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We arrived in Vancouver and I had every gadget and medication in tow that I used as tools to help me with pain management. I remember walking up this steep walkway and just praying, asking God to carrying me through and that I wouldn’t be met with another dead end or disappointing appointment. With my anxiety being at an extreme high from not knowing what to expect, I prayed even harder for peace and that God would go before me. At that very moment, I had a vision of being draped across Jesus’ arms and being carried up the walkway to my appointment.

When I reached the building, I had to ring the bell and the doctor’s personal assistant met me at the doors and brought me to an elevator up to his apartment. She had an obvious hip issue which made her walk cartoon like with her butt hiked in the air. I felt really bad for her and thought of her and her suffering. As we were in the elevator, she reassured me and told me that I was in good hands and how much this specialized doctor helped her.

When I made it to his apartment, I expected it to be transformed into this medical office but was surprised that it was his actual home. There was a China cabinet full of beautiful tea cups and family photos, spread across his dining table were stacks of papers and in his kitchen his assistant had a wooden tv tray with papers piled on it and a desk in there too. I asked to use the bathroom and his shaving things and toothbrush were sitting on the counter. I felt like I was in an episode of “House.” He was tucked away in his office across the hall from the bathroom and I was told to sit and wait at the dining table until he was ready to see me.

I anxiously sat there looking around and praying in my head. He had requested every pain management tool to be brought with me and so I took them out and put them on the table. I had to fill out some forms, as per usual, which is when this larger, older man with noticeably dyed pitch black hair arrived in the room. He said hello and put down this thick file folder with all of my medical information and interactions from over the years, that had saved tags throughout it. He sighed and said, “There’s a lot here and I got through most of it. I’ve got a lot of questions for you but before we begin, just maybe do a little walk through of what happened and all that you have done up until this point.”

I started to speak and explain the different symptoms that I experienced throughout the years and each time I said one of the symptoms, he’d interrupt and say, "That's Si Joint Dysfunction.” Many of the times I would start talking and he’d be able to finish my sentence on where I would experience my pain without me even having to say it. I was taken back a bit from him repeating Si Joint Dysfunction, with him not even examining me yet and thought it was odd that, that was his answer, especially when I thought it was, years before but was told it wasn‘t. He proceeded to ask me about the specialized doctor that I had seen in the very beginning, “Isn’t he supposed to be the best at si joint issues? How did he miss this? These are all classic signs and symptoms of Si Joint Dysfunction. I also noticed that you had a laparoscopic procedure and the gynecologist that oversaw you is one of my closest friends and she usually always refers her si joint patients to me. Why didn't you get referred to me by her?” The air felt like it got sucked out of the room that very moment and I felt like I got punched in the gut because I pleaded and begged with that very gynecologist almost ten months prior, to refer me to a doctor that knew about Si Joint Dysfunction and she told me that I was jaded and needed to surrender to the pain.( I was angry and upset but had no time to really process or let my emotions come through because we had so much to cover. “Are you kidding me? I begged and asked her for someone and she refused to refer me to anyone.” I replied and he looked at me and just shook his head.

He started to go through my life, even my childhood, and asked about every single relationship and if I had been getting counseling. “I’ll be doing a full physical exam of you but I know without even looking at you and from reading your files and talking to you, that you most definitely have Si Joint Dysfunction.” He said. “How come it has taken so long to get an answer though? I even thought it could be and once I had the diagnostic injection, I was almost certain but nobody has confirmed anything to me.” I said. “I’ve been a Complex Chronic Pain Specialist, Iliac Crest Specialist ( he listed off a lot more) and have had over thirty years of experience in my field and have seen hundreds of people with this condition. It gets missed because doctors are taught in school that by age ten your si joints are fused and it’s impossible to have issues but I’m here to tell you that it does happen. There is a lot that needs to change in the medical system and there are some that do recognize it but that’s why you have been suffering and struggling for so long. I’m so sorry.”

I had still held onto a little tiny thread of hope that the gynecologist was wrong about us not being able to have any more babies and so I figured out of anyone, he would know. “The gynecologist said I couldn’t have any more babies. What are your thoughts on this?” “I’m sorry but I have to agree with her.” He replied. Another thump to my stomach. Tears automatically started to roll down my cheeks but I caught myself, before being a full blown, blubbering mess. I had so many questions and so little time and just wanted to use our time together to my advantage.

He brought me into this room and told me to change into some shorts so that he could better examine me. He did all of these maneuvers, a lot of them I had been through many times before. Then he took out his stethoscope and listened to my joints as I hiked up one leg at a time. “Yes, I can hear the clicking of your joints. Another sign of Si Joint Dysfunction. Has anyone stopped and listened like this to your joints before?” I shook my head no. I was told to walk up and down his hallways, which is where he pointed out more things that he could see wrong. I went back into his examining room and he sat on a chair behind me and did more tests and explained that my pelvis was tilted to one side and was being yanked forward, which was twisting my spine and causing a lot of compensation issues. He told me that my ribs were being yanked which was causing my left shoulder to be pulled forward and down as well, along with a slew of other things wrong with my body. I had heard of some of these issues named and noticed over the years but no one was able to put all of the pieces together until now.

We went back to the dining room and he told me that he would personally find a physiotherapist that had the understanding and skills on how to help me. “I’m so sorry to say this to you but everything that you have done up until this point was all for nothing. I mean how could you be helped when nobody knew what was really wrong with you and you had no diagnosis.” My heart hurt even more. All of the sacrifices that my family had gone through for me. The scraping of finances. The many, many hours of appointments and homework that I had done. All of the time and effort, all for nothing.

“Will I get my life back and get better? Is it possible?” I felt like I already knew the answer to this question but needed to hear it from him because I knew he would truly know. “Ummm, well, it might be possible.” He said it in a not very convincing way and I knew he was just trying to give me a little pinch of hope.


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