On Monday, I overheard the spine surgeon talking in, I don't know how to phrase it, a corrective way with the other doctor, who's new to practice (a year is new), saying that "she must be in a lot of pain if she's come in every six weeks for a year." I sure hope he didn't mean me, because it was me who kept postponing procedures and doing more, wanting an extremely conservative approach worked around a busy schedule. Plus, when he kept worrying about the upper spine, I kept saying, "Ignore that! It's not bothering me. The symptoms there are minor."
The upper spine is just now bothering me substantially (very substantially). Both doctors have been empathetic to me and believe me, which counts for a lot, a whole lot. It's not something they teach in medical school and can be unlearned with clinical detachment. (Despite new course offerings on patient perspectives at some medical schools, patients are still treated as "other.") I sure hope young doctor didn't get in trouble.
I see the neurologist Monday. Hopefully she'll clear me right away. To save time, I sent over some test results for some things she'll probably want to exclude.