just a lengthy comment to anonymous regarding the lengthy entry:
I, who never got a chance to get my Mstrs Degree due to an accident that left me paralyzed and doctors (the best in a well known medical city) sent me home to live with my fate because they didn't have MRI at the time, nor ultrasound, etc. They were smart enough and caring enough to know that although exploratory surgery was all they could do to try to determine the cause of my predicament, it was not something they would highly recommend as it would definitely cause more problems than was already evident.
Instead of learning to live with my fate; I became determined to overcome as much of my 'fate' as I could possibly manage; learning on my own; finding answers that the medical community had not found or realized (but are in practice today); devising methods that physical therapy had not developed (and are used today); etc.
To do all of this 'learning', I had no choice but to eliminate my ultra-strong meds (that did not really do much to affect the pain - just kept me knocked-out and mindless). I did something unheard of; I tossed them all without so much as a thought...cold turkey. (I am not suggesting this for anyone).
Not to say I have been totally successful throughout the years, but within 5 years I had regained almost total use of hands and was walking; maybe not walking well, but I was walking. For the most part I seemed normal to strangers. I was still in great pain at times (still to this day) and experienced numbness in areas (still today)...which we all know can be a symptom of nerve damage, at least to some extent.
I have had many doctors since then. Have gone through many medical dilemmas due to the stresses brought on by the physical and mental, as well as results from treatments and meds. Nearly died twice. Many very severe situations. One which left me flat on my back and so physically challenged throughout my entire body, including brain function (reasoning /sight impaired / could not swallow/ etc...for 5 1/2 years straight.
Since I became more socially oriented, learning of the MRI and ultrasound...in fact having the ultrasound ordered for other minor difficulties...I have yet to be able to influence a primary physician to order an MRI for determining what is still remaining as the problematic symptoms generated from the cervical as well as the lumbar areas.
At least, you have been able to get the multiple MRIs. So I am assuming you have not had as many decades of trying to work with primary physicians. And that, is progress in my book. Heck, what I've been able to achieve in the medical community is progress.
NOTE: a friend of mine recently hurt his back at work; immediately had one of the pains I've known for a very long time; immediately had the numbness that I still experience today after decades...his doctor instantly determined an MRI was needed...yes, I watched it all happen moment by moment, day by day...was a bit furious,as you can imagine, but decided to stand by him and learn what was to be learned from the tests he could get that I was never ...am still unable to get. At least, that way I would know for sure what I have determined on my own. His case is still pending, as he is now going to see a neurologist. (smile) I have to get beyond this or it will weigh me down and I won't be able to get beyond it. I can feel secure in my knowledge, as I am the one who told my friend that he needed to go to a doctor because he probably had a pinched nerve...sure enough. As stated elsewhere here...my experiences have helped others, either because it was not part of the medical profession and then became so or because I was able to advise someone. Maybe that's what it is all about. By the way, still waiting on neurologist, but friend decided to learn to do without the pain pills...morphine being one of them...I believe the same mgs as what you mentioned...he did choose to wean himself off then rather than go cold turkey.
The medical community is a heavy, huge wheel that takes forever to turn. But obviously with the invent of the MRI and so many other things since then...it does turn. Keep trying, if the medical community is where you rely, because medical advances are happening faster and faster these days. I've watched the progress for decades and can see that it does progress.
I was not happy that the medical profession used me to learn. (And they did...at one point I was on speaker with heads of Mayo, Johns Hopkins and others on a weekly basis...something one of my specialists set up). It wasn't helping 'me'. But now I can see just how much it has helped others who have come along after me. Though it is still not helping me because what they have learned has come after I had learned it for myself...and put into practice for myself before they were able to do so. And those things that are available now that might could help me to at least determine and/or validate what I already know...well, I can't seem to get those ordered by a physician.
It is still a struggle to work with primary physicians...the medical community in general...even if you got to a neurologist, you still might not get one that will do what you want, or even what you need.
