What can you do about an achy-breaky back? I decided to find out this week, but when I called, I found out my doctor was on indefinite medical leave. Seems he injured his back.
Now he gets to see what all his patients have been complaining about all these years. Thank goodness it is a group practice. Who else could see me?
“Well, if you change to another doctor, you will be a new patient,” warned the receptionist, like I had a choice.
“I’m going on vacation in two weeks. How long will this take?”
“I have one doctor with an opening tomorrow.”
“Sold. I’ll take him. What did you say his name is?” Not a good way to select a new doctor, but he was in the same medical group as my old doctor.
When I looked up his resume on the Internet, I found out he was about 20 times more qualified than for anything I needed. Actually, what I wanted was just a cortisone shot. My old doctor would have run though with a needle and in 5 minutes that would be that.
For the new doctor, however, I had to be evaluated. Evaluation consists of a four-page story of every illness, operation, and medication you have ever had in your entire life, with diagrams.
Thirty minutes later, I was on the X-ray table having my picture made at every possible angle while holding my breath and trying not to fall off the narrow table.
Then it was touch your toes, bend backwards, walk on your heels. If your back isn’t hurting, they will be sure it does.
Finally, I was ready for the doctor to see me. Naturally, he had to press on my spine until he found the sore spot at which time I screamed loudly enough to empty the waiting room. They always do that for some reason.
“Hum, I can see why you are having pain,” he said, looking at my X-ray and pointing out my degenerated discs, old fractures, and all the other things I didn’t really want to hear about again.
“I don’t think it will require any immediate surgery,” he said. Immediate surgery? I hope not.
“A shot, a shot, can I just get a shot and get out of here?” I thought.
“We could do an MRI and see if any nerves are affected. What do you usually do when you have a flareup?”
“I get a steroid shot.”
“Maybe a back brace would help. Have you tried that?”
No, but I had checked off everything else on the list, injections, pain meds, physical therapy, exercise, chiropractor, massage, and prayer. A brace was the only thing left.
So, I got a shot and was fitted with a huge brace that looks like a backpack.
“You don’t have to wear it at night,” said the nurse. Good thing if I expect to ever sleep again.
I can’t wear this cumbersome thing to work. What will I tell people?
It’s a parachute in case I get tired of waiting for the elevator.
It’s a harness for a bungee cord. I thought I would do something different at lunch.
It’s a baby carrier. Didn’t I tell you the news?
I thought I would fasten a drop line to it and help the window washers outside.
It seems so boring to say you have a back problem. It is much more interested to say you plan to repel down a building like Spider Man.
It does seem to help my back, though, which is the main thing, I suppose. And I did like the new doctor after all was said and done.
So, pardon me while I put on my backpack. I’m going mountain climbing.
Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss