My Final Answer
By Monica Radtke, Fibromyalgia Blogger
I’ve always been able to make decisions about my health. Through what I know and research I do, the information I feel I need let’s me makes a well-rounded, complete decision. I rarely have questions about a surgery, procedure, x-ray, or test. Until now! Now I am looking for a final answer.
Since I’ve lost faith in my doctor, I wonder how I’ve gotten to where I am medically. Are all of my conditions, diseases, injuries cured, and or fixed. Did I do the things I was supposed to in order to improve my health?
I have a life to live (I am 47 years old), a pain tolerance level that would buckle people’s psyche, and I have motivation. Motivation to do what I’ve been dreaming of since I was 17 years old – be a professional speaker.
As a Toastmasters member, I have gained so much communication education as well as planning, organization, and team building, all in order to develop leadership skills.
The drive I have flows into my health and how I deal with everything that comes at me. The decisions I’ve made may not have been ‘right’, but they were mine. Well mine and my boyfriend of 27+ years, Larry. He helps me see issues that I don’t think of but doesn’t understand medicine as I do. Not that I really do, but the motivation to learn got me and still does. Probably always will.
We have already discussed the possibilities of me having another low back surgery that will require a multi-level fusion (L3 – 4 and L4 – 5). L4 – 5 was done October of 2012. Four-day hospital stay that I really don’t remember much of. All I want is to feel ‘good’. To feel nothing. To come up with a final answer.
As I waited for my appointment (originally October 11th, now moved up to the 9th due to Physical Therapy not working and it making me more painful), I kept thinking, is this how hard the rest of my life is going to be? Fighting for my healthcare is NOT my idea of a midlife crisis or even over the hill issue. I just wish doctors would quit thinking of me as a pill-popping patient. I know what my body will and won’t do. It may not be the right thing, but I know when I am not feeling right and need to see someone and have a test or x-ray.
I was nervous to get to the clinic and hoped for the best.
My surgeon is a stern-faced, hard to read gentleman. First impressions are how I’ve learned to ready people in general, but especially when I meet doctors. I like to research the doctor, test, procedure, everything. Maybe that’s how I’ve gotten to where I am.
Knowing options gives me the edge to know the answer before I get the question.
With all of this in mind, I was given my final answer at the appointment I dreaded from a long time ago – I’ve suffered from the back/abdominal pain since February.
If patients were to research the surgeries they have/had, I believe 80% or more wouldn’t have it done. Joint surgeries are NOT great to watch in an Internet video. The human body was not meant to be hammered, drilled, or parts removed.
Waiting for the prior authorization for the surgery is killing me. My last back surgery cost me then at the time insurance company over $160,000. Four days inpatient and surgery. This was October of 2012 for an L4 – 5 fusion.