Wednesday morning I woke up fatigued and in pain to the point I was crying. Not a great way to begin the day, especially when your son is hungry. Luckily my in-laws were here and they took over so I could sleep. Sleep was unfortunately difficult due to the amount of pain I was in. As I laid there in bed, I got madder and madder about the situation with my doctor's office. I decided it was time for some action.
The first thing I did was to call the physical therapy office (2 days after the receptionist swore to fax the referral over there) to see if they had yet to get the referral. They had not. Color me surprised. From there I decided it was high time to launch a complaint against my doctor and the office staff. The office is associated with a larger network, with a university and some hospitals in the area. I wrote and sent the email really more for me. I doubted anyone would read it. The email was not angry, just curt and very factual about the many failings I had experienced at the hands of this office. Later that morning I checked my email and had a response. They'd received it and were forwarding it to some one else. That afternoon I'd gotten another response saying that it has been forwarded yet again. This was a lot more than I ever expected from my little email!
Thursday I actually got a phone call from some one in my doctor's office. I think it was the person in charge of quality care. I had evidently managed to ruffle quite a few feathers. She informed me that the fax had indeed been sent on Monday AND the receptionist who did it got a fax confirmation. I told her that this was not the case, as I talked to the physical therapy office and they had yet to receive anything as of Wednesday. She then went on to inquire about the infamous radiology referral. I told her that I was declining it. What I really wanted to tell her was that she could take it and shove it where the sun don't shine, but she was being very nice on the phone, so I stove to be as well. Next customer service lady told me that another doctor was reviewing my file. Here I had to stifle a laugh. I only have negative test results (and TONS of them) so this should be interesting. I don't really care what the other doctor says. I'm not wasting $25, an hour of my time and my energy to find out. After all, I'm going to the promised land of doctor visits on Friday, the rheumatologist.
This past Friday I decided to call the physical therapy office again, just for kicks. It seems they indeed got the hotly debated fax! (insert choir of angles singing). So I made an appointment for the following day, Saturday.
The appointment deserves it's own paragraph, or maybe even two, so here we go. The appointment was everything I'd wanted and more. I know, again, I am odd. The pt guy, as he shall hence forth be known, was very nice and very skilled. We quickly went through my history. When I finished giving all my negative tests results, I noticed a furrowed brow. The "Oh, my God, I can't be the one to tell her what I think she has" kind of look. I eased the tension by telling him what I thought it was based on the non-existent positive results.* And you know what, my dear internet peoples? HE AGREED WITH ME! After having my doctor shoot down my researched self diagnosis, it was so so sooo lovely to have some one agree with me. Made my week. Certainly makes me feel more relaxed about the rheumatologist appointment Friday.
So the treatment. The physical therapy I get is a little unusual. In fact, I think only two clinics in the D.C. metro area practice it. Its called 'Trigger Point Dry Needling'. Google it, its a real thing, honest. I've had it done twice before to great effect. Anyway, muscles can have these things called trigger points in them, little knots if you will. These knots remain tense creating tension in the muscle. The tension restricts blood and waste removal in the cells that are tensed. So, the pt guy finds the trigger points and uses an acupuncture needle to release the tension. They stick it in (doesn't hurt) and move it around. Basically your body senses injury and sends all kind of good things to the muscles to release the tension. When I left the office I felt kind of high for a few hours because my body was working so hard to stop the 'injury'. It's not unlike the high you get after a workout at the gym, or maybe like a runner's high, though I know nothing about that. The therapy itself doesn't hurt per se, it just feels odd. Kind of like having your muscles flossed. Hours afterward there is soreness, but the actual treatment doesn't hurt so much.
And that is how I spent my weekend.
*I'm not quite ready to release my self diagnosis the the general public. If it's confirmed on Friday, I'll let y'all know. What I think I have is not life threatening nor is it degenerative. It's just annoying. Really annoying.