Monday, June 11, 2007

My continuing Saga with Chronic Pain

The Chymopapain injection, my first medical procedure as explained in earlier posts, sounded simple enough as explained to me. The problem was that it was largely unproven and the sugeron who performed the procedure had just completed the one day training course in Canada. I, of course didn't know this until later. Photos that my wife took of the procedure did not match up with the explanation that the operation physician gave me before the operation. Of course, it wasn't until several years later that I learned the real truth about Chymopapain. Go to my entry of "The tale of the floppy eared bunney" where noted Neurosurgeon Dr. Charles V. Burton's article explains.

When I woke up from the procedure I was in unbearable severe pain and that pain would continue for months, then the months turned into years. After about 5 years I started going to different Doctors looking for some other treatment or surgery that might help the pain. I got a variety of opinions, depending on whether the surgeon was a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon. Finally in 1991 I saw a neurosurgeon who said that I needed to have a laminectomy. At the time I had done very little research on the spine. Today there is no excuse for a patient not getting all of the information they need with the rapid growth of the internet. I don't care what your condition is, there is so much credible information out there, so DO YOUR RESEARCH!!

One of the things I learned early on, is that many Doctors understandably, do not want to clean up someone elses "mess". When I look back on the reason that I chose this particular Doctor, I think it was his personality. He assured me that a laminectomy would take care of my problems. At that time I didn't know exactly what a laminectomy was except what he told me. Armed with the information that I have today, I would have known that at the least it would not help my medical problems and the worst it would make them worse. Sure enough, it made them worse. I woke up from the surgery in absolute agony. Even though I kept asking for my doctor he, did not come by my room at all the first day. Finally on the second day my wife was very upset because my pain level was so high and the nurses would not increase my pain medication. She called the office of the doctor who had performed the surgery and was told he had left the day after my surgery for a 2 week vacation. I was furious and the next day I asked to be discharged from the hospital. The next year of my life I lived in pure hell. Had it not have been for a primary care physican I do not think I would have made it through that year. True story FOLKS!! Unfortunately, this wasn't the end of it.

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