Thursday, November 13, 2008

Taking a look at Dr. Moacir Schnapp -my pain specialist

My apologies. I have had a myasthenia sleep session. Very necessary, and very helpful. If *I* do not take care and get the needed rest, my body will take over and do it for me, which is what happened today (Friday). Sleep, eat, work until I'm out again, over and over. NOT the way I like it, but just the way myasthenia is, and if you have been with me throughout the months, then you know this is just the way it is, and I'm probably good for the get go for a pretty good while now. I am leaving the date the same as when I began this. If I need to, I will explain the days for explanation. This is supposed to be for myasthenia, and this is myasthenia alive within my body, so I feel it is relevant to show how it works. I've truly been a ragdoll today (Friday). Wish they had used "weak as a kitten" back whenever it was that they came up with the nick (long before my time, that's for sure). I'd much rather be a kitten, than a ragdoll, though, but I'm just prejudiced towards kittens. I did see a ragdoll at Cracker Barrel yesterday. Jim bought me several sweaters and warm tops there. I'd like to stop and shop once more like when we get to Jonesboro Sunday. I'll have to check my bank balance before leaving Sunday. Jonesboro has a Cracker Barrel, Blytheville, NOT! That's a Bah Humbug! Having the clothes makes me want to get out of this bed and house!!!!! Especially this house!

I had some good articles prepared, but during one of those sleeping periods, I just lost it all. Couldn't remember what it was, so I have to do with this.

On the road to Dr. Schnapp's office:
That is me at the top of the map,
traveling on down I-55, first to West Memphis, AR

then crossing the Mighty Missisip
(I grew up on it's banks at Helena, AR,
and crossed it's ferries there)

Today (Thursday) we went to Memphis for my appointment with Dr. Schnapp, my pain specialist of many years, beginning back when I had my first ruptured disk, L5-S1. I have dealt with chronic pain on the left side, from my hip (lower back) to foot since 1991 or 1992, getting nerve blocks periodically as needed when the pain became unbearable. Oral Darvocet n 100 was my acute pain medication I used leading up to each block.

I do not recall a block not being a success. In addition to treating my physical problems, he was also kind and compassionate. That is something hard for chronic patients to receive. Once "something for pain" is mentioned, doctors tend to freeze right there on the spot, don the cloak of almighty judge, and usher you quickly on your way with no treatment for whatever is or might be causing the pain, nor trying to help to relieve the pain which feels like it is dragging you down the miry path of destruction, physical, emotional, and all else. All of it together works to destroy all life that surrounds you. Where will it, where will you end? I had one doctor in Blytheville who actually handed my records back to me, and did not charge me for my so-called visit. He judged me without laying the first finger of examination upon me. Just his summation that I was a junkie looking for drugs, though I had been referred to him by one of his peers. What to do? Unknowingly, I had Myasthenia, Neuropathy, and some other things wrong at the time. Writhing in pain, a young child pulling on my coattail.

Okay, so that is the beginning from yesterday that has ended up today, and I fell asleep and had a GOOD night's sleep.

Schnapp, my buddy, glanced over the latest updates in my chart, and let out a big sigh, "Billie, Billie, Billie. Thousands of dollars in drugs, and shaking his head as he said it. I think he says this at every visit. We immediately went over what could be helped vs what could not. Such as, and here is the picture: the pain and weakness. I have three contributing factors: neuropathy, myasthenia, and the ruptured disc. He said, "I cannot fix the neuropathy, I cannot fix the myasthenia. The ruptured disc is the only thing left I can fix, and that can only be fixed with surgery, and that is not a guarantee." So. My long trusted doctor/friend whom I trust, had just repeated exactly what the other doctors had said. He even drew me a picture of it all. Had I not known better, I'd have thought they were all reading from the same book.

On my pain management, Jim made it clear to him that I wanted him to know I was using the lollies for more than just the headaches, because my legs, back, and neck hurt so excruciatingly bad, especially during the night. One night earlier in the week, it felt like my legs were being soaked in ice water, and nothing I did could or would help them, and no matter how hard I tried, I could not wake up. Kind of reminds me of that day in St. Francis when I had that thrombotic event, and was unconscious for a while. Ohhhh, rather scary thought, especially right now when it is nice and comfy in here, and though I have socks on my feet, they and my legs are quite icy cold. I can tell the pain med is covering a pain all the way up my legs. Callie is lying down there now between them giving me a little extra warmth.
(That is Schnapp on the left)
Jim gave him the marinol prescriptions that we had not used, nor planned to use, plus the Loratab that Gubin had given me after the Lithotripsies. We try to keep him well informed about the drugs. I try to act responsibly in their use, and sometimes I feel I do not use them as often as I should, under the doctor's mantra of keeping their patient comfortable and free of pain. It can be difficult to decide just when is the best time to take them, and I am prone to wait too long. But with the ruptured disk now, I am listening to my body whenever it hurts, and not making it go through hours of excruciating pain with hours of tears. I'm treating the pain. If I run out of medicine using it responsibly, then I will contact Schnapp because I have built my reputation of being responsible with them. I do not like taking the drugs, but if my body is in a state of needing relief, then I am going to do whatever is necessary. I sound like I am defending my use of my meds, but I am not. Rather I am showing how I have established myself as responsible with them. I don't think I will ever feel comfortable taking these, no matter what, and it is *me* I am trying to convince I am doing it right every single time I put one in my mouth, stick a patch to my body, cut open a lollie. I know I am looking for reassurance that I am doing it right. Yesterday he gave me that reassurance once again. It was just quarterly visit time for him and for him. All was done. Over. Something he and I have to do. Thank you Federal Government.

We got to his office early, with time to spare, and were seen very quickly. Then we were retracing our tracks back north in no time at all, stopping at Cracker Barrel in West Memphis for lunch. They had the cutest kids clothes, Razorback stuff, all kinds of women's sweaters/tops..... Christmas galore. That's just about it! I'm sure to be missing . No one could remember all they had. It was on the road to Home Sweet Home!

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