Since my sophomore year of college, my life has been a revolving door of new doctors and second opinions, just hoping that someone would finally be able to fix me. That someone would be able to stop the pain and suffering. After four years of this, I am worse. I am more fatigued, frustrated, and suffering more than I ever thought would be tolerable. All this said, I am off on my journey to the Mayo Clinic very soon to see more doctors, sit in more waiting rooms, and be the lab rat and pin cushion I have become.
All this being said, for the first time in a long time, I feel optimistic. It has been far too long since I have felt a sense of hope about seeing a new doctor. Usually I think “what is he/she going to think of that the others haven’t already?” And while some could argue that this isn’t positive thinking (and they would be right), seeing thirty-five doctors in less than four years with no improvement tends to weigh on a person’s optimism. The first time I saw a neurologist for my migraines, I walked in with a constant daily headache and chronic migraines thinking “this guy is gonna fix me”. Was I naive? Definitely. But I was 20 years young, and was new to the world of chronic pain. Suffice it to say I started bawling when he told me it would probably take months to start to get my pain under control.
Almost four years later, looking back on that first appointment, I realize that Dr. G did everything he could for me. He was compassionate, understanding, and tried everything he could while keeping my additional health concerns in mind. After a few months of no improvement, he informed me that while he would be happy to continue treating me, he specialized in Alzheimers and other degenerative brain disorders, and there were other doctors out there who might be better suited to my concerns. I am forever grateful that he helped me through those first few months, and that he didn’t place his ego over the quality of my care. He was definitely one of the good ones. However, this began my quest to find someone who could help me.
Thirty four doctors later, and I don’t know if I will ever find someone who can fix me. While I work everyday to approach the state of acceptance, I refuse to stop seeking improvement. I know that chronic pain will probably always have some presence in my life, but still, I refuse to settle for less than adequate care. I will protest against the pain-stricken, bedridden life I’ve been dealt. I will continue to pursue alternative solutions, new treatments, and better doctors. I am confident that I will meet the best of the best at the Mayo Clinic, and I am excited to hear what they have to say. They also happen to have one of the best chronic pain programs there, so at the very least, I will be exploring that and seeing all the other options that are there for me.
Thanks for reading, and I hope this message gives you hope. No matter what you’re looking for in life- whether it’s that next promotion, or relief from illness, I hope this inspires you never to settle, while accepting and acknowledging where you are each day. If only it were that easy, right?