Monday, May 10, 2010

Hey! What is that Big Needle For?

Hey! That sucker looks pretty big. Are you going to stick that into me?!?

Uh, Yeah! Duh...

The procedure is called an Epidural Steroid Injection and it means that medicine and pain reliever go into me near the nerves that are sending the pain signals. The idea is to reduce the swelling that is causing the nerves to get pinched and to turn off the signal sending nerves for a while to give them some rest.

Once the anti-swelling medicine (cortisone, usually) has stopped working and the pain reliever has stopped relieving, the hope is that the body has taken over and eliminated the cause of the swelling by healing and there is no more pain that needs relieving.

Well, that is the hope.

Tomorrow I go in for a treatment by Dr L and we'll expect the best results possible. Big Needle And All.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Well, maybe we can treat it like a bad back...

The next thing we are going to do is ... treat it like a bad back.

Uhm; sorry... I need to mention that I have pain again in the same area. It starts like pressure in the area of the sacrum along with a feeling like my flesh is being shredded to bits when I shift hips while driving. After it has settled down for a while, the maximus glutiamous (probably not the real spelling of 'butt' in Latin, but there you go...) on the left side will start aching. And cramps in the left thigh start if I hold off on pain medication for too long.

So I am taking percoset 5/325 a few times a day. They work perfectly and that makes me think I am crazy for having thought that I had pain. Since the give me perfect relief / work so well, I get the idea that it's all in my head anyway. What a nasty merry-go-round this is for my mind. Really!

Back to where I started in the title; Dr S remarked that the MRIs do show clear degeneration of my spinal discs and also of the vertebral structures. It is fair to project that the pain is coming from good old fashioned bumping and grinding of spine against the nerves down there. I asked Dr D if he saw enough in the MRI images to support that idea. He did. And he suggested that we use an advanced nerve tracing diagnostic procedure known as EMG to correlate my pain with a nerve we would find by process of elimination -- poke around until we found the one that was just like the pain I already have... That should be fun.

Dr D said that a beneficial effect could be gained by simply treating the pain like a bad back pain. Ask a pain management specialist to inject steroids and high tech anesthetics into the area and see if we can stimulate healing     / shut down the pain signals in a short period of time.

If the injections don't work; go for the EMG and/or the open biopsy of the sacrum to root out the cause if it is still unresolved.

Is any of this blather making sense?

Next week I'll get the injections -- Dr L will be in charge.