Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Follow up appointment

Today I had an appointment with the pain management doctor at the Pain Clinic. I was expecting this to be discussing my pain levels and a check up of my incision sites.
Well I have to say, it was the oddest of hospital appointments ever!!

After waiting 30 minutes, a lady collected me and introduced herself as Lucy, another of the pain doctors. She questioned that I have an appointment with my consultant tomorrow as well, and when I confirmed this she says he was also here today. Now I didn't realise this at all! 
I entered the room and there was Mr Patel and Dr Love-Jones, the pain management doctor I was supposed to be seeing, or so the letter had stated. (Also she has been my anaesthetist quite a few times).
So they basically started asking me questions about how I now felt, if I was glad I had had the surgery, what percentage did I think the pain had improved, whilst making notes about what I was replying.

I mentioned that I had noticed a pattern with some of my worst pain episodes, and that they link with my periods. Dr Love-Jones said that is fairly common. We discussed having less breaks between packs of contraceptive pills. She also suggested leaving the stim on overnight so that maybe it will help not have the worse days as often. 
I said that I felt it had improved my pain by 60-70% as every day is great but the worse days can't be controlled by the stimulator, although these episodes are less often than they used to be. Mr Patel said that I would be meeting with Mike, the St Jude's rep, in the appointment tomorrow and that I obviously need some new programmes for those times. 
He also asked about if I had got back into my fitness and how the wires that has been moved were. He was really happy that I was back at the gym and that the wires were now settling back into place. 
Dr Love-Jones asked about what causes the worse pain episodes, to which I explained it seems to be tiredness and stress which is what my job is all the time! Mr Patel mentioned that is had many phases returns to work. I said that I was hopeful that I would get to full time but that I was considering part time, as now I've had this operation I can see what I can manage longer term, and he thought that was a good idea and that the implant wasn't going to fully improve my life!

I also mentioned about the change in the feeling if my right ear and that it is almost painful when hair or anything touches it. Mr Patel thought that this should return to normal within about 6 months. 
I showed them my chest scar and explained about the sensitivity and pain and that I had been using the Haelan tape. Dr Love-Jones suggested not using it anymore and if in 6 months to a year it was still painful, then maybe silicon gel (that plastic surgeons use) may be helpful. Mr Patel suggested using caipsin (the chilli stuff) to help distract from the pain. I've got tiger balm still from many years ago, so maybe I'll try that!!
Mr Patel also said that I have become very sensitive and sensitised which is common for people who suffer from chronic pain apparently. So the extra things I am dealing with are because of this over sensitivity.

And that was it!!!!!!!!!
No one checked on my scars at all!
So I'm guessing it was a chance for them all to find out how it has worked for future reference. I guess I'm a bit of a guinea pig and they are keeping notes on how it's good and if it's worth it for others. 
I don't mind at all ....but it would be nice to know what was going on. 

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