The medical profession has certainly seemed to inflict a God complex on some of its members...but we helped them get that way, because we are helpless without them. But don't go to them with what you have achieved on your own...it is not received well by most (allowing for some'one' to be different than what I've experienced).
So be thankful that you have someone to go to, many do not. If you have achieved a Mstrs Degree, maybe you could do your own research and determine a program for yourself. I don't know if your problem would lend itself to such a process, but sometimes we don't know until we try. I'm not crazy about doctors who quickly decide to prescribe meds for something they have not tested thoroughly to determine the problem. (I will not return to them). Maybe, you should just tell your doctor that you are moving and need to find someone closer to your home.(Consider the agreements they 'make' you sign...I don't think,if I were in your shoes I would ever sign such as what you stated...if it is required, get up walk out go somewhere else). Sometimes we have to not be as honest as we would like. The system is what it is. We have it upon our shoulders to figure out the best way to make the system work for us. We have to use our brains as much as they use theirs, maybe in some cases more than they use theirs. Those of us who feel we are educated or can educate ourselves should not feel as dependent upon these professionals as those people who may not be as lucky as the rest of us in that department. Doctors don't prey; 'we' rely. It's a choice for some, a necessity for others.
I do hope you find the help you need (I don't know that I know what your particular problem is, I didn't bother to look it up before I posted...maybe I should have). It is awful to live in severe pain, something many of us do everyday with or without meds, with or without hope of it ever being any different. Research; process the information; and determine a solution. That is what doctors do...if they are not on any kind of pedestal, then we should be able to use our brains as well as they can use theirs. If you cannot affect a solution for yourself; prepare to present your problem in a way that will be most acceptable by someone that will probably be slightly intimidated if not presented 'softly'...and judgmental of the 'female' if presented too 'softly'. It is a catch 22. But we are female, we can overcome...simply because we have to. Sometimes you may win, mostly you will probably lose. Those are just the odds. You are the salmon.
True, we cannot order tests or write prescriptions. And if that is the only thing that will help your particular problem and your problem is degeneratively worsened as time goes by, maybe it is just something you will have to live with. There is nothing saying that a test will lead to solving your problems. Much as surgery did not. A test can only tell, maybe, what is there. Sometimes they just don't have a solution or they are not equipped to offer a solution that will help. If you push them to do something, there is a good chance that you will eventually find one who will do what you think is the right thing to do and it will very possibly end up just like your neck surgery. Or end up much like having to live on morphine.
Maybe what they are saying when they do nothing but keep you on pain meds without finding out what is causing the problem is that they 'can't' go there or they have no intentions of going there. Either way, it could be saying this is in your hands...in God's hands. And if the two of you (you and God) work together, you just might get some relief instead of living on pain meds. If doctors get the wild idea that someone wants to live on pain meds, they will think of you what they will. It is up to you to make sure you present to them a different picture (without your journals and your advanced intelligence). Believe me, I have dealt with enough of the medical profession that I understand the preconceived notions that some doctors have. Anyone would think that if they are as educated as they would like others to believe they are (self-importance exuding from every pore - as some of them are), then they would've learned a long time ago that you just dont' judge a book by its cover. Alas, they are out there, everywhere...not just doctors.
However, playing the odds, you just might eventually find someone who is worthy of the title they hold. They do exist. If I could go back to the doctors today that were so knowledgeable and caring in the beginning...now that there are more advanced testing and procedures, etc...maybe I could get some of my problems solved. But after decades of struggles, I am sad to say they have passed on. A great loss.
Good luck! I truly hope you find a way for your body and you to get along better.
As for the relating to the topic of this posting: memory can be affected by many things. I lost much of mine...memories of the past...knowing vocabulary, how to do simple tasks, etc. All due to the above malfunctions of the brain during the 5+ years struggle of 1 of my many problems evolving from an accident and all that followed. I can say now that the memory will return, at least it is doing a good job of it for me, after a long hiatus. Good luck everyone!