Another Reason to Detest our Medical System
I am in pain-severe, can't sleep, can't function kind of pain, all weekend I have hung in there waiting for my pain doctor's office to open so I could be helped.
You see, I have occipital neuralgia, which runs from the back to the front of the right side of my head. It is the only MS pain I have experienced that I can have immediate relief from. The treatment is a cortizone nerve block shot into the base of the back of my head-almost worse than the pain, but worth it if this insane pain can be stopped. About two months ago, when this started, I saw my pain doc and he gave me the shot and whammo--pain almost completely gone. He told me it was sometimes a temporary fix and if the pain came back to call their office and I could have another shot (no big deal, right?)
So, on Saturday the pain in my head came soaring back and all weekend I counted down the hours until 8am on Monday. At 8:05 I left a message with his medical assistant. At 9am a scheduler called back and offered me an appointment 3-weeks from now. I explained my situation in more detail--told her that in the years I've been a patient I have never asked for immediate help. She informed me that they weren't an 'urgent response' practice and that was the best she could do was Aug. 28th. Finally, she begrudgingly agreed to let me speak to the assistant. So, the assistant calls me and informs me again that they aren't set up to respond to emergency increases in pain (yes, you read that correctly) but she can let me see the nurse practitioner -- tomorrow.
I mention that I had a bad reaction to the first shot and that Dr. Kosek had to sit with me and give me oxygen. She says she sees this in my chart notes---but the earliest I could see him is sometime in the distant future. I ask her about the next Friday or 3-week openings--these are also with the nurse practitioner.
Simply put, it is seemingly impossible for me to see the doctor. This type of shot isn't available at my general practitioner or urgent care clinics or ERs. Why didn't my doctor explain that it isn't his practice's habit to respond to urgent pain needs. I wouldn't have spent the last 48 hours waiting for his doors to open.
Good to know, but no help to me today. I hope that tomorrow--24 more hours of intense pain from now--the NP will be able to help me. Not sure what I am going to do next time.