Triage & Treat Appointment - Relief-Anger-Hope

Today I had my long awaited appointment at the Triage & Treat Back Pain Clinic.

I've only been waiting for this for the past two years - and it was all over in just forty minutes!

I have to say that my main concern before attending was that my GP had been 'blinded' by my fibromyalgia diagnosis, putting every new pain, or change in the severity of my pain, down to the condition rather than investigating other potential causes.  I suppose it's a common concern of many sufferers.

Being quite frank, my biggest worry was that there was something sinister going on to cause the massive increase in pain over the past few months. Something sinister like cancer.

At the start of the appointment the Neurologist went through my medical history and asked me questions pertaining to my fibro diagnosis:

"When did you first have back pain?" (At this level 2003)
"What medications are you taking for the pain (are they working to ease it?)?" (Gabapentin, Amytriptyline, Oromorph, Cocodamol, Naproxen - and, no, they're not!)
"What is your job and do you think that it exacerbates the pain?" (Shop assistant and yes!)
"Do you have pain anywhere else in your body?" (Yes - wrists, hands, neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, feet plus headaches, recurring sinusitis, IBS/Crohn's...)
"Can you sit comfortably?" (For no longer than ten minutes without shifting or standing up)
"When is the back pain at its height?" (Probably first thing in the morning - getting out of bed is difficult, as is dressing my lower half)
"Is there any point in the day when you don't have pain in your back?"  (No.)

Then came the physical examination. This was quite thorough, as I expected and the doctor tested my range of movement, reflexes and other responses to stimuli (scratching a plastic spike down the length of my instep on each foot! Nearly hit the roof!) He checked for signs of infection and 'suspicious' growths, made me touch my toes (I got to mid-thigh!) and made me bend backwards as far as I could, felt each vertebrae and then checked hip flexor responses.

The result of all this quizzing and probing - Fibromyalgia! You could've knocked me down with a feather! But, at least I know there is nothing sinister going on and - much as I hate to say it - my Doctor was right!!!!

Next steps: Pain management (already scheduled for sometime in June) and now with a recommendation of physiotherapy as a main course of the treatment plan.

Relieved - that I'm not dying of some unforeseen ailment. Angry - that I have to apologise to my GP. Hopeful - that physiotherapy and pain management will work to ease the pain.

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