Posts Tagged ‘HCAPS’

I Have Nothing More Important Than You!

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Toni Alamichi had been dealing with chronic pain all her adult life. At least it often seemed that way to her. A high-speed car crash when she was in her early twenties had triggered years of acute pain at the base of her neck and across her shoulders. Sometimes, when it was unbearable, she would wish that she had not been wearing her seatbelt that fateful evening and been spared this ongoing pain.

But her spirits had recently picked up when she met with a pain specialist courtesy of a referral by her primary care physician. Dr. Matonga had reviewed recent scans of her neck and shoulders and concluded that a pinched nerve was the probable culprit. He recommended a procedure to relieve the nerve and reduce the level of pain it was causing. Toni immediately agreed to the procedure, but as the date of the procedure grew nearer, she began to have doubts about going through with it.

“How are you doing today?” Dr. Matonga asked as he breezed into the examination room prior to the procedure.

“I’m not too sure, Doc,” Toni replied. “Been having my doubts.”

“Well those doubts will be disappearing real soon,” he shot back. “Right around the time I take care of that pinched nerve and get you some well-deserved relief.”

With that, Dr. Matonga patted Toni’s arm and glanced over at Teresa Bleen, his surgical nurse, who was also in the examination room, entering information into the computer prior to the procedure.

“I’ll check on you again in a few minutes before we get started,” he said with a big grin and then Dr. Matonga was out the door.

“Everything is happening so quickly,” Toni said to herself shaking her head.

“Doctors are always busy,” Teresa said as she pushed aside the computer screen and walked up to the bedside. “But I’ve got plenty of time right now … what’s got you so worried?”

Toni looked up at Teresa with an appreciative glance and then looked back down at her hands. “I’m so confused. I’ve had this pain for so long and now that I’m so close to getting rid of it once and for all, I’m scared and getting cold feet.”

“Oh, don’t be,” comforted Teresa. “First off, it’s perfectly normal to get a little nervous before a procedure. Even cold feet. I’d be more worried about you if you were simply looking forward to it and sitting there with a big smile on your face.”

Toni chuckled, then her face grew solemn.

“I’m just worried about something going wrong,” Toni confided to Teresa.

“Something already has, all those years ago.” Teresa replied reassuringly. “You’re just now getting around to fixing it. As you know, every medical procedure comes with risks and Dr. Matonga has reviewed those with you. Hesitation at this point is understandable.”

“I guess … will it been painful?” Toni asked.

“Not at all. You won’t feel a thing and the anesthesiologist will be there the entire procedure to make sure you don’t, and once Dr. Matonga is done, you’ll immediately notice a reduction in the discomfort you have been dealing with all these years.”

“Thanks,” Toni replied. “I do want to get past this and start living a life without constant pain.”

Teresa placed a cold compress on Toni’s forehead. She could see the stress and worry immediately wash off her face. “How are you feeling now?” Teresa asked.

“Like I’m ready to get started,” Toni responded.

“Great, I’ll go tell Dr. Matonga,” Teresa replied. “But first, what would you like me to have ready for you to drink after the procedure is completed?”

“A diet Coke would be great,” Toni said with a smile.

“You got it,” Teresa shot back with a wink. “As soon as you take a few sips of water post procedure, I will have a cold diet Coke ready to go!”