Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Pain Management Doctor

Yesterday was a very hectic day in NYC. We started out going to see Dr. Feldman for a follow up appointment and thankfully everything is ok with my foot. The x-rays don't show anything unusual. He says I just overdid it and even though now I'm full weight-bearing and off the boot into regular shoes, he just asked that I take it easy for a few days so my foot can rest. Actually that's all I've done since Friday night. I didn't put my foot down on Saturday, Sunday or Monday and yesterday, after having to walk a bit, it kinda started hurting again towards the end of the day. Note to self: no more going to see 3 houses in one day for a little while.

Me and my pal, Dr. Feldman

We finished at 10:30am and my appointment with the new pain management doc wasn't until 1:30pm so I called their office and thankfully they could fit us in at 11:30. Well, we ended up being there for two and a half hours!!! When we first got there, I had to fill out my new patient forms. Then I got called in and had the doctor's undivided attention for about an hour. I must say that I really liked this guy...he mentioned new, innovative ideas that I had NEVER heard from any other doc in 6 years (unfortunately he spoke in scientific terms a lot so I don't remember too many specifics to list here). I faxed all my CMT medical papers in advance so he could become familiarized with it before I got there and he definitely knew what he was talking about, without being an expert on the subject. He is very familiar with neuropathies, genetic conditions, and treatment-less diseases.

Well, we already know CMT has no cure or treatment, so he doesn't focus on trying to treat CMT, he focuses instead on treating the patient, ME. But in the meantime, who knows if he can't help CMT, even a little bit? We went through my personal medical history and he thought of many possible scenarios. He ordered a LONG list of tests because he is going to examine all blood and urine test results to have a complete picture to know how to proceed. He was extremely thorough in his examination and because of our discussion I am really hopeful!!!! I strongly believe that this man is going to help me. I am not saying I believe he's going to fix all my problems. But I believe he is going to help me somehow, if not with the pain entirely, then help me have more energy, or sleep better, or not feel as exhausted and fatigued so easily. I'd like to point out that I am not naive about the possibilities, I just refuse to give up hope that one day I will live a better life.

I mentioned how horrible my thigh pain is and how I'm starting to wonder whether it's CMT related. One of the most interesting things he brought up was the fact that I'm taking so much Lyrica to help with my nerve pain that the medication could be creating these symptoms. He pulled out his little Rx book and the Lyrica description was extremely interesting and asked that you take follow up tests, which I have not done, and which thankfully were already on his long list of tests. So we are going to look closely at this Lyrica issue to see if they are related at all. Only thing is that my little sis who also has the thigh pain, does not take Lyrica. But also interesting is that this thigh pain has not been with me from the beginning, it's been about 2 years, which is the exact same amount of time I've been taking these meds!

After we were done, the nurse came in and took only some of the blood tests - which was 13 vials of blood!!! And I still need to go to a Quest lab near me and take the remainder because they forgot to tell me to fast before I came to the appointment. I also took a urine test there and have a much more complicated urine test to do at home, which I can only do after 7 days of not eating seafood and (sorry to divulge so much information but inquiring minds want to know) I'll be peeing for 6 hours on the 8th day with a combination of some meds in my system (FUN! lol).

After all these results come in, I'll schedule a follow up with him (and unfortunately have to take a morning off work already - sucks to do that when I'm just starting) where I will meet with him for another hour and review all the results and figure out the best plan of action for me: what supplements I should be taking, what I should be eating, what supplements I should stop taking. Then I will follow his advice for a month and then we'll meet again to see if we should adjust anything.

I should also say that I spent a small fortune on this appointment:
First visit: $400
Follow up visit: $275
Complicated at-home urine test: $160
Paying them to test my fatty acids: $257
Investing on myself and my health: PRICELESS
(and as my mom said, we happily pay more than that to go on a vacation or buying furniture, so I should just be happy that I have the money to invest on my health and well-being...GO MOM!!!)

PS: less than 2 weeks until I start my new job, I don't wanna say I'm scared, but I am a little! Oh man, it's been over a year. I know it will go great, it's just those first awkward moments and weeks of getting to know everyone and getting trained. But I'm sure it will all be forgotten when I get my first paycheck!


elibap said...

awesome!! sounds like such a productive day, so glad! i am so happy the dr gave you the time of day and it seems like he is really going to do his best to help you. I guess insurance doesn't cover evertything, too bad....but keep us updated! will be praying for yoU! and good luck on your new job!

Anonymous said...

How much do I love the fact your doc posed for a pic with you!
Did you tell him you blog about CMT?

So glad you simply "over did it" and there is nothing seriously wrong with you new, souped up foot! (Other than the CMT...natch! *wink*)

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