If I thought THOSE were baby steps, I would have been appalled to know what came next.
I got in to see the other guy the next day. I was SO pleased. Until he walked in the door. He spent 40 minutes with us telling us NOTHING. Yes, you do have these problems. If you wait one to three years, they may clear up on their own. Yes, you could have surgery if you can't take the pain any longer. "You're a grown up, so you will have to make the decision."
I know that. But GUIDANCE would have been nice. As would compassion, a sense of humor, some warmth. None were present.
He did not give me a solid answer to anything, other than quote statistics at me about risk factors. I was so frustrated that by the end of the visit, in which I had spent in a wheelchair except for the exam, I said, "Doctor . . if you wanted to give me an exam but you couldn't stand in place long enough to do it because of pain . . . if you had to take pain pills in between patients just so you could keep doing your job--would YOU have the surgery?"
There are many answers he could have given me. What he said was, "It's your decision. I can't tell you what to do."
Nor could he recommend or advise. I said should I do physical therapy? No, it will make you worse, he said. Should I have steroid shots? No, they are temporary. SO WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?
Oh yeah, I'm an adult, so I guess I have to figure that out on my own.
I will admit, I spent the entire day crying. I haven't cried that much and that hard in . . . years. And then I got up and made some phone calls, and I arranged to get a second opinion. Good news? Unlike the first doc, this guy is raved about by his staff and has high marks online. His front desk employee told me that he is one of the kindest men she knows. Bad news? The first appointment I could get was April 6. More than a month away. That was a tough one. I am on the cancellation list and I spend each day hoping someone won't be able to make it, and they will call.
In the meantime, I hurt 24/7. I have three to 10 cramps in my legs a day. I am worn out. But that's okay, because I'm an adult, right? Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh.