[Rowing Machine] 2021: Week 16 {217.0} “Functional Restoration Meetings”

I had my meeting with the two Functional Restoration doctors that were advertised as being the ones to help restore the function to my spine, and, I would say that their plan is probably about as good as it can be toward my long-term recovery. First, we have to fix the pain side of things – the tailbone specifically – and then we’ll try physical therapy again. It’s not fantastic, but it could have been much worse.

The fantastic news would have been more immediate and comprehensive.

It would have been, for example, figuring out what exactly needed to be fixed instead of addressing one pain point at a time. Although my muscles have weakened through my lack of movement over the past few months, the pain has gone down, which has been the goal. I can’t move around when I’m in pain, but every doctor wants me to move around, so at least these doctors have understood that the key is to remove the pain from physical movement first before I can get into a physical therapy program.

The pain management doctor I’ll be seeing in two days doesn’t understand that.

Maybe he doesn’t believe me? Maybe he doesn’t have the time for me? So that tells me that he’s probably milking the insurance company for every ounce that he can. I’ve had so many bad experiences with private practices over the past year. They act with arrogance and they want to control the shots on everything. With larger organizations, sure, you have to wait more, but they have hand-outs where you can complain if they treat you poorly. For private practices, who’s going to care but your insurance company if you complain about poor treatment? Even then, the insurance company representative is just going to say “OK” and maybe make a note or maybe roll their eyes at you as you complain to them about how everything went.

It feels good not being the victim of private-practice doctors now.

Although it took nearly a month to get into see these doctors, they were professional, and I didn’t feel the need to record our conversations to keep as evidence of bad practice. I still was playing with fire on that, since objectively we didn’t make much progress other than planning for me to get an injection in my tailbone to reduce the pain, but still, that’s more progress than my current pain management doctor would give. I told my doctor today about how that doctor prescribed me physical therapy but never even followed up with me about how it went.

It turns out my health is not in good standing to do physical therapy.

But in that doctor’s arrogance, he failed to understand or care about the situation, so he put me into physical therapy, which worsened my condition because it kept putting pressure and pain on the parts of my body that felt pain, it was more like off-loading the concern onto someone else. I’m only seeing this doctor in two days because he’s writing my note for my insurance, and, he’s been manipulative about that, too, so I don’t feel like I can trust him. It’s a terrible situation to be in, and I don’t like how I was forced to deal with him. If there’s anything I would want to change completely about the American Healthcare System, it’s that I would want to remove power from doctors in terms of what their word means. I would want patients to have the ability to record conversations and have them uploaded into their charting system. Maybe brief pauses in the conversation could be built in somehow. But I firmly believe that between having conversations verbally recorded and having these private practices being less controlling over patient medical records, they will be less abusive when it comes to their patients.

Private practices will weaponize HIPAA and they’ll do so with pleasure.

I don’t think it’s strictly out of malice as much as they have no governing bodies above them, so they can practice however they want, and when it becomes a matter of “he-says-she-says” or ‘what the patient says and what the doctor says,’ the private practices always win because who’s going to question the almighty, kind, and not-at-all-abusive doctor? So although it was a bit weird to read the signs talking about how patients could be removed for any kind of abusive communication, there was also information in the paperwork I filled out about how I could also reach out to the hospital network to complain about the behaviors of doctors, so, it’s a two-way street.

I’m sure not all private practices are bad.

I don’t know why I’ve had such bad luck with doctors over the past year, but it’s been an incredibly bad luck streak. I feel like, were it not for these doctors’s bad behaviors, I probably would have been better by now. It’s unfortunate but what can I do but write in truth how I’ve felt over the past close-to-year? I probably won’t be able to row for quite a long time still, since after the injection, I’ll have a 6-week physical therapy program, so it would probably be by this essay’s publication before I could actually start rowing again, but, I think we’ll start with me not living in extreme pain at all times, and me not having to walk around outside on crutches, and me not walking around my apartment with a cane, for starters, then we could work up to rowing again.

Will I ever row again?

If you would have asked me before this meeting, I wouldn’t have been optimistic. I would have thought that it wouldn’t have been possible, because, my current pain management doctor has had no interest in me as a human being, let alone patient, so he wouldn’t care about my health at all. He barely has the time to see me at all, even when I arrive early.

These doctors asked me if I had any questions!

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 217.0
Last week’s weight: 219.0
Weight Difference: Down two pounds.
Difference between writing and editing for publication: I received two injections from one of these doctors, but it only lasted for two weeks, so I’m back to about how I was like before, so I’m working with my insurance and my PCP to come up with our next steps.
Inspirations: Writing about my impressions of my two-in-one doctors’s appointments today.
Related: Past weekly column entries. Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Pictures: Template
Written On: 2021 March 10 [11:01pm to 11:29pm]
Last Edited: 2021 March 10 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.