Last Tuesday

As some of you may know, I’ve had problems with my back for years. It has caused me to constantly be in pain, which has caused me to constantly be on pain medication. To be quite frank, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of always hurting. I’m tired of popping pills. I’m tired of having what I can, or cannot, do dictated by the level of pain that I’m in. I’m just tired of it all.

I started seeing (another) new doctor recently. He suggested doing something that another doctor of mine talked about doing years ago. The other doctor didn’t do it because he saw it as a last resort option, and, at the time, we weren’t there yet. Now, I am.

When I saw my old doctor, he did a series of epidural shots. He’d shoot pain medication straight into the nerve that covered the part of my back that’s hurting. It worked very well, taking away most of my pain, but the shot only lasted for a month or two at a time. Not only that, but it is a procedure that, while covered by insurance, was still too expensive. So, I only ended up having three of them done. During the second one, he told me about the last resort option. Basically, the last resort was that, instead of pain medicine, they’d shoot the nerve with another substance, and it would completely kill the nerve.

The plus side to this is that I’d never feel anything down there ever again. The down side to this is that I’d never feel anything down there ever again.

Back then, I didn’t do it because there were still things I hadn’t tried yet. Now, I’ve tried everything: I’ve been to dozens of doctors, had multiple MRIs, CT scans, and other tests, and none of them can even tell me what’s wrong. I’m done. It’s worth the risk now.

This is  what I did last Tuesday. I went in and had it done. I laid down on a scanning table while they tried to position the needle. The last time I had this done, it was a lot less unpleasant. The old doctor made a small incision to get the needle where it needed to be. I thought he did this just because of how big the needle was. It turns out, he did it for another reason as well. The spot where he needed to get to is directly beneath my surgery scar.

My new doctor apparently didn’t think the incision was necessary. So he pushed a big needle, which are considerably less sharp than the smaller ones, through my thick scar tissue. Even after the Novocain, it hurt like hell. It caused me to come pretty damn close to throwing up a few times, which would’ve been very bad when I had needles stuck in me. It was 33 grams of suck.

I took that day, and the one after, off of work and did almost nothing, per the doctors orders.  While I love not doing anything, it’s a lot harder to do now that I have Baby E. It was tough not being able to pick her up and play with her for two days. For those two days, I didn’t feel anything in my back except for the spots where they injected the Novocain (after it wore off, of course), which were 6 spots along my lower back (where my pain was located). By the weekend, I didn’t feel anything at all in my lower back. Unfortunately, the rest of my back was hurting.

Because I’ve been in pain for so long, I’ve been favoring that one side of my back, which made me move a certain way. Since I wasn’t feeling that pain anymore, I went back to moving naturally. I’m not used to moving naturally, however, so some of my muscles were being used for the first time in years. Needless to say, I was smelling like Icy Hot for a few days. Icy Hot is not a very nice smell.

Now, it’s a week later and I think the shot is starting to wear off. The doctor told me that it doesn’t always take on the first try. I hope it’s just another muscle strain because I don’t want to have to go through that again. We’ll see. If I have to do it again, I’ll do it again. I can put up with it one more time if it means I’m not in pain anymore.


23 comments on “Last Tuesday

  1. El Guapo says:

    Gah. Hope the treatment gets you sorted Chronic pain sucks – mine is in one of my shoulers.

    Why didn’t you have teh first doctor do it?

    • It’s not a question of me not wanting to do it the first time. It’s that the first doctor didn’t want to do it because he thought I hadn’t perused every possible solution. The procedure, from a logical standpoint, makes perfect sense. However, medically, it’s risky. If he killed that nerve, and something new were to happen in that area, I won’t know because I wouldn’t feel it and I can’t see my back. Now, although I still wouldn’t feel it, I have a wife who can see if there’s something wrong back there.

  2. bardictale says:

    Ugh. I hope you won’t need to do it again. Feel better.
    Do pecan bars work?

  3. Aussa Lorens says:

    Yikes, chronic pain is terrible. I hope they sort something out that allows you to find some comfort and lasting relief… oddly enough I am just about to head to the hospital because my brother is having spine surgery. He has been in constant pain since we were teenagers… I hope everything works out with your back.

  4. Wow! You’re one tough cookie! I hope the pain wears off soon and you get some relief. Hoping you don’t have to go back in for another shot. Take care of yourself!

  5. The Cutter says:

    Ugh, that does not sound pleasant. I’ve been dealing with some back issues this year, and I hope it never gets to a point like that.

  6. Oh my goodness, that’s brutal. I hope you don’t have to go through it again but if you do, you can insist that they do the incision, or heavily sedate you at least. I’m sorry it’s been so hard for you.

  7. If I was a believer in anything, I think I would be praying for you right now.

  8. djmatticus says:

    Yuck. 33 grams of suck indeed. I hope after a few more days of moving naturally again your back will start to feel better and the spot that is supposed to be numb will be. :-/

  9. Elyse says:

    Ouch. Talk to the doctor ahead of time. You probably don’t need to be in pain. Do not be shy with doctors — that’s my mantra!

  10. BrainRants says:

    I’m sorry you have to live with this. Someday, I am sure, I will have chronic pain. No, not a fourth marriage.

  11. Really hope the pain is gone for good! If you do have to do it again, do you think you’d request the incision? Would that hurt less?

  12. Well, it’s now a few more days since you had this done. How’re you feeling?

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