Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Medical (mis)adventures

Yesterday I had such a wonderful day I needed chocolate ice cream at the end of it. Why was it such a wonderful day you ask? Well I am signed up for more medical (mis)adventures. I am so (un)excited.

I had an appointment with my back pain doctor, also known as the doctor who prescribes the good drugs. He told me that I looked in good shape, and didn't comment on my high blood pressure reading that concerned the nurses. He told me that I have pain from my facet joints (the little joints along the side of your spine), my right sacroiliac joint (the long joint along the side of your tail bone next to your hip bone), and from greater tronchanteric bursitis in my left hip. All the previous treatments/injections have worn off and I need to start over again.

He insisted on squeezing me in on Wednesday (as in tomorrow) to give me an injection under fluoroscope into my left hip. I am not sure why he didn't want me to wait but I'm happy to have some pain relief coming. But then they gave me the instructions for the procedure which say: "The doctor will numb your skin with a small needle, which will sting a bit. It is important to hold still and let us know if we are causing you discomfort. Next the doctor using an x-ray machine (fluoroscopy) to guide the needle into the correct spot. Local anesthetic and steroid are then injected through the needle and the needle is removed." The parts that I am so (not) looking forward to are the sting a bit and causing discomfort, and the big needle in my hip.Or all of the above.

Next after that we will schedule a repeat of the radiofrequency denervation in my right SI joint. That is in the top three of the all time most painful medical adventures I have had. I asked if it is likely to be as bad as last time and he said most likely. But it is the only way to relieve the pain (which is similar to that of an ice pick into your back). I can't wait.

Finally, we will repeat the facet block injections. These are no fun. They give you three injections on each side of your spine - twice. The first with anesthetic and the second with steroid. Oh, and even though you are sedated they hurt - each one. I really can't wait. But that will probably not be for a couple of months.

I just have to get through today first. I finally broke down and called my primary care doctor yesterday about my shoulder. I bruised it in late July and it got better for a while. This weekend I ended up icing it several times. My concern is that it is my lymphedema shoulder. If it wasn't, I would probably suck it up and give it until October when I have an appointment to see my PCP. I am not entirely sure what they can do because I have range of motion and don't think anything is really damaged - only bruised. But the lymphedema aspect is more concerning.

Three days, three doctor appointments/medical adventures. What a way to start a week.


mybreastcanceranswers.com said...

Ugghhhh back pain sucks! Hope next week is better. Do you find you are able to manage your lymphedema? I wrote a post about a new surgery being investigated to help for lymphedema, have you heard of that? I like your blog as one of the main reasons I started my site was to make women more knowledgeable when dealing with healthcare providers. I come in from the medical side as an ARNP, but wanted to give back. Hope you are feelling better!

mybreastcanceranswers.com said...

Here is the link to lymphedema article


Debbi said...

I am so sorry you are in such pain
I had Spinal Fusion done and was in a body cast for 3 months and have ongoing problems that need surgeries.
Unfortunately this breast cancer comes first.
BOO ~!!!!
I hope the Dr's visits go well and you get some relief.
Debbi http://atoosassygal.blogspot.com/

lisae said...

I just got a cortisone shot in my hip - it was not at all painful, I didn't even feel the initial shot because they used a surface anesthetic. It was also neat watching the screen while it was done because I could recognize the anatomy of my hip (unlike watching breast biopsies on an ultrasound screen, where I only recognized the needle).

Best of all my hip does feel better.

Good luck with all of the procedures.

Natalie said...

Thanks for sharing with us all.

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Best wishes,

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