I am very glad that I went through the exercise of recounting my back issues here, it made recounting the saga for my new doctor much easier. The process of getting this diagnosis has taken 15 years and covered 4 doctors so far. The most irritating part is that there is no record of my visit to the surgeon in 1999. The xrays are gone, and the doctor was such a waste that I can’t remember his name.
But there is good news on the horizon.
My new doctor wrote me a prescription for the physical therapy and is interested in monitoring my progression. So much so, in fact, that after I saw him Monday he sent me off to get new xrays made. This would not be problem except that the local imaging company seems to be run by two year olds.
It’s Monday, a workday for most people not affiliated with the government or banks, and I’ve taken a couple of hours out to go to the doctor. He sends me off to the imagingin company, and I head out for a walk in. I called ahead to make sure the waiting list wasn’t insane and am at reception within 10 minutes. I only have an hour and a half until I have to go, since I have a meeting, but it’s just xrays. No big deal, right?
Oh, but that’s so wrong. First, the person checking me in can’t read the doctors writing. But since I’m standing right there and know what he’s sent me for, I can do some interpretation. She finally gets the stuff entered and I’m off to sit and wait. I didn’t bring anything to read, so I pick at the magazines and try to avoid listening to the shouting match between an old guy and his relative/caregiver. It was like trying to ignore a Jerry Springer episode. I have no idea why they were so angry, but it was clear they were never going to get over it.
Finally they call my name and I’m thinking that they’re ready. It’s just an xray; two shots and I’m done! Except that it turns out they don’t do that type of xray there. It requires special film which they don’t have. I’ll have to go down to the hospital proper to have that done. And by the way are you in a hurry? Because in order to arrange that I had to sit back down and wait for them to call the doctor then call the hospital then come get me again. Fortunately that didn’t take very long, but there was more bad news. In order to get to the xray machine I’d have to be admitted to the hospital, which is going to take more time than I have. So I decided to take my doctors order and come back another day.
The funny part of this story is that when I went back Wednesday morning to talk to the hospital people, I had to get admitted anyway. Seems that’s just how they bill you for services and it doesn’t really take that long. I was in and out in an hour. All for 2 special pieces of film. Which were long and skinny. Seriously, they could have just used the regular squares and shot the images from farther away at the first place. Silly.
Anyway, end result is that I have a 19 degree curve now. That’s up from the 10 degree one years ago. The doctor wants a recheck in 6 months to a year to determine the rate of progression. The original surgeon told me it was about a degree a year, so I wasn’t too terribly surprised.
And I still need another prescription because the insurance company is made up of butts.