Still Waiting…..and Waiting….On The Man

For those of you who also follow me on other blog FullCircledMe @ please know that I will be reblogging this same post there. (so if you an alerted twice know it is the same post) I want, and even maybe need to share this on both blogs. Only you followers of both blogs will have the benefit to the post I have initially posted about this at FullCircledMe. I just realized that could be a bit of an issue.  We’ll see, I am always up for an experiment.

I am so not the patient person that I wish sometimes I was. Like today

I am waiting and have been waiting for ALL of my life for a phone call. Okay, not all of my life, but certainly the past say… er… 5 to 6 weeks. And definitely the last 3 weeks I have been waiting. And the call I am waiting for involves a pretty important man in my life right now.

But still I am waiting….and isn’t there a song?

The phone call I am waiting for and that is making me a bit wicked because of its failure to ring is from a surgeon. A neurosurgeon to be exact.

After much hullabaloo to get into see this physician I then went through a two-part series of injections into the cervical nerves affecting my ability to function, and my pain levels that I deal with daily. The two-part test injections were performed, I was given the okay to go ahead by the doctor who agreed to the procedure, and my insurance company. Last week I was told by his medical assistant that my pre-auth had come through, I was just had to wait for his surgical scheduler to phone me. Cool.

If I seem like I am little  too excited to have this procedure done,… you’ve got good instincts. I am impatient and I need to have this done. My life feels like it is limbo right now. But I waited for the Elusive Scheduler to phone.

I am still waiting…

I am waiting to have a Radio-frequency Ablation (RAF) done.

Some of you may be asking yourself what is an RAF and why would she be waiting to have one done.” The what it is in some detail is inserted for your convenience if you are interested towards the bottom of the page. The why I will briefly explain only as I have been living with unacceptable pain again from my spine in the neck for  the last two years. It has also in the past nine months started to affect my range of motion, and ability to function. I have been in Physical & Occupational Therapy for pretty close to a continued time of over one year. The pain is affecting my life to the point where I am unable to find any position to be comfortable in except the pile of different pillows on my bed that allows me to lay against them, and they surround me like a nest. The pillows offer the soft support I need.ave even purchased two pillows from www. My that are the best pillows I have ever had. I purchased one and within one week knew I had to have two. They should be a medical write off but I am not sure yet.

I also have Connective Tissue Disease and Fibromyalgia which creates a hyper sensitivity to almost anything touching skin and my muscles. There days when even the spray of a shower hurts I know that my pain levels and inflammation levels are sky rocketing. I have a lovely shower head that D bought just because it can be adjusted to even almost just a dribble. The setting I that I like is just like a gentle rain which is why he bought it for me, but there are days when even that is just too much.  Like the past week. Our poor cat, Truman has no clue that while he is walking across my body with his sweet little white booted paws he is hurting me with each lingering step. It’s all I can do on some days not to help him along just a little bit. 

Because the pain levels have built to a point where I am needing stronger pain medication, I am not sleeping, unable to do a lot of physical activities because right now it is excruciating painful to have my left arm hanging at my side, and that I also am unable to raise it above my head, are the reasons why I am waiting to have this procedure done. 

In the late 1990’s I had these same symptoms, which led ultimately in 2000 to having a Cervical Fusion Arthoplasty. This that is creating the symptoms that I am dealing with now 12 years later are not from my fusion. I am told it still looks “great”; that the hardware which is made of Titanium is intact and in good shape. For me who had jaw implants that failed in the late 80’s this was extremely reassuring. But I did not expect anything different as this implanted material was researched ad nauseam before the surgery was even agreed upon. By myself.  I was told that my neck is “wearing out” above and below my fusion. This is the least invasive technique that may give me some relief available.

The history behind what got me to where I am at today is on my other blog if you’d like to know more:

So as the spine in my neck is “wearing out”, “the arthritis is spreading into the thoracic regions; and the thinning inside the bones of the spine which is “cervical stenosis”: are all happily doing their things.

And I am still waiting for HIS phone call.

One phone call. It has been a week since last I heard that “someone will be calling you to schedule a date and time for this procedure.”  Did not happen! No phone call yesterday. Okay I thought it is a holiday.

So at 9:01 AM this morning I was on the phone. I left another message, feeling now that I almost  am having to beg to have this procedure done. Begging while praying all the time that Dr Swift’s support staff in his office start doing some supporting. I have a hard time with patience and tolerance when it comes to a job not being done with some sense of professionalism and with organized consistency. I am not the most patient person right now. I admit it. And usually this is not a big problem with me. I was surprised really when about just an hour and half later my phone call was returned.


