Thursday, I had an appointment to see Dr P. Mostly, I needed to change my pain medication, but I also wanted him to check out my ears and nose, since I feel like I have a sinus infection.
I've been on Vicodin off and on for ten years. Between the migraines and the pain my body gives me, it's what my first "grown-up" doctor felt would help me best at the time. Since then, whenever I've met a new doctor, they've simply restarted it. In recent years, I usually have had to go through a brief counseling session to try an prove I'm not a drug addict first, but since I am, in fact, not a drug addict, that's easy enough.
Recently (two months ago, I suppose it was), my insurance decided in all their wisdom that I simply don't need pain pills enough for them to pay for them any longer. After I calmed down, we went ahead and filled it out of our own pockets - $25 that we simply don't have once to twice a month. Thankfully, I had an appointment with Dr P within a few days of that. I explained to him what had happened, and he gave me a small list of medications that would give me similar, if not better pain relief and asked me to call the pharmacy to find out which would be least expensive.
I had to wait until my next appointment with him before we could officially make the switch, but as of Thursday, I'm on Ultram (or Tramadol, that's the generic) twice a day. For four dollars a month. Super sweet. It hasn't made a ton of difference yet, but I realized today, that I'm probably having withdrawal symptoms from the Vicodin at the moment, so the achy muscles I have may be the biggest part of that.
Dr P had a medical student with him, a lady who's name will oddly enough also be Dr P when she graduates. She looked into my ears, and said they look fine, but that I have a lot of wax built up, like I didn't know that. She also said I have tiny ear canals, which I actually didn't know.
My Dr P came over to look into my nose, and when he was throwing the little disposable cone away, he asked "What's the story with you and allergies and sinus infections?" I replied, "Yes, I have all those things." LOL. Dr P has a fabulous sense of humor, thankfully.
I told him that a scratch test several years ago shows I'm allergic to pretty much everything that grows, plus swimmy fish (I can eat shellfish), and I get at least one major sinus infection a year. About ten years ago, the sinus infections and migraines got so bad that my doc at the time had a CAT scan done. They sent me to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist to have the scan explained to me. What he showed me was polyps on my right sinus. He told me that at the time, it could be treated with a nasal spray and if it started to effect my life, we could discuss surgery.
At this point, Dr P chuckled. He explained that now, the polyps have grown in both nostrils to the point that he's not sure how I continue breathing. He compared it to some cases of tonsillitis he's seen where the patient can hardly swallow, the tonsils are so big. He wants me to go ahead and do the sleep study as I am now, so we get an accurate record of what's going on, and so that we can prove to the insurance company that the surgery is medically necessary, if and when we decide to do it. It may help, but he said that people who have this surgery are the most miserable people on the face of the planet for about ten days, and according to my research, it's very likely that the polyps will grow back. We'll have to see how things go with the hearings and all.
The meeting with the lawyer is Tuesday. I'm so nervous. I'm afraid she's going to look at me, decide I'm just fat and lazy (like so many people assume) and kick me out of her office. One crisis at a time. I just have to get through the meeting at this point. One crisis at a time.