A Demon’s Bargain….
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Yesterday was a Long Day…..
After walking the length of a football field through the hospital hallways, up an elevator, and down another almost 200 yards down more hallways.. I got to the sleep center to meet my new pulmonologist.
After being taken to a room and having my vitals taken (which for a change didn’t make it look like I was going to stroke out on the table… I got some meds down finally..) I only had to wait a few minutes for the doctor.
6’ tall, *big* hands, easy going manner. Pretty much *just* what I need at this point.
He asked me why I was even there and actually listened while I explained in detail.
Amazing, a *real* health care *professional*!
After talking together for 45 minutes or so, we reached the crux of my situation.
My pain doctor is afraid.
The letter the other lung doc sent blew me out of the water. Somehow my “Mild” apnea had suddenly become “Serious” and “Life threatening” enough to bar the use of *any* narcotics in that doctor’s opinion.
Those two little phrases pretty much sealed my fate.
Under the DEA’s current nightmarish war on Pain Doctors and the patients they treat, they effectively sealed me off from *any* pain medication or treatment.
If something *were* to happen with/to me, not only could my pain doctor lose his *license*, he would be facing 30 years in a federal pen!
Some *Other* doctor or set of doctors were willing to step up and contest the first lung doc’s letter/conclusion.
Unless *They* were willing to act as a “shield” for my pain doctor to treat me.
To put themselves at (not inconsiderable) risk for a patient they barely knew…
Yeah. I’m screwed.
Then the lung doc sat back and we discussed *why* the other doctor said that.
And what I had done to deal with my underlying health/breathing issues.
The new doctor again listened and then said I had done what “He” would have done.. That I had done everything *Right*. (Always nice to hear…)
That *HE* and the other lung doc I saw last month would be my “Shield”.
Would place themselves between myself and the Fed. And the Pain Clinic.
Come to find out he and my *other* new lung doc used to be partners and were going back to that in a few short weeks.
That he *also* new my Primary. Well, well, well.
I…. *me*… was speechless….
And awash with tears…
The letters should go out today. The phone calls started before I made it to the elevator because we heard about it when we got to the Primary’s for my trigger point injections.
The new lung doc also referred me for a surgical consult for a procedure which *might* solve my minor sleep problem.. (Which, frankly, *I* think is caused by the PAIN, *not* anything else… I ‘pant’ in my sleep.. During *only* the dream phase…. Because I am bust being punched, bitten, stabbed, shot, burned, pierced or beaten in my dream. And, as I do when awake, I use a specific type of breathing exercise adapted from all of the Lamaze classes I have gone through to help me deal with that pain…)
After reading up on the surgery, I doubt if I can bring myself to do it. It only has a 30 or 40% success rate and some *significant* downsides…
One of the “nicer” list of side effects:
WHAT ARE THE SIDE-EFFECTS?
“Most people will have some discomfort on swallowing for the first while. Perhaps 5-10% will have some degree of persistent nasal regurgitation (food shooting into the nose when you swallow). The rare individual will experience changes in their voice.
However, the most serious side effect is that the surgery can cause or worsen Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This occurs in up to 1/3 of patients who have this surgery.”
Other sites are not so, glowing in their descriptions of the down-sides to this surgery..
“persistent nasal regurgitation”?
Are you KIDDING me?! O_O *Facepalm*
Later today I will go to the surgical consult and talk about it with them. The idea of having them cut out the back of my throat for what is, admittedly, an under control, *minor* problem seems ludicrous.
But, at this point, I would be willing to have them lop of my left *Hand* if it meant I could get some decent pain relief. But this? Can I *do* this to myself for pain relief?
But the alternative is death….
I have a limit to how far I would be willing to go… the loss of my legs, or bowel control is outside that limit. But my throat? My voice? Letting them maim something *hidden*? I just don’t know…
It would only cost me my singing, my ability to swallow reliably, my voice timber and quality, my ability to keep from vomiting through my nose, or making me choke on every swallow.
The recovery time is *weeks*.
Without being able to eat or swallow.
And will, odds are, just make the problem *worse*.
But it buys me a few weeks of decent pain control…
Days with my kids and…
Nights holding my Dearest Love…
I just don’t know…..
And, at this point…..
What other choices do I really have….