Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The Pain Man

Monday 9th May 2011

“Back again”, smiled the out-patients receptionist at Monkwearmouth Hospital, as I handed in my appointment letter to see the Pain Man.

I wish the receptionists at the fracture and orthopaedic outpatients at the Royal Hospital were as friendly as they are here. No matter whether you speak to them face to face or over the phone, they are really miserable.

Like last week, John was able to come with me so we got ourselves settled in the waiting area. One of the auxiliary nurses approached me. I hoped it wasn’t for more obs. I didn’t think I would have grown since last week….

“Marie”, she said, “Dr Kumar has asked if you could fill out this pain questionnaire please”.

It asked questions like ‘how would you describe your pain’ and ‘how would you rate it out of 10’. I hate answering questions like that.

I asked John if he would come into the consulting room with me so he could explain how my moods change when my pains are really bad.

“How did the pain in your back start”, asked the Pain Man.

I explained about the mattress’s in the hospital. He flicked through my notes.

“Have you seen Mr Roysum since your MRI scan”, he asked.

“Err, no”, I replied, “that’s a bit of a sore point. Every time I have an appointment, it gets cancelled. The next time I am supposedly seeing him will be in June. That’s nearly a year since my first consolation”.

“I see”, he said, then left the consulting room. He came back holding a plastic model of the spine and pelvis.

“It would seem that your back pain was caused by a vertebra being displaced forwards due to the soft mattresses”, he said, giving John and myself a demonstration on the model of what happened, “your spine is very susceptible to this kind of injury as there is soft tissue damage caused by treatment when you were very young”.

He expressed surprise that no-one had picked up on this when I first reported the back pain, and that it should have been acted on sooner. He was also shocked, that given the soft tissue damage, I was given a normal soft mattress instead of one suitable for my back.

He then asked how things were with my hand so I explained what the Hand (Wo)Man had said.

“I would strongly suggest you have surgery on your wrist”, he said, “as I’m afraid it’ll only get worse”.

Just what I wanted to hear !!!!!!

“What’s happening with your hip”, he enquired.

“Nothing”, I answered, then told him what Kermit had said.

“I know I shouldn’t say this about one of your colleagues”, I added, “but I got the feeling that the Plastic Man didn’t want to do the surgery from the moment he saw me. I was also a bit surprised with Kermit’s attitude”.

“I think it would be in your best interests to get a second opinion”, he replied.


Now getting back to the reason why we were there – my pains – he advised me to stay on the Gabapentin.

I told him I wasn’t too keen on that idea as I didn’t like the side effects. He replied that they were the best painkillers for the type of nerve pain that I have. Reluctantly I said I’d continue with them.

He’s also put me on Nortripaline, which is in the same family as Amitripaline. I used to take them but they didn’t work.

“See how you get on with these and I’ll see you in a few months”.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.