Another person’s whose name I never have heard before calls. Ellie tells me that they just received the pre-auth this morning.   Really?  was feeling just a bit cheeky now after all this absurdest nonsense just to get an appointment. I responded to her that I find it interesting that apparently one hand is not talking to the other in her office – because I was told the same thing a whole week earlier. She was quiet.  I was ticked.

I would much rather have someone tell me a mistake had been made than to act like I, or they, do not know what ANYONE is talking about. Pretending to be dumb when something goes awry must be being taught to the people in business school these days. While I was calling her out she started to back pedal, finally discovering that to tell me that the pre-auth just showed on her desk sounded plausible she stuck with that.

Yeah, that was the ticket. and in the mean time I tell her that…

I am still here waiting….

I agree with her that is likely what happened, and let the petty argument go. I, after all need these people to at leat not hate me, to not be annoyed with me when I come in for the RAF. I kind of would like the surgeon and his staff to have a favorable attitude towards me. I am thinking this would be a good idea. I can find a way to let  those who are in the know at said clinic  be aware of the circumstances that surrounded this fiasco on another date. For now I need to keep peace. After I have a brief and gentle blow out on Ellie’s dime I hear her tell me that she is going to give The Scheduler, another Elusive Scheduler, a note on her desk to expedite the scheduling process and to get me scheduled as soon as possible. I pray this is so.   I asked her what this meant for me?  This week?  Next week? Another three weeks?

I know….. I know…, rather cheeky. Maybe it was not necessary. I’ll never know.  I explained as best as I could ( without storming out loud to her  all that I was thinking to myself) that it had been an unbearable & unreasonable three weeks out the last two years that the pain and other symptoms like numbing hands and fingers had been going on. That my life is at a standstill it seems because there is so much I am unable to do. I tried as hard as I could to stay assertive and not become tearful. I told her just how frustrated I have been, and trying to get even further along with what I need to share, that if having to wait for another week I will then be at a breaking point and the clinic’s credibility with me is going down hill fast!

All the while….I am still waiting..

I believe Dr Swift has a right to know what has gone on in his office. Such like the issues I had when trying to get my first appointment. How can what they don’t know about get fixed?  I wonder though if this might be a sampling of why Dr Swift is picking up his lily pad and moving to another pond. I’ve heard from everyone I speak to about him that HE IS THE MAN! He is the man worth waiting for. So I am praying for more patience, ..ahem…. maybe I should be saying praying for patience.. any patience would do at this point….

While I am still obviously still waiting!


If you are interested in knowing  more:    

Main article: Radio frequency nerve lesioning      [ Resource: ]

RFA, or rhizotomy, is sometimes used to treat severe chronic pain in the lower (lumbar) back, cervical, (neck) and upper back, where radio frequency waves are used to produce heat on specifically identified nerves surrounding the facet joints on either side of the lumbar spine. By generating heat around the nerve, its ability to transmit pain signals to the brain is destroyed, thus ablating the nerve. The nerves to be ablated are identified through injections of local anesthesia (such as lidocaine) prior to the RFA procedure. If the local anesthesia injections provide temporary pain relief, then RFA is performed on the nerve(s) that responded well to the injections. RFA is a minimally invasive procedure which can usually be done in day-surgery clinics, where the patient is sent home shortly after completion of the procedure. The patient is awake during the procedure, so risks associated with general anesthesia are avoided. An intravenous line may be inserted so that mild sedatives can be administered. The major drawback for this procedure is that nerves regenerate over time, so the pain relief achieved lasts for only a short duration (6–24 months[12]) in most patients.

Still more information and details can also be found at:


©tjhelser 2012

25 thoughts on “Still Waiting…..and Waiting….On The Man

    • Thanks Terri! You’re the first to know my good news that the doctor is adding me to his Thursday AM schedule. That’s tomorrow from now as I write. Thankkfully!
      You are really too kind with your sweet words. Thanks so much dear friend for your emcouragment.

  1. Easy for me to say but I quote my mum from years ago ‘ Head up love, it will come, and all will be fine.’ I know this is probably no help to you but my good vibrations are being sent across the waters. 😉

    • Oh Gerry your mum’s quote so precious! And so wise. Look at this pages comments, Love did come! Thanks for helping me see it. You are kind and wise to share.
      My head is up, and I have faith it’s going to happen. Just needed to vent. [deep sigh] to get rid of someof the frustration.
      You & my friends here have done so much to lft my spirits. Thanks so much my friend from your side of the pond. I’m on this side smiling now.~

        • You made me smile yet AGIN!! Wonderful special friends like you make all the difference in my world. Thanks Cobbie! (I don’t know if this is your last name, nickname, ?? But I like it as an affectionate name. If that is not okay just mention it and it will not happen again. I’d only use it occasionally.

