In 2015, I had extreme pain in my hips. It was the kind of pain that keeps me awake at night, makes me cry, and causes me to lose focus on anything but the pain. Since my rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been pretty much under control for some time, I kept thinking it would eventually end and life would continue. It didn’t.
Doctors have told me I have a high pain tolerance. I believe that to be true. However, I love my body and don’t like when it is in pain. Therefore, after months of hip pain, I got in to see my rheumatologist. She quickly referred me to a hip specialist who I fell in love with…at first.
In the beginning, Barbara seemed to have a true understanding of the pain I was in and wanted to help. Bi-lateral hip injections were scheduled and Barbara was great during the process. She told me within the week I should feel relief. I didn’t.
When I returned to her office, I explained my pain. She told me to wait it out a bit. The cortisone should do its job. After months of pain, this was not the answer I wanted. Honestly, I don’t know what I wanted. I was just exhausted from the pain. As she started walking out, the tears hit me hard. Barbara turned around and said, “You want something for the pain, don’t you?” I shook my head, “Yes”. She walked out and returned with a prescription for pain medication.
I should have been happy right? I wasn’t. The doctor I had fell in love with was visibly both disgusted and irritated as she handed me the prescription for the medication. In all my years with RA, I have never felt looked down on. In that very moment, the doctor who was supposed to help me find a way out of pain made me feel as if I was a drug seeker.
I held myself together until I left the office and then burst into tears. I started questioning myself and my motives which made no sense whatsoever. Years of records would prove this was not the case. I did fill the prescription but to be honest, I couldn’t shake that feeling Barbara left me with and I let the pain pills sit in my bedroom drawer.