I woke up with it on my mind and then immediately I felt the heaviness in my heart. The anxiety instantly set in… my vision fuzzy. Tears in my eyes
My first thought of the morning. UGH
I can’t stop it…
Scrolling through my mind like a marquee… you know the one. The sign that is out of place and too bright and has that really loud, odd buzz…
…new doctor… new doctor… new doctor…
I know it’s a fear response. A history of being doubted. But I’m powerless to stop it. I haven’t even seen the doctor and I’m already in panic.
The auditory marquee immediately rolls into visual images of these previous doctors. Like ghosts of my past, they roll together fluidly from one doubtful doctor to the next. Each one here to haunt me all over again. They’re all arrogantly standing over me…. taking turns calling me a liar. Telling me to seek psychiatric care for a pain that was ‘Obviously’ in my head.
The marquee keeps scrolling… it’s amps up in intensity. I can hear the labels they tacked onto me. Like they’re playing pin the tail on the donkey at a kids birthday party…
…she’s a hypochondriac, she’s a drug seeker, only drug addicts use fentanyl, have you thought you are your own problem…
The marquee rolling through my mind and the subsequent panic and anxiety level would normally have been enough to make me cancel the appointment. Why cancel? Because, Fuck it… I still have more pain managed days than non-managed days so there is no need to deal with hypocritical… NEW DOCTORS…. right this minute.
That isn’t healing. Cancelling the appointment isn’t what will help me get this pain back under control.
Luckily, the husband stirred about 20 minutes into my anxiety filled, marquee rolling, panic attack.
He acknowledged that he could see why I was struggling. But was quick to then remind me that we don’t need this guy for answers. We don’t need diagnostic stuff, just maintenance and access to care. -And, husband says, if he’s a dick, just leave. We will find someone else.
So, how did it go?
Well, I got up and took a Xanax. Lol
Then I got dressed. Curled my hair and put my makeup on. Shoes, perfume and Jewelry. ~~It’s necessary for me, you see. It’s a survival tool, really. I learned early on… If I’m put together, not hysterical or wild eyed, their more likely to believe me…
I drove to the doctor and almost bailed in the parking lot but the husband was there to text with me… we don’t need him to believe you, only agree to the injections. It’s okay… you’re okay….
So I went in. Alone. Believing in the power of my own story. And my own survival…. but still, hoping I like him.
Dr. Gossler comes in. Shakes my hand and we do brief intro’s. He asks why I’m there and I immediately explain that I have PTSD that is trigged X1000 when I see new doctors, please if he could be patient with me while I process what is said and if I ask you to repeat yourself, it’s only to ensure I understand what you mean.
I didn’t mean to say that! Ugh!
Dr. Gossler looks at me and calmly says, okay. Thank you.
…Then he starts… I read your last records from Hibner. He asks, Who was Dr. Hastings again?….. and off we went, answering questions and then his exam. We discuss how I added procedure onto procedure until I found the powerhouse COMBINATION to deal with PGAD and bladder, frozen pelvic muscles and SIJ injections… Dr. Gossler said he doesn’t want any radiology tests. He is comfortable continuing Hastings injections…
He asked if I had another diagnosis of some hip thing. I said no…I must have looked wild eyed, he backed off. I didn’t ask what he meant as I was so focused on making sure I controlled my ptsd. I’ll have to ask what he thinks is happening to the hips at my next visit.
Then he surprised me. He offered additional treatments to consider when the SIJ Injections stop working… radioablation of the nerves (that can last up to a year at a time) and then fusing the joints. I immediately rejected fusing and he asked why. I said I was afraid of it causing more damage down the road. He said unlikely and explained the dowels they use are triangular and don’t go through the whole pelvic floor. It isn’t one single rod but 4 small ones. He said it’s an option for later, not now. He told me I am lucky, that only 30% of people who get SIJ injections get any relief.
Now that I think about it, I don’t think it’s luck at all… Blood. Sweat. Tears. Withdrawals. And I can’t help but think maybe if the doctors did more powerhouse injections, listening and adjusting based on each patients needs, together then more people would report successful blocks…. if I had done one block at a time and moved on to the next after it didn’t help ‘enough’ then I’d be saying none of them work… it honestly took them ALL, being done together, to get any significant pain difference for me.
Anyways, I did it. A successful visit. By myself. Hahahahaha haha…. unsupervised. To a new doctor! Hells yeah!
And, I see Dr. Gossler again on February 17th for bilateral SIJ injections. In clinic, no anesthesia and I can’t fucking wait! Bring on the pain of those injections so I know I have relief coming… bring it!
Come on Feb 17!
Healing is hard but the reward is beautiful.
Updates after the injections.