    • No Humanity is it Tess. If they have never dealth with this on a personal level they are cold clinicians. Ho Hum is right. I was awake during the injection process and their chatter in the operating room was kind of hysterical. There they are with my spine at risk, needles to be injected in my spine and they are googling (a nurse is) where the word whippersnapper came from. I kid you not. It was a good thing he had given me something to relax me, it relaxed my disgust too.

      Thanks for your support friend!

  2. You poor baby…..I just hope you can hold on for these idiots to get their act together. I was wondering today if you had heard back yet. Guess I got my answer. Let’s keep in touch, like I know we will.

    • No Cee, now word yet. Can you belive this? I am giving them the morning et today because I left a message with the actual scheduler late yesterday. I am not going to wait past morning- I will be phoning them again. I just discovered today that in some paper work I have Swifts email. I am using it too No more nice guy!

      Can you imagine his face when I tell him I have been blogging about this and using his name?!!

  3. Dear Toni,

    What an incredible pain in the ass! I understand completely wanting to stay on the good side of the staff until after the procedure. But after that, I would send him a letter, and CC it to his office manager and the SCHEDULER, outlining what about the experience troubles you, and letting him, and them know that that kind of negligence is unacceptable. Hey, you don’t think they’re putting you off till time for him to leave, do you? Always an unpleasant circumstance when the doc is packing up and moving.

    I hope you don’t have to wait much longer — I’m sending “do your job” vibes to the office staff!

    Good luck! Lots of love,


    • You & I think alike so often it’s weird! In a good way weird.
      It has occurred to me that finding ways to put me for his move could be so. I am in a conumdrum about following him there anyway. I need to know why this has happened. If it is the staff there that feel like they have shortimers dsease and ZOh what the hck kind of attitude…. or if it is that because of his move things are in chaos. Bit as you said it is not acceptable.

      I have already started the letter, documenting dates and events. This is my thing, reports. Letters. So I am sending a cc to everyone involved and to the CEO and Swift’s boss.

      Thanks Judith for your support. I am so touched by the help in being held up. Thank you Love!

  4. Hi Barefoot!
    I can completely understand the frustration with the waiting game! But I’m writing to you today on the topic of the nerve ablations themselves. Nearly three years ago (the the date actually) I had them done on the both the right and left side of my neck. The doctor added extra freezing and everything went fine, normal post-op pain and such. However the second doctor used less freezing than normal and I felt the burning. I cannot describe how painful or uncomfortable that was, but more than that I have not had a headache free moment literally since then. So my caution is that if you don’t have any problem with freezing make sure they give you enough or perhaps just a little bit extra. I would hate for this to happen to you! But I have heard of many people who got significant relief from the procedure, so I hope that is the case for you!

    Luv, M

    • Om my gosh thank you so much for wrting. Maybe this is the reason for the delay so I could learn this from you. I am sincere. I have not had the gift with this procedure of talking with anyone who has done a RAF in the necl. Lumbar (back) a lot with mixed reviews. This is important information and I will certainly mention it to my doctor. I am so grateful for you taking the time to read what I have going on, and then to comment too? So nice.

      I know what living with headache daily is like. This is only one of the symptoms we are hoping to relieve with this procedure. I feel for you so much. How are you coing with them?

  5. argh!!!!! oh honey, i can completely understand your frustration…gosh, what can you do? can your sweet hubby bring a box of chocolates to the office for the scheduler? Do you know her name? Can you send her thank you flowers in advance—with a note that you will appreciate her getting you on the surgical schedule ASAP? I have tried those strategies with SOME success. First find out her name and work schedule….AND find out the surgeon’s vacation schedule. Tell them your insane AZ twin is driving you nuts and you just HAVE to know the scheduled date…..

    • You are so absolutely charming! I love your ideas and I love the thought that I’ll attract more flies if I use honey. As my mom would say.
      I did get the scheduler’s name and left a message with her late yesterday afternoon. I did not try chocolates though… I think you may on to something… Thanks for the love Kate.. I am using the thret of my AZ twin as last resort.

You are most welcome to share your thoughts, comments, and/or complaints here. Know though complaints are only handled on the 2nd Tuesday of the week.~ The Management

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s