(Warning: this is a long, frustrated post. One of the things that I try to accomplish with this blog is to talk openly about my experiences with anxiety, depression, and agoraphobia. These days people seem to be more educated about it, so when I hear this kind of reaction, however vague, to my taking medication for my GAD, it really bothers me. Medication changed my life. This is one of the reasons that this blog is called “Slowly She Turned.” It began during my transition to good mental health.)
I have mixed feelings about this latest doctor visit for my chronic hip pain, which flared up big time about a month ago.
On one hand, I want to trust this orthopedic doctor, but my experiences with chronic back and hip pain over the years has led me to question M.D. diagnoses and anti-inflammatory drugs for good reasons.
On the other hand, I didn’t get an injection so I am relieved about that. He says that he thinks that my hip pain is coming from inflammation around a slightly degenerated disk in my lower back, so he prescribed meloxicam for me. He was kind, but I couldn’t help feeling a bit like a hypochondriac, just like back in the 90s when I saw so many doctors for back and hip pain.
The other part of this visit that frustrated me was this conversation about my medications:
Dr.: “You don’t seem depressed.”
Me: “I am weaning myself off anti-depressants now.”
Dr.: “You don’t seem like an anxious person.”
Me: “That’s because I am on anti-anxiety meds.”
Dr.: “A friend of mine who is a psychologist says that the basis of anxiety is fear.”
I go into a short, calm explanation of being diagnosed with panic disorder and the fact that it runs in my family.
Me: “At one time I got to the point where I had problems leaving the house, but I pushed my way through it because I know that agoraphobia is behavioral, and since then I have traveled all over the world.”
He shook my hand and walked out.
I told the nurse how relieved I was not to get the shot (she already knew that I was very anxious) because the last time it was so painful I fainted and was nauseated and had to lie down for 30 minutes after I got the injection and was in pain all day and that night.
Nurse: “I’m surprised that you made yourself come in.”
Me: “That’s because I push through my fear.”
In the 80s, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis, and I ruined my stomach with anti-inflammatory drugs.
In the 90s, I was told that I didn’t have osteoarthritis, and I started crying, and the orthopedic doctor (another one) told me that he thought that I was depressed and I “stored depression in my hip.” Why? Because I was crying. I told him that I was crying because I had been in pain for years and nobody could tell me why. DUH.
Finally I found a chiropractor and took yoga classes and got better after years of treatment, but in the past ten years chiropractic and yoga has not worked for this hip pain, although it helped my back tremendously. I’ve tried acupuncture too.
Seven years ago, as much as I wanted to stick with alternative medicine and therapies, that cortisone injection was the first thing that helped my hip pain, and I was able to walk without pain on a trip to Alaska a few weeks later.
Now it is supposed to be coming from my back?
That’s why I have mixed feelings about not getting the shot. I hope that I will be able to walk and sit without pain a few weeks from now on my big trip west.