So I went to the ER about two weeks ago. I went for back and leg pain. It was nerve like...firey, achey and constant. It also zapped when I moved and made my thighs feel numb. It was traveling throughout my groin and rectum and was completely radiating from my lower lumber. This alarmed me as my back pain hasn’t been this bad since I was carrying my son in my belly back in 2017. That happened to be sciatica and my scoliosis forming at that time. So anyways I took myself to the emergency room. Reluctantly and most definitely afraid of feeling like it’s going to be for nothing, I went in anyways.
When I was there I went through the usual, the triage, questions and snickering looks. Urine sample and IV set up but left in a wheelchair for the entire duration. I was wheeled around even though they clearly wanted me to walk. They took an X-ray and tried to say it’s nothing. After crying and telling them I needed an MRI, the doctor finally gave in but when it came back he said “nothing significant is showing up.” I cried and said “but something isn’t right,” and his response is “you can try physical therapy.” Knowing either way he didn’t care, I left disappointed, rejected, dismissed, invalidated and feeling hopeless. Everything I was afraid of in the first place and the reason for my reluctancy to even go from the start.
So I see my spine specialist finally. I take my kids because I have to, I’m a mom. We’re all in masks, I’m reminding them not to touch anything, the usual run down thanks to covid19. I’m using my cane and we are immediately greeted and directed straight to a family patient room. Something I love about this office is they show they actually care. The nurse comes in, gets a brief update from me and writes everything down as he sits completely facing me. Another aspect I love. He walks out and says “the doctor will be in shortly.” My kids are playing a game on my phone and within just a few minutes the specialist walks in and says “My gosh, Belinda, What am I going to do with you? You cannot be in this kind of pain. You’re using a cane..? this is NOT good.” Already validating me and what I’m going through. I feel some weight lift. He says he has gone over my MRI from the hospital and he sees a significant buldge. The weight weighs on me again. He says I believe you when you say you’re in pain. Removing the weight I’m feeling just slightly. He then recommends surgery. Now an elephants on me. He says “your bulge is larger than I had anticipated.” I immediately say out loud “I freakin knew it.”
So I’m sitting there and as we are going over my options of what that means for me and what we are going to do to get this surgery approved. He is taken back by how dismissive the ER doctor was and says “I’m sorry you were put through that, it is called Spinal Stenosis.” “What doctor was this?” “How can a doctor just do that to you..? a patient.” “No no no, that’s not right.” He is always quick to disagree with the actions of he fellow doctors when they let his patients down. I tell him the ER Doctor never even mentioned this diagnosis. Nothing, nada. Never even mentioned that I’d be needing surgery. Zip zilch. Physical therapy was all he “suggested.” Completely left me in the dark that day and made me feel as if I was making things up.
So here I am, two weeks later getting my diagnosis and the pain is now in my foot. Making my foot go numb. Pain is shooting up and down my entire leg. My groin and rectum hurt more than before. I’m worse than I was two weeks ago. Here I am, right about my back pain. Right about it being so bad, right about “something being wrong.” I was right about my new symptoms coming from my back. I was right about that ER doctor not caring. I was right that something is needing to be done because “physical therapy” isn’t going to fix this. I was right about my own body. I was right. Gosh I hate being right.
Moral of the story: 𝐋𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐧 𝐓𝐨 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐏𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭
Sometimes we ARE right.