When I went to the doctor at the pain clinic today--the one who did the original epidural steroid injection--to explain the subsequent complications and continuing pain in my back, his response was:
"I'm sorry AcadeMama, you're just very unlucky."
I resisted the urge to swear and was in too much pain to kick him in the face. He wanted to know why I hadn't taken any pain medication today, and I explained that I'm tired of taking pills. His view was that I really didn't have much choice if I wanted any relief. He assured me that I could take the medicine he's prescribed for a month, and I wouldn't have any problems with dependency. However, he and my PCP have conflicting views on which pain medication will be least likely to result in dependency or resistance to effectiveness (Nucynta vs. Oxycodone). For now, he has put me back on bed rest. He said if I'm "lucky" (WTF is up with his seeming philosophy that this is all a matter of luck?!), I may get some relief by the end of the week. He said since what I'm feeling now seems like the same pain I was having before the injection (with the exception of a relief of pressure near my tailbone), that it may be the case that the injection was only partially effective. Or, that it could be that the pain will subside with time. 1-2 weeks!! I don't have that kind of time to be laying on my back, people! I've got shit to do, classes to prep, research to conduct, and a household to run.
Did I mention he didn't even say sorry for puncturing my spinal sack?
We trust doctors to get it right. We pay them to get it right. I understand that they're human, fallible. But when they do make a mistake, especially one that puts a patient in such an unbelievable shitstorm of pain and financial burden, is it too much to ask that they take some sort of accountability? Something beyond telling the patient that she is just "very unlucky"?