Archive | September, 2014

Appointment With My New PCP Today

23 Sep

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Appointment With My New UCD Primary Doc

So I will try not to get too angry in this post but here it goes…

I currently don’t have a primary doctor (PCP) or specialist (except for a neuro, neuro surgeon and lyme docs) since my last doctor said he didn’t want to be my doctor and I should keep looking. Every doctor my mom and I see is rude, not people friendly (unless you have something they can see wrong with you) and pisses us off! They never believe any diagnoses that my other doctors write in my records and most diagnoses were from PCP’s, rheums, specialists, not just lyme doctors. Every doctor believes lyme doctors are quacks and that there is no lyme in Cali. So this is like doctor number 30+ in the past 20+ years of searching for a “good doctor” that I trust, like or that will actually help or listen.

We tried all the docs in my city and near by cities so my mom took us to UC Davis in Davis, Ca. Although I get very car sick we figured a short drive is better than having no doctor, especially with the new pain meds/norco law that you need to see a doctor face to face every month and there are no longer refills. So I need to see a doctor every month just to get my morphine and norco since all these stupid druggies give us severe pain patients a bad name. Plus driving to see my lyme doctor every month would be too much on me since she is further away. I get too car sick so I usually only leave the house to go to doctor appointments or to pick up meds, if I can do it that day.

So we get to UCD medical office and the receptionist was really nice so we thought maybe the doctor would be also.The doc walks in and sits down to read everything my dear mom had organized for us. He just said “hmmm” a lot. Basically he says he “wants me off pain pills because only cancer patients should be on pain meds”. You heard that right. I know people with and who have survived cancer and they say their lupus and lyme pain are far more superior than their cancer pain ever was. I know cancer is horrible but for him to say that is the only diagnoses that needs pain meds was outrageous. He didn’t like the fact I take muscle relaxers for twitches, cramps, spinal stenosis and most importantly …sleep! He said “I am a traditional doctor I don’t believe in pain meds or giving pills to help, that’s what physical therapy and psychologist are for”.

He starts asking m the usual “you must be either depressed or a drinker, smoker” questions. So I told him I tried tobacco chew one time in my teens & it made me turn green & I puked all night so I never touched it again. He has the nerve to write down “former smoker”!! So now all the doctors in the future will think I was a smoker & “unhealthy” then blame that on everything wrong with me. I never smoked! He asked if I was in a war or if anyone in my family abuses pain meds. Of course I told him the truth “NO” to every question. He asked when is the last time I saw a psychologist ad if I would be willing to see one. I said a few years ago I saw a psychologist from Medicare approval and she said I was fine. The I said “no I will not see one” because yes I am depressed I am sick and lost everything but no I am not super depressed and that is not what is causing all of this I go through each day.

My mom gave him all my positive diagnoses blood tests & records from Sutter, UCSF, & with other well known medical groups. He reads them all & says he’s “skeptical & just thinks I’m depressed”. He had to mention the usual idiotic statement “lyme is cured after 10 days of antibiotics so if you did them for 3 years you were already cured and the symptoms are lingering, you no longer have lyme”. I wanted to scream, so I told a joke instead, he didn’t crack a smile. I said so depressed people tell jokes and laugh like I do? My mom says how I am always upbeat and try to motivate and inspire others. I said “I wish I could see Dr House ha ha ha” the doctor replies “well house is a fictional character and I’m a real doctor”. Not even a smirk from him as if I wasn’t funny at all. Although that was my smart ass way of saying “it’s funny how a TV doc & myself know more than you, jerk”!

He said the usual response I get every time I need a PCP, “well I can’t really help you but I will ask around to see if I can find another doctor to help you but I can tell you none of them believe in Lyme here”. So my mom started to cry & begged him to help us. I don’t like to see my om crying so I wanted to punch him or say “let me get a lyme carrying tick and let it bite you and your family then you can take those 10 days of antibiotic 20+ years after you were infected and then tell me you are cured and show me proof”. My mom begged him that we just need a doctor in case I get the flu or sick from something else & we don’t want any prescriptions or Lyme care from him. He said “so when is the last time you had the flu anyway”? What does that matter? I said “a coupe of years but only because I am confined to our house so I rarely have human interaction but I used to get it a few times a year, every year”.

So the doctor saw my mom was desperate for help and he changed his mind a little, he said “oh I didn’t say I can’t help at all, I will get blood work done today and I will send you to a rheumatologist for your primary immune deficiency & also to our pain clinic. My mom read that their pain clinic may do Ketamine infusions which are hard to find and very hush hush and they may be covered instead of paying $900-$1200 each infusion currently. The doctor said “our pain clinic will want you off pain meds & they do physical therapy for pain so I don’t think you will get ketamine or pain meds”. Yeah physical therapy (exercise) really helps with that, been there done that!

