I finally found a doctor I like, Dr. Heinrich.
As a result of my consultation with Dr. H, we agreed that the next step would be a hip injection with anesthetic to determine whether the hip joint was the source of my chronic hip pain.
Consequently, I found myself up at 5:30 am in the goddamn morning getting dressed in loose-fitting clothing and driving the 20 minutes to the orthopedic hospital to be stabbed with a syringe full of anesthetic.
It’s always strange how the simplest procedures require 10 thousand redundancies and procedures. Regardless of what you’re wearing, you change into a gown and robe. Nurse A takes your blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, and pulse. My blood pressure was an astronomically high 160/93. Nurse A gets you to sign more paperwork then leaves and you’re briefly alone for 10 minutes or so. Then Nurse A, sometimes Nurse B, returns to walk or wheel you to the procedure room. In the procedure room, there’s enough bright light to sear your eyeballs to oblivion. Various gowned medical professionals, no less than three, say hello and direct you to the hospital bed in the middle of the room. Nurse B or C asks you your name and birth date and re-verifies the nature of the procedure you’re about to receive. If you pass this final pop quiz, it’s GAME TIME. I always wonder what would happen if I got the answers incorrect.
Fast forward 10 minutes and the procedure is over. I was stuck with numbing drugs and the Big Ass Needle in quick succession. I can tell you definitively they lied about the Big Ass Needle feeling no worse than a bee sting. Clearly, these people have never been stung by a bee.
The diagnostic nature of this injection requires checking in with the doctor (at another location, mind you) to discuss whether or not the injection resulted in a reduction in the pain levels. Unfortunately, despite my overwhelming wish that it be so, no, the pain did not change in any significant way. Ergo, there was no reason to think my hip bone was the source of my chronic pain; hence, Dr. H couldn’t justify doing exploratory surgery to see exactly what’s going on inside me.
After 5 years of inconclusive tests and dead ends, you would think that I’d be more stoic after another inconclusive test but I’m not. I usually have to hold back tears. This time was no different. The only reason I didn’t break down in the parking lot was because Dr. H’s office was minutes away from the mall. I decided to go shopping. I know, I know, retail therapy is only a temporary salve. Fortunately, this salve was long enough that I didn’t break down and write off the rest of the day, week or month.
The mystery continues.