Monday, July 13, 2009

And Now I Wait...

You who have been long time readers have listened to my complaints about an extremely painful lower back. It has taken four years to reach the point I came to this morning.

First I had an x-ray which indicated a slight bulge and deterioration of the L5-S1 area of my spine. I went to physical therapy. A lot of good things happened except for the pain. I became more flexible and my balance improved. Then came acupuncture to no avail. We investigated the bursitis issue of my hip which showed some "shredded" muscle in my gluteus medius and minimous. More physical therapy with the addition of deep tissue massage and chiropractic. Again, other things got better but the pain remained and was getting worse. At least I needed more pain killer to tolerate it.

Finally, my doctor suggested I might need to see a back doctor. Physical therapy shouldn't hurt! Well, DUH!! Finally. Finally.

Last Monday I went to see one. It took him about 32 seconds to spot the inflamed nerve root. The joy of going to a specialist! I knew he was going to suggest the "shot" which I had been dreading. "All I've heard," I told him, "is that they are extremely painful."

"Not so" he said emphatically. "It depends on how it's done. We numb you up then give the shot and you'll feel little if anything."

I nodded, wanting to believe him but not really doing so. But, after four years this was my last hope. My back is a pretty good back for one my age. There is nothing structurally the matter with it. But the inflammation can cause fits. Tell me!

So today was the day. Hub drove me because I was told my legs would be numb for a time and I shouldn't drive. Off we went for my Epidural Steroid Injection. The link shows exactly how it's done.

I should know in about three days if it's working. In two to three weeks we'll know how well. Hopefully I'll not need another. But on the bright side, if I do I won't hesitate. The doctor was a man of his word.

Did I feel anything? Yes. I felt it when they injected the laticane on each side of my spine. It was no worse than having an acupuncture needle inserted except for a slight burning sensation which was gone as quickly as it came. I was aware of the other needle being inserted but it didn't hurt as much as when you have blood drawn!

So, today, rather than feeling the dread that fills anticipation, I'm filled with cautious optimism. Gosh, if I could only translate that same optimism to my political observations I might again be a happy person!


Margie's Musings said...

A couple of years ago, I noticed that the center toes on both my feet were numb and wondered what that was all about. I went to the doctor and she ran some tests and sent me to have an MRI (which showed nothing).

Then I went to an orthopedic specialist who pressed on my lower back and said, "Does that hurt?" I about came unglued. I didn't even know there was pain there. He set me up with some x-rays and found a deteriorating disc.

Nothing can be done about it. It is an old injury from when I was 27 (a few years back) and cracked a disc goofing around in my own living room.

It healed in about three months (they said it would be six months)and the doctor said I would always have trouble with it. I never have...until now. Every once in awhile it gives me fits but nothing Aleve can't help.

Linda said...

I fear back pain, it haunts so many people. The few times I've had it were just enough to make me have even more fear of having it on a regular basis.

I do hope this brings relieve.

From looking at the picture this pain is pretty close to being a pain in the rear end, which is how we refer to politics.

John Dwyer said...

Good luck. I hope this treatment helps you. I have been quite lucky with my back--only occasional pain now and then.

P.S. I am glad you like the pictures. I may put my Ireland pictures on the facebook site, even though they are two years old.

Word Tosser said...

Got my fingers crossed that this works... it sure would be great to have some relief...

June Saville said...

I'm wondering how you are coping with the medical bills? I suppose you have good insurance? We in Australia have heard for years how difficult it is in your health system.

Judy of Living on the Other Side of the Hill is running a post on your system now, and asked me to post on what happens here ...

You may be interested ...
June in Oz

Dogwalkmusings said...


Being a "senior" I have medicare plus a supplement which picks up what medicare does not.

Not unlike private insurance, we pay a premium for the service. The hang up is it is a government run program and in ill conceived cost cutting measures they continually reduce what they pay Doctors to see us - therefore they in turn cut back on the number of medicare patients they will take.

That's a snapshot.

I will read your post and follow it's link with great interest.