A few weeks back,I had my second lumbar cortisone injection (big needle in the spine adventure) and afterward I told them I had some improvement but not complete. The response I got a few days later was we want to try a diagnostic facet block and if that works a radiofrequency denervation. You may recall I was not too thrilled with this and opted to meet with the doctor first. So my appointment was yesterday and my doctor needs a new script writer. Here's the deal:
- I still have multiple problem areas in my back. He wants to do the lumbar facet block (six needles of long term - 6 hour Novocaine type substance) and if it works, proceed to the radiofrequency denervation (use radiofrequency created heat to kill the sheath on the nerve). If the facet block doesn't work, he still has a plan B.
- The next step is to look at my sacroiliac joints and give them big fat needles too.
These procedures will be done several weeks apart, partly due to scheduling and partly because they like to see how they work for a few weeks before scheduling the next one. My first one is Monday July 6 in the afternoon.
I did ask him about the progression of the pain and what can be done to reverse it (not much) and why it hurts sometimes and not others (because inflammation can start for no reason) and how my life is more limited than before (but I should be grateful for what I have). I can do what I want that doesn't make my back hurt - walking,standing, sitting, lying down all cause pain. I can lift things up to 20 lbs, including going to the gym and using little weights again - good thing the cat only weighs 13 or 14 right now.
I also asked about the whole cancer thing and reminded him of my previous medical diagnosis. He asked when was my last bone scan (last June) and how often did I see oncologists, etc (every three months). I think he feels that if I am being followed by oncologists he isn't too worried about cancer because they are more familiar with it and my MRI was clean.
Needless to say, I was not happy when I left. (I stopped at Trader Joe's to get one thing, spent $35 and when the cashier asked if I found everything I needed, I couldn't remember what I went there to buy so I called my husband from the parking lot before leaving - stress is not good for short term memory.) Then I read the lovely paperwork they gave me about the two procedures.
This statement appears on both: chronic pain from these joints really serves no purse to you except to make your life more miserable. I did not need any one to tell me pain makes me miserable. The facet block procedure is similar to the cortisone injection that I had except I get six needles instead of 1 and they use a Novocaine type substance. I will keep a pain log for the next five hours and send it back to them. The effects of the block will be judged and see if the doctor thinks the radiofrequency denervation will work. (And if so, it could only last for a year or two anyway). The description of the denervation sounds really yucky as they insert needles and then the nerves are 'heated' and the sheath is destroyed 'but you will not really feel this, as we will numb each nerve first.' (HAH!)
I am crabby and whiny as a result. I didn't want this. I don't want more needles. I am sick of pain. I want to do more in my life, not less. Today will be a whiney day. Too bad I have to go to a breakfast meeting...