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Hawaii: Part two

I have a question for all of you. Why are we supposed to put our faith in doctors when the majority of us are overlooked or under treated because of shaming? I feel as though this can be a hard question to answer. I know for myself, I will never be able to answer this question. At least not alone anyways. What I can do however, is continue my story so that maybe we can figure out some form of an answer together.

After my bit in the hospital, I was scheduled to meet with a spine specialist at the clinic on Schofield Barracks. I was excited because this meant that something might be done to help ease me of this pain. After about 5 days of bed rest, I struggled to walk up to the clinic. Yes I had to walk. We still had no car and had spent what we had taking that trip to the hospital. The clinic was not a far walk, maybe a mile away. However, this mile was pure misery, but I did it. While sitting there thinking this is going to go great and something is going to be done, I hear the door open. In comes this doctor who looks at me for a brief second and says, "what brings you in today?" I seem kind of dumbfounded as he was holding my chart in his hand. I looked at him and explained what happened. What I received in return was, well, what we can do is give you some physical therapy and send you to a dietician...

A dietician? What does this have to do with my back? After I managed to ask those questions he spoke about how my weight would make my pain go away and how about weight loss surgery. I didn't know how to respond to that so I said thank you, filled out the schedule for physical therapy and limped myself back home. I did some research on my own time and found that having a slipped spine is something that needs to be taken care of the majority of the time by surgery or else it will progress. What I wish now is that I would have been more confident and spoke up for myself.

After a couple of weeks, I went to see this dietician and physical therapy. Mind you, I am civilian who was sent to soldier "doctors." You are probably fuming at that statement as we speak but let me remind you, I am not a soldier. Medical assistants and "doctors" on the installation are supposed to be for the soldiers themselves. They have very different treatment methods than those of civilians. That needs to be addressed at another time because, for example, sending someone home with a massive sprained ankle and tell them to strap up, take ibuprofen and move on is not the best way for an injury to heal. This is of course is just a hypothetical situation. During my sessions at physical therapy, I was bent, twisted, pulled and pushed every way imaginable. That hurt. Absolutely painful. When I spoke of this I received these exact words from the therapist, "Ibuprofen and heat will take care of that back pain. Have you seen your dietician yet because that will certainly help as well." Yea, ok.

That is three times my slipped spine was looked over by three different specialists. I get it, I am larger than some, I need to lose weight (which I very much tried). I know that weight affects pain and joints, however, this is a slipped spine we are talking about. Once I had finished my 6 week sessions of physical therapy and my dietician appointment all I got in return was this weird, painful jolt that kept going down my leg when I would walk. This pain, this horrible jolt of excruciating pain begins the next part of my journey...


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