This syndrome, disease or whatever we want to call it requires a sense of humor. The challenges that fibro suffers encounter are in many ways unique. My mother taught me, “It’s either laugh or cry”, and it was my choice in how to handle the situations I encountered. I have chosen for the most part to laugh, though sometimes, the tears fall anyway.
I have seen a few different doctors for my condition over the years. I finally got comfortable with Doctor L. She had seen me through trying various remedies and pills for my condition, and seemed to be out of ideas, but at least she tired to make sure I was as comfortable as possible and seemed genuinely considered about how I was feeling. Yes, that is all past tense. She relocated and left her practice in my state with some flimsy excuse about wanting to live with her husband 600 miles away. I guess the commute would have been to long for her. It had taken me years to find Dr. L. Most practitioners in my area like to tell themselves and their patients that fibro isn’t real. I begged to differ. So, once again I was searching for someone who was knowledgeable and yet compassionate.
So, I found Dr. R. He is a pain management specialist and many years ago, before my fibro diagnosis, Dr. R’s brother, the other Dr. R had treated me, and he was very compassionate. They were raised together I reasoned. He’s got to be something like his brother……right?
The visit got off to a rocky start. He asked what my main “complaint” was, and why I had chosen to see him. I told him I had seen his brother in the past (maybe that was my first mistake, you know how sibling rivalry is!) and when I told him about the fibro, he stopped, looked up at me and told me that he knew many of Dr. L’s patients were taking narcotics and that if I was there only for prescriptions, I had come to the wrong doctor. I said, “Let me explain to you how I wound up in this position”. I relayed that I had been through all the conventional fibro drugs and others that weren’t in an attempt to try and tame the beast. I told him that I thought Dr. L had run out of ideas and she was just making it possible for me to get up and go to work. I was not an addict, rather just a woman trying to make it through each day. Work was necessary, and my family depends on me and my income I told Dr. R. He asked if I was willing to go through tests to find the sources of my problems. Sure, I told him. I’m pretty sure that I already know what my problem is, but sure. I’ll dance the dance and do what he wants, even though I’ve been through it all before. He thinks he may have some new ideas, and maybe he does. I’ll give it a shot. Maybe I’ll accidentally get treated and be able to function. I’ve started the game and went through an x-ray and an almost MRI, but that’s a different story for a different day. Next week, lucky me, I get to go for some nerve test. I will say that is one test I haven’t had before, so I’m a little intrigued. For now, I laugh because he seems to think it’s as simple as carpal tunnel and a torn rotor cuff, and he informed me that those conditions he could “fix”. You and I both know that this monster goes so much deeper than that. I smile at his naivety and confidence. But the tear has fallen as well, because I know better than to get my hopes up. I know from experience that no drug, no surgery and no amount of tests will fix what is wrong with me….today. I smile, because I still have hope for the future. Someday, someone will find the magic cure, the magic pill, or therapy and the beast will be finally be tamed.