Thursday, December 23, 2010
I had major problems with Tuesday's procedure. As some of you may know, I agreed to the procedure as a compromise with my doctor. I agreed to do two procedures and if they weren't successful, he would do an MRI. To his credit, he has credentials a mile long and has worked in a level I trauma center for 10 years so he knows (I think) what he is doing. He has taught cutting edge information at well known medical schools recently and has a wonderful reputation. That being said, the staff at the surgery center let me go home even after I told them that I was in crushing pain on my left side. The left side pain was a issue when I came to him and I voiced a concern because it was increasing over time. Fast forward to Tuesday. It was so bad when I left the out patient facility that I couldn't stand up straight. This should have been a red flag to the nurses at the facility and they shouldn't have let me leave without being seen again by my doctor. Instead they told me to take some Tylenol and go to bed when I got home. I asked permission to take a pain medication that I had left from an accident a year and a half a ago and they checked and said that would be fine. So I went home at around noon.
It took me almost until midnight to get the pain under control. Yesterday I was still in pain but it was tolerable without the medication. I still had electric shocks and muscle spasms going down my left arm into my hand and back and muscle spasms going down my right arm and hand. I had difficulty using my left arm/hand yesterday and my head and neck were throbbing. I had had enough so I decided to call the doctor's office to let them know everything that had transpired. Much to my surprise, the doctor had gone on vacation for the Christmas holidays. I was furious and told the person who answered the phone that I needed to talk to somebody. She said that if I would tell her in detail what had happened, she would call him and tell him everything and call me back. She asked me if I wanted to cancel my next injection appointment and I said I wanted to see what the doctor said first. I made this phone call at 9:30a.m.
At 2p.m. in the afternoon, the doctor's office called me back. The woman I spoke to in the morning was the same person who called me back. Suddenly the doctor's office was very apologetic about my experience on Tuesday. The doctor still wants to move forward with the second shot but he wants to assure me that I will not leave the facility without the pain under control and a pain management plan in place. The woman told me that pain after this procedure is common but my reaction was very rare and that they will watch it and me very carefully in the future. She said the down side of a reaction like mine is that my arms, back, shoulder, neck and head may be sore for up to five days after the shot and I have to rest according to my pain level. That did not make me happy because this is Christmas week.
Today I woke up and although still very sore, I am better. The electric shocks and the severe muscle spasms have subsided quite a bit. My head, neck, back and arm still ache but I'm able to use my arm and hand again. My husband is furious at the whole situation and I don't blame him. I know he felt helpless as he watched me suffer and he was even more angry when he found out that the doctor went on vacation. I was secretly happy to have interrupted his vacation with my phone call after all the pain and suffering I had gone through. I also filled out the survey (in detail) that the surgery center put in my hand as I was leaving on Tuesday. I signed it and put my phone number. My guess is that they will never call me after they read it. It wasn't all bad. I was fair and there were some positives that occurred before my procedure. It will be interesting to see what their response will be if they have one.