Imagine my surprise at a few things that all happened during my follow-up with my fibro doctor.
Firstly, the elevators at the VA are notoriously slow. Back in the day, I could easily go up or down two flights of stairs and still beat the elevator with plenty of time. Obviously, I'm trying to get back into shape and if I can, I will take the stairs. The rheumatology clinic is on the sixth floor. I made it to the third floor before I decided to take the elevator. (when I left, I took the stairs all the way down).
Secondly, I was called in on time. Did you read that? On TIME! You may not know this, but about six months ago, I had an appointment with my GP at the VA (ooh, look at me and the fancy lingo) where my appointment was at 330. They were, of course, running behind because apparently, I'm the only person on the planet who is ever early for an appointment. The nurses came out every half hour or so to ask if I minded waiting. I have to drive for an hour to get there, so no, I don't mind waiting. I got back on the road for home at 630 PM.
Thirdly, not only did my doctor take into account how I've been feeling on these new muscle relaxers (which are now into their sixth month, so I suppose they're not new anymore), she said she wants to offer something different because the goal is to make me feel better.
Did she not only want to help me, she wants to help me get better? She wants me to end up as pain-free as possible? SHE'S HELPING ME?
While I was still reeling from the whole concept of aggressive doctoring, she proceeded to check the VA protocol to make sure her plan of action would be accepted before she tried to prescribe something for me.
Hold on... hold ON!
She's not just petting me on the head and telling me to stay the course and "see what happens"? I'm not sure I can take this... this... caring.
The "VA protocol" is a standard they have set. You can't go from A to B to E without at least trying C or D- even if you know they won't work. The VA will refuse a jump from B to E unless there's a valid reason (like Patient is allergic to C and D told her she was ugly on prom night, so we need to avoid C and D and just go straight to E).
So, we're going to discontinue the Cyclobenzaprine (muscle relaxer) and start up with Gabapentin. Its an anticonvulsant but its approved in low doses for fibro pain. And its a very low dose, so we can adjust it a lot before we can call it a fail.
Also, as if the rest of this isn't a shock to me, I lost a little more weight. Over the holidays, even. I know, I'm as stunned as you are. And as a side note- despite trying to kill myself by going up three floors via the stairs, my blood pressure was fine. I thought for sure it'd be off the charts. My heart rate was elevated, but everything else was good.
One of these days, I'll just sit there, staring at the doctor, mouth agape and in shock. I won't be able to respond.
In other news, I took several photos at the VA. The receptionist in the office I have to check in with before I go to my appointment had a white and red poinsettia plant on her desk. While she was filling out my useless red card that I had to the clinic receptionist, I took several macro shots of the plant. Here are a few...