- Sep 23, 2015
Skip the pain and effect summary and go the last paragraph for the punchline if you don't want to be bored by multi-paragraphs. Just had to get this off my chest after experiencing a left hip shooting pain on Thursday afternoon after lifting and moving a 40 lb. box in the house. I still lift weights all the time up to 60 lbs. Been dealing with lower back flare ups for the past 18 years so I'm pretty good at trying to avoid them, RICE them over a couple weeks, and get back to my routine. Happens about once a year. The hip soreness (sciatic) has been coming and going for 3 years but flared up a touch 3 weeks ago. It had been improving up to Wed. with ice and reduced exercise. Surprisingly, the sharp jabbing pain from Thursday's hip pain completely went away with no after affects that evening (following ice and Ibuprofens). It was like it didn't happen. That would never happen if my lower back was tweaked. I'm on no routine meds for back/hip pain, I haven't needed them. Friday was different though. Did my usual chores for the first 30 min after getting out of bed without any additional discomfort, popped 400 mg Ibuprofens just in case. It was a normal day so far. The next 30 min after that a tidal wave of pain started building from the foot, shin, hamstring and into the hip. It became unbearable until I found an awkward sideways, 45 deg slouched sitting position on my bed with my head leaning against the headboard. Any attempt to move a few inches or get flat on my side was met with a lot more pain. So I stayed crunched up there for 2 hours. I called a nurse hot line offered by our state's health care system. The RN didn't tell me anything I didn't know. She said give the Ibu's 48 hrs to do their job and I'd be ok. An ER visit wasn't probably needed. Huh? I was gonna sit slouched in that position on my bed for 2 days with portable urinal, bed pan to assist me...while waiting to see if the Ibu's kicked in? Called my doctor to see if he could prescribe some anti-inflammatory to get me to where I could at least get up and walk. They had done this on my last serious back spasms a couple years earlier. This time they said it was against company policy and they wouldn't do it. Not even 1 or 2 Valium/Vicodin/Diazepams if my wife went in to pick them up at there office. They could help me if I could be driven to their offices and get an injection of muscle relaxant. I scheduled an appointment with them for 4 hrs in the future hoping the 1200 mg of Ibuprofens I took over the past 4 hours would kick in. It didn't help at all. The longer I sat and stressed over the pain, the muscles/nerves only flamed up more. 2 hours later we called the ambulance. I had to grip on to and get assisted by a pair of 6-2 275 lb paramedics just to get me on the stretcher with tolerable pain. Still, I was crying in pain, sweating, and nauseous as they took me out of the house. Imagine my 5-2 wife with her own worse back pain issues trying to do that...lol. Kudo's to the EMT's. Nothing but praise for them. I sat around my ER room for over an hour before they finally gave me a Valium pill (I don't think it was Vicodin). Within 20-30 min of being medicated they took me in for hip Xrays without the med having done much yet. That was pretty painful, they got me to tears again for those 15 min. At about the 60-90 min point my hip was no longer in pain. They couldn't have waited another 15 min on those Xrays? The ER techs did their job, I can't fault them. That one pill they gave me allowed me to walk to the car, and go home 3-1/2 hrs after arrival. No further spasms or over-the-top pain. What I can fault is why couldn't I get a single muscle relaxing/spasm killing pill from my doctor? In years past I'd hoarded leftover meds for events just like this. But my "stash" of percocets, diazepam, etc. was gone. I never thought about "restocking" for the next event. My doctor cost the health care system a needless $1,000+ ambulance trip plus whatever the 4hr ER visit is going to bill ($1,000). I just don't get it. They've got my former prescriptions on record. They know I'm medicine-phobic and do everything I can to avoid any pills, not even aspirin (I use garlic instead). It's now 2 days since my hip/leg went into spasm. I've taken 4 of the prescribed pairs of 10 pills, and probably could have gotten by without them as the pain was tolerable. My plan is to leave at least 3-5 of them for the "next time." When I visit my doctor for my annual physical I'm going to express my displeasure....and request several more pills for the "next event." One lousy muscle relaxant would have gotten me to his office to be examined. After the fact, one of my neighbors told me they had some similar "pills" and they would have offered a couple to get me by. Maybe next time I'm out I'll call around first...lol. Is this what our health care system is coming down to....Community Assistance Health care? Am I screwed up here? I try to minimize seeing the doctors for things I know I can handle and do my best to keep health care costs down for everyone. My policy has an extremely low deductable. These costs are going to be paid by the providers and in turn continue to help raise everyone else's cost. All I needed was a $3-$10 pill from my Primary Care Physician. Should I vent to my provider? Will they even care? Or is this how they really want it? I fully understand legal risks where they can all be sued for dispensing pharmaceuticals. But a single pill, and one I've routinely taken for back spasms in the past? Just for a final kicker....my wife's back pain with a tingling foot was misdiagnosed back in 2006 as strained muscles. 5 months later she blew out a disk and was in the hospital for nearly a week. That event must have cost the insurance $10K-$20K...all from a misdiagnosis. 10 years later, she is fairly limited in what she can do. Before she could have spent all day cleaning house....now 30-60 minutes is all she can tolerate at one time.