Friday, June 25, 2010

When Sciatica Isn't Sciatica

For five years and counting I've been going to doctors trying to find out what has been causing nearly debilitating pain through my buttocks and down my leg. As years passed the pain increased and crept steadily down my leg to the point where my knee doesn't work without a wince of pain and pause to let it pass.

Five years. I think I've taken every muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory and pain killer known to man. All to no avail. Everyone was convinced it was a back problem and I was convinced it wasn't since the pain emanated from my hip. Finally, my pain doctor, who is an anesthesiologist by training, and my acupuncturist told me it was indeed not a back problem. It was a muscle and nerve problem. Something called Piriformis Syndrome. A malady where the piriformis muscle is pinching the sciatic nerve. I apparently am a text book case.

Five years. My family practitioner at the outset told me nothing showed on the x-ray so there was really nothing to treat. A specialist had looked at an MRI and found some torn muscles in the region but nothing on which to perform to do surgery so take a pill and call in a month. Chiropractors, massage therapists. physical therapy - no one focused on the area I insisted was where the pain began.

Five years. An anesthesiologist and an acupuncturist. Even with the pain specialist I've gone through a pot full of pills and shots to no avail. It took awhile to pin point the problem though I think I explained it as well as the journal he showed me. One more shot is on tap. Botox. Hub is having a fine time with that one. Botox in my butt! It is funny. The pain isn't. The theory is that Botox will relax the muscle big time and release the pinch in the nerve. One hopes! Meantime physical therapy, especially stretches of that muscle, continues on and on and on.

Five years of having my life like nickel and dimed away by a lack of diagnosis and ineffective treatment. Funny, there is so much about the ailment on the Internet you'd think the doctors would have thought of it! Talk about having to be master of yourself and tenacious! If you don't want to settle for "there's nothing there" you've got to push and push and push.

One more shot. I hope it's not in the dark.


Betty said...

I sure hope the next shot does the trick. I know you've been miserable. Good luck.

Florence said...

I hope you get some relief. I know the feeling of getting your hopes up only to find that Nope, that doesn't work either... I keep hoping eventually we'll find out what is causing my GI distress; so far 6 months of one treatment that doen't work after another.