It was just like usual he was closed-minded & didn’t want to be my doctor from the start. This is what I deal with every time & have to hold back from using profanity. He even literally said “you may find another doctor in this medical building that is more “open-minded” but not many. So he told us he was “skeptical and close-minded”. I can’t believe we live in a world where if we have an invisible illness we are treated like crap by strangers, doctors and even family members who think we are just lazy and getting needles and infusions for fun. The faces I get from people when I am wearing pajamas since my skin is too sensitive to heavy clothes sometimes or when I get out of the car in a handicap space (with my plaque). It’s enough to break a person down but I won’t let it get me down, when I am backed in a corner I fight!

The doctor left the room and didn’t shake my hand or get close he just kind of wanted out of there. We left feeling like nothing was really accomplished except we may get lucky and get ketamine infusions cheaper or we may get kicked out of there too. I felt as though he saw me as a depressed guy with CFS and I am a druggie. He didn’t care I have a weak immune my whole life, bone infections, almost died from elderly pneumonia in my teens….etc. One day I will find a good doctor again that isn’t a lyme doc and things may get better, until then we have to keep on going and keep up the fight because life goes on with or without us. Hope you all are having better days, stay strong.

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My First Ketamine & Versed Infusion

8 Sep

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My First Ketamine & Versed Infusion

Update: first a quick update on how I am doing. I have been getting sicker the last couple of months. I am so exhausted and haven’t had the energy to post or reply. I have been crying in pain everyday as usual. Can barely walk most days but still I am thankful I can walk again. I am told they think I have intra-cellular dehydration. Just having a rough time like I know many of you are too. We will get through this.

Infusion

After my last visit to UCSF my pain management doctor said I have already tried pretty much every pain killer on the market so as a last resort for those with severe chronic pain he recommended Ketamine infusions. My long-acting pain killer, morphine (150mg per day) barely takes the edge off and for me my Norco is the only break-through pain killer that has helped with taking the edge off also. But they barely drop my pain from a 10+ down to a 8-9 for a couple hours if that.

I have a high tolerance for pain so my 10+ is probably a 20 on most sufferers pain scale. I’m the type who cuts my head open bleeding all over and doesn’t even feel it that much. But after having RSD/CRPS , herniated discs that felt like hot lava in my neck and a bad kidney stone attack and passing it then I knew what bad pain was. I know people who cut their finger and think they are dying a say it’s a 10 on the pain scale so I know everyone’s scale is different.

For my infusion they wanted to start me on a low dose to see if I can tolerate the med and didn’t have a bad reaction so next dose is 175mg then up to 200-500mg as we progress and the knock out dose. I had zero hours of sleep the night before the infusion. I went into my own private infusion room and laid down for my IV. The nurse had to give me 3 pushes (3-4mg) of Versed hoping that would calm me and put me to sleep along with the 50mg of Ketmine but it didn’t and I kept squirming around. I have twitches with my neuro lyme so I can’t sit still too long especially during MRI’s or CT scans. It gave me the nitrous oxide feeling like when you used to get the gas at the dentist during a tooth pull. Ketmine and versed are basically meds used to sedate you during surgery. The room look “fuzzy” but that was about all I felt.

After the infusion was done I stood right up and we went back to our hotel room. Now I am not sure if it was due to a lack of sleep and being heavily sedated and having versed but I did feel less pain like maybe a 6 on the pain scale for about 2 hours. The pain slowly came back and hit me hard the next day. Today I was avoiding going to the ER the best I could. It gets scary when you feel so horrible and afraid something may go wrong but you are afraid to go to the ER because they treat me like crap. I will get my next infusion soon. But I am back to a 10 plus but it was so great to not feel as much pan for those 2 hours. Ketamine is not for everyone you usually need to have RSD/CRPS or chronic severe pain for many years to be considered for it. The Ketamine IV cost me $700 out-of-pocket.

Gammgard IVIG

I am taking a one month break from my IVIG infusions for my PIDD. My immune subclass numbers only went up a few points in 7-8 months but that means they are slowly doing something. So I will most likely be on them for 3 more years for now. Each infusion is $500 out-of-pocket but I am hoping to get them covered 100% soon. So that is a good to see they are doing something even if it is baby steps.

 

– Stay strong my friends and never give up.

 

 

 

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