Next injection, Day 1

  • Posted on July 19, 2016 at 1:53 pm

Health and medical crud to follow, read at your own risk….

Yesterday I had the fourth injection(s) into my back to try and relieve the pain I’ve had since February 2015. First injection was an epidural with dexamethasone, done in Rutland in October. In April, I had facet joint injections, which are a test procedure to see if radio frequency ablation will work, done at Dartmouth. That obviously failed. In May I had a second epidural done in Bennington with depomedrol. I don’t know if it was the medication itself or where it was done, but that was the most painful of anything I’ve had done to date. Had that been my first procedure, there is no way you could have possibly had me do another one. Yesterday was a right side L5 transforaminal injection with dexamethasone, at Dartmouth.

Based on my past experiences, I can’t get excited about this until we really hit the three week mark. With the first injection, I had 5 good days. With the second epidural, it wasn’t until (and only) the second week in which I had about 20% relief. Especially since I don’t know what the next options are here (more complicated, since I think we’ve exhausted the plain injection options). It also brings into question what’s actually -causing- the pain. Actually, as I think it through, there may be one more injection to try- transforaminal at the L4 nerve. I have an L4-L5 spondylosthesis, which means that part of the vertebrae slips up and down and can restrict the space in which the nerve can move around. Some say it shouldn’t bother me but for YEARS I have been complaining that at times I can feel it slip and move. From the xrays and MRIs it doesn’t look too bad, they’ve said. I’m trying to keep that small bit of optimism for as long as I can. Today is better than yesterday. I have no idea what tomorrow, or even this afternoon, will be like. I can’t get medical marijuana, despite it being legal in the state, as I can’t find anyone who will prescribe it to me, even though I already have 3 different physicians (PA, pain psychologist, and pain management) who say they think it could help me, and likely get me off some of the medications. Wouldn’t that be a novelty.

On a different medical note, ny new neurologist is increasing the beta blockers to try and get rid of the chronic daily headache, even though she has said that she is not confident it will help. She thinks the next option should be depakote or Botox. I put out the request for information to my internet tribe, which came back strongly in favor of Botox, with direct and anecdotal (“I have a friend….”) information. No one had anything good to say about depakote, which was my recollection from before when I used to keep up on these things. The beta blockers do seem to be helping; I just need to keep real track of things for the next week now that we are at the final dosage. I get my bp checked on Friday to make sure it hasn’t gotten too low but if that’s ok, maybe we just stay with this for a bit, I don’t know.

I’m more than grateful for the fact that both providers as well as my PC use secure mail for communication, so I don’t even need to pick up the phone to have these conversations. That certainly makes dealing with the medical anxiety a bit easier.

And I have learned that -without question- I need my music playing on headphones. Music in the room isn’t enough for me. I didn’t wear my headphones last time because she needed to talk to me during the procedure (ugh!) but this time I just forgot. I had them with me and everything. I would have been much, much happier with them. Even with the local anesthesia, these things HURT, in a deep, take your breath away but you can’t move a micron sort of way.

At least it’s over for now. Now I have three to four weeks to just wait and see what happens.

I hate waiting.

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