Monday, August 2, 2010

Road Trip day to Pain Specialist

Hello world!  Here we go again.  Key words of the day:   Spinal blocks;   Radio Frequency Neural Ablation;  Steroid injections.  They all have one thing in common that I'm not thrilled about. Needles and Pain.

Today will be another road trip up north to see my back doctor/pain specialist again. Last September 2009 was my 5th .... or was it 7th... maybe even 8th back procedure to control the rheumatoid arthritis in the lower facet joints of L4 and L5.  good grief I've lost count.   Anywho... that procedure seems to have lasted the longest out of all of them.  I've was able to experience 8 months straight (Oct 09' to May 2010) of reduced, very tolerable pain  !! woohoo !!   Now mind you that the 4 days after any of these procedures is usually tagged with endurance from hell, but once you get past that part the temporary relief alone is like winning the lottery!   But alas, most good things must come to an end.  

I have begun to believe that for me, it is the heat of summer months that has a-lot to do with my particular sufferings.  Tolerance levels plummet.  Pain and mobility issues skyrocket out the wazoo.  It's as if my body's inner core thermometer is broken and cannot properly or consistently regulate.  I also hate what I will call the OZ Witch Syndrome.  It involves chanting ... "My brain is melting" "My brain is melting" and I'm off and running all the way to the shower for cool relief! There's been a couple of times I've almost called 911.  If anyone can tell me what's up with that I sure would appreciate some understanding reasoning or explanation. Because if there are any sneaky warning signs that such is about to happen I am always oblivious to them.  The only thing I do know is that has to do with activity.  Once a certain amount of chores, or activities have been accomplished than, Wham! It usually just slams me right in the face... or should I say brain. lol.  My kids and dh (dear hubby) always spout off, "See, your doing to much again" or some other comment.  And of course that just ticks me off because I'm thinking to mself, what r they talking about. The day used to be when I could do this and ten times more all in one day! Thank you very much" 

  Than of course there's dummy me who is in no hurry to get back to the doctor for another procedure.  Why?  Because they too are intensely painful.  I can't think of anyone who enjoys having a needle stuck in spine.  Tho I do give props to Dr. Riskin of Christie Clinic!    He is the first Dr. that has been able to do a spinal tap on me that was completely pain free!!!!!!  I am serious.  He has a special way with breathing and relaxation techniques that along with the sound of his voice is just absolutely amazing!  I was so relaxed. Actually the most relaxed I've ever been in my whole life.  Personally I think he should received one of those Nobel Peace or Pulitzer Prize or whatever it is that doctors can get. 

Last time the pain doc and me talked, he said he didn't think surgery would fix the problem. Only life maintenance pain relief is what I have to choose from.  Well, that sure wasn't what I wanted for christmas!  ok. so dh says I'm a just going to have to buck up and get some grit and just learn to deal with the pain since it can't be fixed.  I'm thinking, uh... uh... "DUH" ! Isn't that what I've been doing all along for last seven years. sheesh. men.     Any how, I'm done ranting. Got to hit the road. ~  later bloggers.

ps... I'm back from the road trip. It's late in the evening right now. No procedure today. whew! But Doc is not pleased with my left foot drop. I can't stand on my toes or on my heels without falling over. (at this point in the exam I'm thinking who in the heck walks around standing on their toes or heels all the time. Growing up I was taught to walk on my feet!).  He thinks it time to do another procedure but wants to send me to go visit this neurosurgeon, Dr. Harvey.    We talked.  If possible though he believes that if surgery is not immediately needed that I could relatively continue doing these spinal procedures for quite some time safely.  I'm like, well I'm 47 yrs now and I have at least another 30 to 40 yrs left God willing. Can a person just keep on getting these procedures done every year to six months and taking pain killers for that long?    A nervous chuckle exchanged between us and he's like ... well I guess in years to come lil ole old you will be coming in to see lil ole old me the dr.

On the drive up, daughter and I were discussing something that was explained at a previous dr. appt.  My arthritis was ranked as moderate. I was taken aback at first. With a rather sour puzzled look I commenced to say, "What?  And I ask, How can a person be in so much pain all the time that there are so many days when they have to give them selves a pep talk just to keep going on, but yet you the Dr. ranks the arthritis as moderate. Isn't moderate only one step up from mild?"      Than it was explained to me that moderate arthritis is very painful. It hurts like hell. That the doctors know arthritis has begun to advance to severe when the pain starts to diminish and go away because by than the nerves are so pinched / damaged that they are numb to any feeling and the brain doesn't pick up or feel the pain.  When you reach that point, by than limbs and such become no longer usable. Now, how's that for an eye opener!    hmmm, so now I guess the question becomes what's worse, pain from hell but still being able to move and semi-function or being pain-free but stuck frozen and immobile.  With odds like that no wonder a-lot of people think life sucks.

I'm a gonna have to do some googling to try and find some research on what's the longest that a person has been able to live on narcotics. That's what's on my mind right now.

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