Today I went to see a new family doctor. I have been putting off going for way too long. Ever since I got accepted to the pain clinic in my hometown and moved back from grad school to be treated here and live with my partner, I just haven’t bothered to get myself a GP. I feel like all I do is go to appointments – therapy, physiotherapy (physical therapy), accupuncture, pain clinic. It’s hard to volunteer for yet another one.
Anyway, I finally did it out of necessity. I can’t sleep. I’ve tried melatonin, valerian, magnesium, alone and in combo, plus progressive muscle relaxation, sleep music and sleep hygiene. It’s not working and my regular meds aren’t cutting it, so I keep resorting to nytol/benedryl at 1 am.
At her office, the GP came in wearing leggings for pants and a white blouse. She didn’t smile and only stared at the computer. She addressed the sleep problem by saying I need to find the underlying emotional issue and deal with it. She reluctantly said she’d write me a temporary Rx for zopiclone. No mention of any alternative supplements or mind/body suggestions. That’s not surprising but you’d think she’d say something other than if the Rx doesn’t work and I still can’t sleep there’s nothing else she can do.
And honestly, I sincerely don’t want more meds, and I don’t appreciate being treated like I do. You also don’t need to tell chronic pain patients that there aren’t magic bullet cures. I know – I’m still in pain.
I’m also very careful to manage my stress with meditation, some tricks from my old cognitive behavioral therapy group (challenging negative self talk by asking how true or rational it is), – and I’m in therapy. So believe me when I say the only stress I’ve had is a flare up of pelvic pain two weeks ago.
What I wanted to talk about is whether I’ve habituated/developed a tolerance to my meds and if they should be tweaked (like sub something for my flexeril). Finally, sleep disturbance is a SYMPTOM off my illness! Therefore it might be set off by something other than stress, and isn’t like insomnia in healthy people.
But no referral to a sleep specialist was forthcoming.
Her suggestion – see the pain clinic. My problem is that they are so overwhelmed with patients that you get in only every 3 months or so. For urgent issues the recommend that you see – your GP.
At the end she tried to rush me out. I wanted blood work to check iron and B12 (and vit D and thyroid, but I didn’t get that far). She asked me if I eat the right food and said I should continue to supplement. No point getting checked. This is in opposition to everything I’ve read saying you should make sure there are no underlying deficiencies contributing to fatigue and pain.
What a relief to walk into starbucks, get a smile, and receive what I asked for. If the barrista can do it, why can’t my Dr.?