So it’s 3:09 AM and I just woke up from slumber and realized that my belly felt really warm. With my eyes closed the first thing I could think was that this was some weird sort of nerve pain because I’ve been having many cases of OH-MY-GOD-MY-LIMB-IS-ON-FIRE-oh-wait-no-that’s-just-my-brain-itis lately. But it feels so warm and heavy, sleepy Lisa thought. So I did what I always do when I have fire pain and I opened my eyes to see if I was actually on fire this time. Hey, it could happen and I could ignore it thinking it’s nerve pain and then DIE FROM BEING ON FIRE so I still think I should always check. Turns out my nerve pain wasn’t nerve pain at all. I had fallen asleep once again with my laptop on my stomach. I can’t tell you how many times I wake up in the morning with my laptop on my stomach or nestled in my arms like it’s a puppy. And once again the opened tab on my Google Chrome read “Signs that you have MS.” Every time I wake up next to my laptop my computer always says one of two things: “This is an article to reassure you that you in fact have Multiple Sclerosis and your doctors are just lame,” or “Double Down Casino has lost it’s connection.”
Way too often I wake up with my laptop telling me my facebook slot machine game has lost connection. I need an intervention, guys.
I was actually recently reading a list of weird side effects that my newest medication can cause and it said that there is an increased chance that I will feel the need to gamble. Not a more generalized addiction warning, just gambling. I find that really strange. It has to be by far the strangest side effect I’ve ever seen written down on one of those pamphlets that gets tossed into the paper bag with your pills. And part of me thinks that is exactly what it is. I used to love facebook slot machines at one time and played them all the time, yeah sure, but that’s when I lived in a very small rural town that had nothing except a Wal-Mart Select. You would play facebook games all the time too! After I moved out of that one horse town I barely ever looked at those slots again. Until dopamine entered my life.
I guess it’s a good thing that I’m too lazy to take my gambling addiction outside in the cold to a real slot machine.
But this time my computer was full of new articles about early signs and symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, because no matter how much dopamine they get me to pop in my mouth, I still can’t shake (ha) the feeling that they are wrong and that I have MS.
I spent the entire day today cursing my doctors for putting me on dopamine and just leaving me be like it cured all of my problems. “I need a diagnosis and I need proper treatment!” I tell my doctors. “But the dopamine is working!” my doctors tell me. “But I can put my hand in boiling water and not feel anything!” I tell them. “Well, that’s just weird,” they tell me.
Sure, the dopamine helps me with my muscle problems, and I’m super thankful for that because I can more or less function normally now, but that makes up for like 5% of my problems. They wouldn’t keep thinking you have MS if you just had muscle problems. There’s still the nerve pain, the vertigo, the eye that feels like it’s going to explode from so much pressure, the fact that I seem to no longer understand what “hot” feels like. It’s like my doctor is the father from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and dopamine is her Windex (oh god I can’t believe I’m still referencing that movie in 2014). It is not a cure all, and it hasn’t cured all of my problems, and it seems extremely difficult to get treatment for these problems now that MS has been crossed off and graffitied with question marks.
Each day, it seems, I lose more and more faith in our medical system. Yesterday I went to the hospital because some of my symptoms have been acting up again. The nurse asked me what medications I was taking and I told her at the moment I was just on the dopamine. “That’s a weird drug for you to be on,” she responded and then looked at me like we were in high school and she was from the In Crowd and I was a drama nerd. She asked if I had been on muscle relaxers recently. I told her yes, I was recently on baclofen. “Baclofen?” she asked, completely puzzled. “What’s baclofen?”
“Well it’s a muscle relaxer. You just asked me about muscle relaxers, remember?”
“Ah okay. Well I’ve never heard of that one before. Bac-lo-fin eh?”
If it didn’t hurt my eye to roll it my god I would have rolled it as far back as possible.
She then sat me in the waiting room where I remained alone – the only patient there – for two hours while I watched the doctor and the nurses chat up a storm on the other side of the window. Now please don’t read that last sentence as me complaining about how I had to wait for 2 hours while being the sole person in the emergency room (in all honesty only waiting 2 hours is like winning the lottery around here). I watch Grey’s Anatomy as much as the next person, I understand how important it is for doctors and nurses to talk about all the crazy shit that is happening in their lives. I want them to be able to talk about it so that they can heal, what with all the hospital explosions, plane crashes, janitor-closet-love-affairs, and Heads of State that they have to operate on. I understand that can be stressful and they need a safe place to vent and that place just happens to be on the other side of the window I’m sitting next to while I’m in pain at 5 AM. And I understand that part of that healing process comes from laughter and office gossip. So it’s okay, I forgive you, Doctor, for giggling for 2 hours instead of treating me. I really do. Water under the bridge. I guess you couldn’t have predicted that you would be treating me for only three minutes before shrugging your shoulders at my symptoms and telling me to go home so you could go back to your friends by the window to talk about that new intern’s cute butt.
Insulting people on blogs feels almost as addicting as facebook slots.
Now, please excuse me while I go back to my Web MD tab and read myself to sleep.