A while back, I had two procedures to reduce pain in my cervical spine. I have been wrestling with this for years – using massages, chiropractors, acupuncturist, hot pacs, sports gel, whatever would work. At night I would prop up my neck with special pillows. (What I really wanted to do was wear a collar – like Sally Tishall on Doc Martin.) Finally it occurred to me to speak to a pain doctor.
In a couple weeks, I was on my stomach on a weird table with oxygen tubes in my nose, IV tubes in my hand, blood pressure reader on my finger, heart monitors on my back under a machine that looked at my vertebrae while the doctor – who was cute as a puppy – numbed the nerves in my spine. This worked so well, they did it again two days later with a cauterizing needle. I was quasi-awake during this procedure (although I remember nothing) so that I could indicate when they had the motor portion of the nerves verses when they had the pain portion. (That conversation did get my attention!)
I am amazed at what we can do these days. Different parts of one nerve? My heavens… I need a magnifying glass to do my nails. What really got my attention though – apart from their expertise – was their kindness and efficiency. Throughout both procedures, I was surrounded by pleasant, caring people who were fun and helpful. Despite working in an environment where a mistake could be life-threatening, they were not self-important. I saw less ego there than I did in my Corporate 500 job, where no lives were at stake and way more money was crossing hands. It seems that money tends to crowd out empathy. Is that the seven deadly sins raising their heads once again or is it the nature of the people who seek out certain jobs? Hard to know.