As if the day-to-day management of persistent pain wasn’t enough to deal with on its own… more often than not, we chronic pain warriors have another huge fight on our hands: getting the right treatment. I’ve been quite fortunate in my experience; I’ve seen so many blog posts, Buzzfeed lists and Pinterest quotes about how unhelpful medical professionals can sometimes be (“it’s all in your head,” etc.). Of course, I’ve had my share of bad experiences (being treated like a number, painful intrusive examinations, quite a few professionals just washing their hands of my case – figuratively speaking…), but there is one doctor in particular who is clearly an angel sent from heaven, and so I say, resounding to the hills: GOD BLESS THE NHS.
I am super super grateful for the NHS. Words cannot describe how grateful I am. However, I do know that there are times when the strain on the system and its employees can result in persistently problematic patients (like me and my surpmischievous vagina) not getting the efforts and attention they need. Add on top of that the fact that, hello, YOU’RE SICK AND TIRED (OF BEING SICK AND TIRED), and that fight can quickly feel like a war. If it wasn’t for my Warrior Lady Mum, I’d be nowhere near as far along my journey as I am.
It’s a long old slog though. Like Frodo on his perilous quest, the path is twisted and arduous, and you’ve usually got one dim-witted friend dragging you back pining about potatoes, a slimy little creature intermittently spitting venom at you, and a whole host of characters to meet before you get one treatment to cure them all.
(Just me? Wow. Awkward.)
Anyway, here’s a list of the things I’ve tried and have yet to try. Crossed out = hasn’t worked.
Wash with Epiderm and avoid scented things? Stop wearing jeans? Stop riding a bicycle? Distract yourself with work? Topical Lidocaine? Amitriptyline? Protective layer of Vaseline/Sudocrem? Low oxalate diet? Botox? Gabapentin? Pregabalin? Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? Carbamazepine?
Muscle manipulation + massage?
MRI to check pudendal nerve?
The keen-eyed among you may notice there’s rather a lot crossed out. But got to keep going! There must be some relief out there somewhere, even if not a full-blown cure. The search continues… Any fit dwarf kings à la Richard Armitage that fancy helping me out, that would be swell.
How many of these have you tried? What’s worked for you?