Tuesday, August 29, 2006
the trigger point injections yesterday

well; first i'll just give you a rundown on the appointment. not stellar (on my part).

i got there, and started working with my physical therapist. she found the places where the injections were going to go, and marked them with pen on my neck and upper shoulder (like the muscle that runs across the neck to top of shoulder) --anyways, the process of finding and marking, was unfortunately painful, and caused my headache to be worse than it was when i came in. then the dr. came in, a really nice guy from africa with a cool african accent i was enjoying. he had to test every mark by causing the same pain, so he knew at what angle to stick the needle in. then once the needle in, he didn't inject the anesthesia until i felt the pain AGAIN, b/c then we both knew it was the right spot. so after the 6th or so injection, i'm in a fair amount of pain, and i'm having this frustrating thoughts passing through my head, 'why on earth do i have to do this?' i'm so tired of being poked and prodded and examined and trying new things that don't work...etc., and i start crying. the dr. and physical therapist are both still in the room. the dr. is worried that he made me cry. i tell him, no, i'm fine, i'm not in that much pain (b/c it wasn't like the amount of pain is what made me cry), and so we continue with the last few injections. i'm still crying. i ask the 2 of them if i can just have a minute to myself. i just want to compose myself. i feel like and IDIOT. i'm embarassed - i don't like crying in front of ppl. i hardly know. soooo they come back in a few minutes later. the dr. has a business card in his hand. i can see where this is going right away.

he says, 'i'm sure you know that it's standard procedure for every patient at our pain clinic to see a psychologist, as part of their treatment here. the only reason you haven't seen one yet is b/c our physcologists are booked out till december. but this psychologist (he hands me the card) is out in private practice, she used to work here. she specializes in relaxation therapies and coping techniques for chronic pain and illness.' now, to add to the humiliation of the appointment, i started laughing/crying about when he said 'standard procedure'. i just thought, how hilarious is this. but i wasn't far enough from the crying to only laugh, and i was thinking, oh man these guys think i'm psychotic so i was crying too. so after more reassurances that 'every patient is expected to see a psychologist' and 'it would appear that you have some pent up frustration and emotions about your pain', we moved on to finish out the appointment. stretching, instructions, etc. and i was out of there.

wow.

soooo here's the result of the injections (what you actually came here for, right?). my head hurts worse than it usually does -- and it hurts behind my eye as well as on my right temple - whereas it usually hurts just on my temple. my neck, where they gave the injections is stiff and hurts. they said usually the headaches get better straight away. sometimes, things get worse before they get better. apparently that's me. we're still hoping things will get better at some point.

after that, i went to lunch at cafe rio for a little treat. i love their steak salad.

edited to add: i should mention that i'm not at all opposed to seeing a psychologist. in fact, i've seen one before who didn't specialize in chronic pain, and wasn't able to help me as much as i would have liked with coping techniques and relaxation techniques for my headaches. so i'm pleased to be able to learn more about these things. it just felt ridiculous at the time. not the best timing for the whole "psychologist talk", but hey, whatever, right?






5 Comments:
Blogger Heather Smith had this to say:

When I was having chronic pain before I found out about having chiari malformation and before I had my surgery, I got very angry with my neurologist. He had put me on pain pill after pain pill, and none of them were working (they wouldn't have for me because there was just too much pressure on my brain) Anyway, he wanted to put me on anti-depressants on top of the other pills he had me on. Finally I looked right at him, and I said I don't need another pill, I want to know what's wrong, and I want you to figure out what I need to do to fix it. I mean yes I was frustrated. I had faced a migraine everyday for the past 4 months with no let up, and that migraine was making me throw up EVERY SINGLE DAY. So I feel your pain here. Praying that you'll find some relief soon!

1:00 PM 

Blogger Muum had this to say:

oh, doll, I am sorry! crying in public is tough, and awkward. I am sure doctors see it all the time - you don't go to see them because you have a lot of time on your hands, you go see them because something is wrong, and sometimes it is upsetting and hurts and is scary. I know my drs have pretty much all seen me cry at one time and another, and that is just more stupidity on top of any other indignity that may be going on. I think crying when something hurts and has been an ongoing major problem for far too long is a pretty reasonable way to react, myself! love you

2:36 PM 

Blogger LeighAnn had this to say:

Everything will work out. Keep your chin up!

9:55 PM 

Blogger Pink Chihuahua Princess had this to say:

Awww...bless your heart! I always feel like an idiot at the Dr. because I always cry whether I'm frustrated or not.

They do seem to think that everything is because you're overwhelmed or depressed or something, though. A few years ago I was in the Dr. for something, and the nurse asked how I was. I was right in the MIDDLE of law school finals. In law school you only have one grade all semester--your final.

So, I told her I was stressed out. A few minutes later she comes back in with a little quiz for me to take to let the Dr. know if I am struggling with depression. Sheesh!

Good luck to you!

7:50 AM 

Blogger Grim Reality Girl had this to say:

Hang in there sister! I've been where you are and can give testimony that this TOO shall pass! Nice technique for moving up the psychologist appointment! (KIDDING!).

I've cried in front of the doctor before. I've burst into tears for one and sobs for another. Pain can do that to you -- do not be ashamed. They've seen it before and crying also helps remind them that you are human. They are treating a human vs. a condition.

I've had those kind of injections -- sounds like the same area too. OUCH. I'm one who feels horrible that day, bad or worse the next, and then better after that. Hope you have relief!!!! Best wishes for you - my prayers have gone up for you!

7:38 PM 

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I'm 25 - married, and recently graduated from Brigham Young University, studying music; I play piano. My husband is just starting his PhD program at the University of Utah in computer architecture.

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