Friday, April 25, 2008

Nice People

Today was my first day of going for physical therapy to the new branch of the hospital down the road from me. Though I went dressed appropriately for getting right down to it, today was simply an hour of talking about the history of my back and neck injuries, diagnoses, and pain. We made it up to 2005 before our session was over. I'm not kidding! My new therapist was very thorough, and he was a really nice guy, just like everyone else there. It helps that he was a Caps fan, too. ;-)

I've been to this location a few times, because it is the most convenient place for me to have blood drawn and X-rays taken. I could walk there from my house, though today I did not. I had another appointment on the heels of this one. When I walked in the door, one of the ladies who works in registration waved and greeted me. "How are you today, sweetie?" she asked. Nice.

The man who handles appointments for the physical rehabilitation department was likewise nice and remembered me, as well. We chatted about our dogs while he photocopied everything but my birth certificate. He has a Dacshund and a Dalmation. We talked about how beautiful it is to walk the dogs in the springtime and about the multitude of rabbits and groundhogs around the neighborhood. When the therapist came to get me, he introduced me to the other therapist, who is from Bulgaria and is taking his test to get licensed here. He was already licensed in Bulgaria. He asked about the origin of my name, because it's definitely not a typical Anglo-Saxon name. It's originally a Czechoslovakian name, though my husband's ancestors emigrated from Hungary. The borders are very fluid in that area of the world, so I'm told, especially back in the late 19th century when the ancestors left home.

I used to tell people that it was a Hungarian name, but I was set straight by a little Russian woman I met in a bank once. She was asking about my last name, "Where from?" I told it was Hungarian.

"Nyet! No," she corrected me. "Not Hungarian. Czech. Definitely Czech."

So there you go. A little research convinced me that she was probably right. So Czech it is.

My therapist isn't Czech. He's all-American and also thinks that the Caps were robbed in Game 7. He took his time with me and asked me all kinds of questions. He made me feel validated. For example, he told me that from my history and spinal problems, he's surprised I can still work and commended me for doing so and for coming to therapy to try to get some strength and flexibility back. He also talked about what I can expect from therapy and that with the gentle moves we'll be using, I shouldn't have an increase in pain. That's good news!

By the time I left, I felt that I had found the right place to spend a couple of day a week for the next 10 weeks. Certainly no one can say that I haven't tried all conservative measures. I was going through the list in my mind yesterday of the things I've tried in order to keep going: trigger point injections, epidural injections, facet nerve shots, nerve ablation (not doing that one again), chiropractic, massage therapy, Chinese herbs, acupuncture, yoga, strength training (didn't work out so well), and medication. This won't be the first time I've done PT either. But it is nice to know that I won't have a long drive to get there.

And such nice people! The last time I was there for blood work, my husband went with me. When we were leaving, he chuckled and said, "Friends of yours?"

I guess I have a little bit of my mother in me. I like making conversation with people. We are all connected. I'd like to think I'm as friendly in person as I am in my blog. And I'm always looking for new friends.

Peace - D


Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Ooh, it sounds like you've landed where you need to be! Nothing makes so big a difference in having a place to heal where you really want to go, because the people are nice, they're thorough - you trust them. Hopefully this will begin to give you a little relief!

aims said...

My goodness - we have some things in common. My dad was Hungarian and changed his name because he was so ashamed of his heritage.

I am waiting for the call to go and have my lower back injected. I don't know with what at the moment.

Now - what is nerve ablation got me nervous on that one.

My bottom 7 discs have collapsed and are pressing on whatever holds our spine together....tons of painkillers have not worked - and so we go on to this. I use to just grin and bear it until one day I realized that most of my upset for the day was the pain. So I am on a quest to get rid of it. Doctors usually just shake their heads...but this new one has a few ideas...yikes! You have me really nervous now!

Momma said...

B von B - I hope you're right. At the very least, if I can get some strength and flexibility back, I'll be happy.

Aims - Thank you for your nice comment. A nerve ablation is where they use radiofrequencies to burn the facet nerves around the outer joints of your spine. They did three levels on my neck. For some people, the side effects are minor (some increased pain for up to 10 days) for others, the side effects are hell (I was put on two dose-packs of prednisone to get my inflammation under control). The relief you get from your pain can last up to 2 years, though. Mine lasted about 2 months. Not worth what I went through in healing up.

You can read the patient version of the procedure here:
(not my doctor's office...just something I found on Google).

I was sedated (with Xanax that I took ahead of time) so I don't remember much about it. The aftermath, for me, was awful. Not many people have the kind of reaction that I did, though. My doctors couldn't understand why that happened with me, but they certainly understand why I don't want to do it again.

Peace - D

Lori said...

As an almost 20-year veteran of the medical field I can tell you that bonding with all those people is going to ensure you get the best possible care.
I never cut corners or ignored medical issues with anyone, but I can tell you that the ones that chatted with me and attempted to get to know the person taking care of them were carefully watched over.
Even the meanest, nastiest patients got my best care, but I could only make myself spend so long with them before I wanted to medicate myself!
I know that your behavior isn't specific to "pimp" your techs and docs, but believe me - it will do wonders.
Best of luck to you and your rehab!

San said...

Well, it looks like your prayer has been answered in part. You have a healer who listens. This is so encouraging.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Holy smokes have you been through it all! I hope you are finally able to find some long-term relief with this round of therapy.

I'm LESS friendly in person that I am online. I think it's a good thing that you're not. I need to work on my whole "don't talk to strangers" thing.

Momma said...

Lori - Thanks so much for saying that. You're right; I'm not trying to make them be nicer to me. I'm just being myself. It's nice when people respond in kind instead of wondering what I'm trying to get out of them :-)

San - Yes, I do think my prayer was answered in part. Maybe this is going to work.

BBM - I used to be terribly shy, but I had a job once that forced me to get up and talk in front of a bunch of strangers and then teach those strangers classes in IT. That helped me become less shy, and now I find I can talk to almost anyone. Maybe your "not talking to strangers" thing is shyness? Maybe.

Peace - D

Childlife said...

I'm so glad you've got a nice staff to be working with! If you have to do time in the medical world it sure helps when the medical staff are pleasant :)

Lots of prayers that this round of PT will help this time!