Quietly suffering (cont’d)
Yesterday’s comments in reaction to this post made me think. They made me think about calling my endocrinologist for a recommendation to a new primary care physician or even an orthopedist, as our insurance allows us to go to specialists without referrals. They made me think about the fear I feel about how a doctor might react to my indication of pain.
For the most part, I’ve learned to tolerate pain. The primary care provider who diagnosed my type 2 diabetes also had a propensity for insinuating that I was a hypochondriac. Two different areas of abdominal pain turned out to be “nothing” under her care and I felt she brushed me off as the typical depressed hypochondriac who was a difficult patient.
Since then, I’ve diagnosed and treated several episodes of tendonitits, but yes, I had to seek medical help in January when I experienced significant myofascial pain of the left shoulder. I was fed painkillers and muscle relaxants for a week, then when that didn’t work, the stronger painkillers and stronger muscle relaxants were released. Before I even had I chance to try those, I’d undergone withdrawal from the weaker painkillers that led to the first (and hopefully only) migraine of my life. By the time the migraine had lifted, the myofascial pain was gone. Isn’t that always how it goes?
I admit this possible ulnar nerve entrapment or neuropathy or whatever you want to call it does scare me. I didn’t think this would be a possibility so soon after diagnosis, particularly when I have taken good care of myself since.
I know that it could be completely unrelated to diabetes – after all I’ve spent years sleeping “wrong” and leaning on my right elbow on the bus or on airplanes or in the car – perhaps the nerve just finally had enough.
The fact of the matter is I don’t want to be labeled a diabetic with a complication. I don’t want doctors who treat me in the future to think I don’t take care of myself because “neuropathy” might end up in my medical record.
But I’ve reached a breaking point with this numbness, tingling, and pain. I know I can’t treat it on my own. Since speaking up yesterday, it seems worse. It’s not quite as silent as it was. And I now need to push past the fears of being labeled a hypochondriac or a person with a complication of uncontrolled diabetes.