25 February 2012

ER Tour Continues

Another disappeared post recreated...

Unbearable pain has CA and I driving 30 minutes to another ER--this one is connected to the hospital where our family practice doctor has privileges. We decide to go this direction rather than to the ER we visited a week ago that is just 10 minutes from our home.

Every bump and lurch of the car is painful, and not a few times I groan or complain. CA is driving so carefully, but my low back and upper legs hurt so, so much along with the on-going Shingles nerve pain.

We sign-in around 8:30pm, and although everyone is nice they keep us waiting, and waiting. For over three hours we wait behind the curtain in the treatment room with nothing to intervene with the pain. Nothing.

This afternoon we talked to our doctor's office and it was decided that I would stop the oral Morphine in favor of a Lidocaine patch that might work better. It does not.

The low back pain is a fairly new development--started yesterday and is somewhat similar to the chronic, sporadic back pain I've suffered over 30 years. Pain incidents I've learned to control with exercise (Yoga and speed walking on a cushioned track) and body-conscious living. I could have a PhD in back pain. I know a lot.

However, this pain is intense and unremitting.

I'm kept waiting for over 3 hours with no pain killers. We decline further tests because last week's ER visit covered everything--EKG, stress test, MRI, blood work, x-rays, etc. And, the results were excellent except for acknowledgement of flexibility issues with my back. So, we wait.

Finally the still-invisible doctor allows the nurse to give me a small dose through an i.v. port that is ready and waiting. It helps immediately, but for only a short time.

Then, the doctor (a very kind and knowledgable man) appears and determines that my normally remitting back pain has stepped up a notch to Stenosis or possibly Spondylolisthesis--the same condition our son DM suffered through until surgery in 2004-2005.

Relieved to have a diagnosis, pain meds, and a few miscellaneous Rx's we are finally on our way home at 3:00am. I'm up to 7 prescriptions a day from my usual one tiny Rx. I have drugs for pain, nausea, a UTI, high blood pressure, anti-viral, etc.... And, a referral to an Orthopedic specialist--the same doctor our son sees.

What gives here?! Tonight is only my second time in hospital care, excluding the two C-sections when our son and daughter were born. Two hospital visits in bit more than a week.

I know which ER I'll go to in the future. Although, I don't plan on ever needing to visit an ER again. Please.


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