Thursday, June 6, 2013

Nerve block number two

Actually, it's nerve block number three hundred and forty six, but since my spine surgery this will be nerve block number two.

I had a meltdown on the phone yesterday with the nurse practitioner at my surgeon's office.  I mean, an honest to God sobbing-so-hard-you-almost-can't-speak meltdown.  Amy, of course, was kind, patient, understanding -- everything you could ever want on the other end of the phone when you're falling apart.

I apologized repeatedly and she was so nice about it.  It actually took me by surprise, the depth and breadth of it.  I had called with my list of questions (you do know I'm a list maker, right?) and concerns, and somewhere in the middle, it all fell apart.

I am in such an odd place right now.  I totally feel like the back surgery will be, eventually, successful.  The problem that has plagued me for years -- the incessant tingling and numbness down both legs -- is much improved and is getting better all the time.  I just finished a .96 mile walk in our neighborhood this morning.  I walked down my favorite street past my favorite houses -- something that at one time (and not that long ago) I truly thought I would never be able to do again.  So, yes, the surgery must be a success, right?

But ... how can it be that I traded one big trouble for another big trouble?  The constant pain that now goes from my right hip down the leg to my foot ranges from nagging to almost more than I can bear.  The only relief I can find is while sleeping and occasionally while walking.  Otherwise, it is always with me.  Nothing relieves it - no medication, no change of position -- but sitting upright in a chair definitely aggravates it to the point where it feels like an electric shock going down my leg.  The scary thing is, my job involves me sitting upright in a desk chair.

Nerve pain is a strange thing.  The places I feel the pain worst -- my ankle, the back of my knee, my calf -- are not really what is hurting.  The pain is originating from the base of my spine.  The nerve root has to heal.  Amy said that sometimes the nerve needs more steroid than can be given in one dose, so she is hopeful that this second shot will work much better.  I hope so.  I truly hope so. Surely this isn't a permanent thing, right?  It's not a permanent problem. 

On a related note, I started on a new drug this week to try to treat the nerve pain.  It was not created for that purpose; it's actually a seizure drug.  But it has been found to be effective in treating nerve pain for some people.  Please ... let me be one of those people.  And let me escape the weird side effects ...  The last drug I tried made my appetite go crazy, which is a deal breaker for me.  It wasn't working for the nerve pain anyway.  So fingers crossed on this one.

Finally, just because I need to smile (and you too, if you've suffered through reading this tale of woe), I'm putting a picture of my baby here ... just to make us all feel better. 

Tell me ... how can you look at a face like that and not smile?

More later --


  1. Oh, Patty! I'm SO sorry for the pain you're in! How I wish I could give you a suggestion or some sort of magic pill that would take it away but please, know you will be in my thoughts and on my church's prayer list.


    1. Yes, here is a "second" to the motion for that magic pill! Thank you for the thoughts and prayers, Sandy.


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