I have an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon tomorrow to try and figure out what the hell is going ‘crunch’ in my neck every time I go for a walk or have the temerity to do something truly outrageous like try to walk up a flight of stairs. I don’t want to go.
I have a long and complicated medical history where my back is concerned and an even longer and even more convoluted history with medico-legal specialists. I hurt my back initially in an MVA in Aug 1991… then again in another MVA in Dec 1991 and unfortunately again in Sept 1994.
Through out this whole time I had –
a treating physiotherapist
a treating chiropractor
a treating orthopaedic surgeon
a treating neurosurgeon
a treating occupational therapist
a treating pain management psychiatrist
who were supposed to be working with my GP to resolve my unresolving chronic pain issues.
I also had three defendents in one of the most complex court cases my lawyer type friends had ever heard of. So basically this meant that from 1991 until 1999 (when the case settled) that I had MY lawyers and ALL three of the defendents lawyers sending me off to ‘assessing or consultant’ medico-legal specialists in all of the above fields on a semi-regular basis for roughly the entirety of my 20s.
Assessing or consultant medico-legal specialists don’t treat you… it’s their job to basically try and lay blame for your injury onto someone other than the defendent who hired them. They usually give you a perfucntory examination and get a Reader’s Digest version of your medical history. They are generally given limited (and often biased) information to help facilitate them in making their ‘determination’ about such things as spinal function and residual incapacity etc. Anyway I was flicking though some of my old reports because I have this appointment tomorrow and I DON’T WANT TO GO.
Over the years I’ve seen six physiotherapists, two chiropractors, nine orthopaedic surgeons, five neurosurgeons, six pain management psychiatrists, three occupational therapists, two accupuncturists, four massage therapists, an ENT, a naturopath, a homeopath, a bowen massage therapist… and I’m sure there some of them whose names and occupations I can’t even remember anymore.
But what is shitting me right now is that I thought I had this all behind me. I don’t want to go engage a lawyer and waste another 8 years of my life bogged down in litigation. I don’t want to find myself doing the rounds of assessing medico-legal consultants again… but mostly I don’t want to spend my time telling my fucked up story over and over and over and over and over again.
Before this last car accident in Nov 2007… I had some back pain occasionally – usually if I slept poorly or did something stupid like putting up tents for a day at festival or spent all day in the garden. But I was drug free and I didn’t spend my every waking minute thinking about back pain. I’ve been given so much medication I can’t even keep track of it anymore – Diazepam, Digesic, Panadeine Fortre, Talam, Ordine, Cipramil, Seroquel, Metformin, Duramine, Temaze, Panacortelone and I know there’s stuff in my drawer that isn’t on this list.
I don’t want to go see yet another ‘specialist’ and go through my entire life’s history all over again. And the longer this draws out and the longer I am off work, and the longer the medical bills get… the more likely I’m going to have to go and get all lawyered up again 🙁
Which is the last thing I want.