Life gets complicated in a blink and the role I’d like my GP to play is mostly to make sure nothing serious has gone wrong – and if it has to act appropriately and decisively – and to hopefully come up with the occasional useful suggestion on how to make life a little easier during the bumpy rides. After more than a week of pure agony, we trudged down to the GP surgery this morning to see what he has to say. I love my GP surgery, it’s one of the reasons we picked this house when moved, they have a very good reputation, appointments run mostly on time and the GP I prefer at the surgery is just perfect. If I ever were trapped in an alternate universe where you clone a single person most apt to fulfill a particular job, he would be the doctor that’d be my choice. He doesn’t doubt what I say, he doesn’t frown when things sound odd, he doesn’t query physical results that doesn’t fit the mold well, he doesn’t mind that I drag Chris in and even talks to both of us rather than just glare at him and then ignore him for all intent and purposes and most of all, he doesn’t discount me because I turn into a rambling idiot when I get nervous and doctors make me very very nervous. I ramble, he listens and then he summarizes what I said and responds calmy and sensibly. I love my GP.
This morning’s appointment was more of the usual. It starts with ‘what can I do for you?’ (Answer – low back pain). I begin my usual explanation – I have a history of low back pain, sacroiliac joint instability, lumbar spine instability, sciatica, muscle strains, ligament sprains and all the fun things that EDS conjures up quite regularly. But it’s worse and it’s lasting for longer than usual and the neurological symptoms, particularly numbness, makes me uneasy. He listens, asks the usual questions and runs through the tests. I’m comfortable enough to say ‘I don’t know’ when he asks questions that I should know the answer to. I don’t know if the pain goes into my ankle, my proprioception is crap and I can’t tell, so sorry, but I just can’t tell. We do a straight leg test, check my reflexes and chat a little more. He offers to help me up and even asks if I need help with my shoelaces. I decline politely and Chris says ‘we got it, thanks’ and helps as he always does. I’m more comfortable depending on him than on a stranger.
Next question – do I think it’s EDS or do I think it’s something new? I like that he asks me. I say EDS, think I just dislocated my SI joint a bit worse than usual. He agrees. He asks if I think we need further investigation and I decline politely. He’s happy enough to let it go. I don’t want more doctor’s appointments, I want to be reassured that it’s transient nothingness and I can go home and hurt and not worry. He mentions diazepam, I shake my head vehemently. I don’t want muscle relaxants and I most definitely do not want diazepam. It’s a nasty drug with nasty side-effects that’s ridiculously addictive and although sleeping is a tempting thought, it’s not tempting enough to knock myself out with that stuff. He agrees that I should be okay without it. Next up – physio. He asks if spinal manipulation has been helpful. I say yes and no. Manual manipulation can aggravate instability, but SOT blocks tend to work quite well and soft tissue massage sometimes helps. He asks what SOT is and I explain. I mention that the blocks hasn’t been great. He offers an urgent physio referral for some soft tissue massage and I accept. No drugs, no tests, but a massage, sure thing, I’ll that it. He’ll make sure they’ll call within the week. I give him my sceptical face. He says, ‘really, I’ll write itup now. It’s urgent, they’ll call within a few days’. Have I mentioned that I’m really smitten with my GP? I leave a happy bunny as sure as one can be at this point in time that I don’t have a prolapsed disc, I haven’t damaged a nerve, it’s just irritated and I got away without a referral and yet more drugs, but with a physiotherapy appointment in the near future. I didn’t know it going in, but it’s exactly what I wanted.
UPDATE: Hospital physiotherapy department rang at 3pm this afternoon and I have an appointment for tomorrow. Isn’t my GP fabulous :)