I’m doing okay as far as blood pressure and all that good stuff. The weight is up a little, which comes as no real shock. I think when I go back next month I’m going to ask him about my thyroid because I am starting to suspect that might be the culprit in why I stagnate on weight loss even when everything is going well.
In the meantime I have some supplements to see if that does the trick.
The most important goal at this point is to get upright and mobile again. The hubby and I are taking a trip at the end of the month for an early 10 year anniversary getaway to one of our favorite cities.
That doesn’t give me a lot of time, but I’m nothing if not tenacious.
I’ll make it happen one way or the other.