anxiety, chronic illness, chronic pain, disabled, drugs, health, illness, medical marijuana, surgery

epidural steroid injection

on thursday i am going to have my sixth epidural  steroid injection. the injection helps control the pain from the problems in my back. i have spinal stenosis which is a narrowing of the spinal column which causes some if the discs to get squashed (like my technical term?) and pinch nerves.

i have problems at L4 and L5 as well as the sacroiliac joint. my pain doctor performs the procedure.

they say “procedure” but to me it seems a lot like surgery! i have to fast, stop taking NSAIDS several days before, etc.  i go to the surgery center and change into a hospital gown, a icky  papery shower cap sort of thing to gather up my hair. they give you cool socks with treads on the bottom. i love them. i’ve quite a collection now.

two nurses come in and put you under a blanket from a warmer, oh jeez that feels good. no matter how hot it outside, it’s freezing cold in the surgery center, plus it’s just reassuring to have a warm blanket over you. they put in an iv and ask me a million questions. even though i’ve done this many times, i still feel a little scared each time.

the nurses are so very very nice. when the doctor finishes her previous case she comes in and talks to me and then they roll me into the OR which is incredibly cold. i have to roll over onto the operating table and lay on my tummy. there is a head rest, like they use during massages. they start giving me fentynal and versed–conscious sedation. you are high as a kite, so it’s almost fun. lol

i hate laying there for 45 minutes with basically nothing on, my butt just hanging out, uncovered. joy. luckily the drugs make you not care too much because i find it extremely discomforting to be nude in a room full of people. there are lots of nurses. the doctor wears a lead apron because they use a giant x-ray  machine that is mounted  on the ceiling and tilts around as they need it to. that’s how they know exactly where  to inject the cortisone…pretty important since they’re putting it in my spine. the injections hurt some going in, but after that it’s not too bad.

when they’re done i get back on the gurney, more embarrassment because the hospital gown is totally open and practically flapping around as you move. then everybody gets to see everything!  i’m sure they don’t give a shit, seen it a million times. but i do! once you’re on the gurney they immediately drown you in warm blankets. the feeling is so good, like the drugs, it’s almost worth it just for that. lol

in the recovery room they put ice packs on your back, keep you awhile for making sure your vitals are good and you’re not going to have a bad reaction or flip out or whatever.

omg i have to pee once i get out of the operating room, so that’s a priority! another time i had this surgery, the surgeon was an hour an half late so i feel asleep. i woke up  and they were rolling me into the OR and i had to pee bad, i mean really really bad. but we were practically there so i couldn’t say anything. it was horrible!  i was pretty sure i would wet myself on the table. that’s not so good for a sterile environment. thank goodness the drugs made it so i didn’t feel like i had to pee. when i got out of surgery, i didn’t have to pee badly, go figure!

you don’t stay in the recovery long and your ride comes and takes you home. you have to have someone stay with you for 24 hours. then the back pain kicks in. it’s pretty unfun for a few days. i’ve got quite a bit of various medical marijuana edibles for that time.

after that, you wait. sometimes the injections work and sometimes they don’t. it’s a crap shoot. last one keep my pain low for about 9 months! most of the others did nothing. but i’ll try anything time after and after.  the pain is very motivating.

so now i get to worry about it until 8am on thursday. 😦

i’ll be ok though, i always am. 🙂

Advertisements
diabetes, Movies

digging up the dead

i’ve been posting old stuff because it’s so different from what i do now. when i started this blog, my intention was to write stream of consciousness semi-fiction entries. i did it for awhile but i had very few followers so they’re sort of unseen. they’ve shown a lot more activity than my usual posts these days.

i thought i might write some more posts in that style. what do you think?

i went to the movies by myself (favorite pastime, of course) last week. i saw Kong Skull Island or some name like that;  it was crap. i’m not surprised or disappointed. i expected a shitty movie, but it was before noon so it was half price and i just wanted to be at the movies and get a giant soda and kick back in the dark. there were some good special effects in a big scene where Kong bashes up something like 10 helicopters. lots of good explosions. good cast, too. Summer Glau, John Goodman, and even Samuel Jackson. still, it was a flop, but not so bad that i left. it just goes to show that you can throw money and stars at the camera and waste everybody’s time and a helluva lot of money.

my psoriasis got bad enough that i went to a dermatologist. she has a long eastern european name that begins with a G so everyone calls her Dr G. sure that makes it easy and everyone in the clinic knows her that way, even the other doctors.  i think that’s really unfair and disrespectful to her background, presumptuous and it takes a short cut that’s easy for Americans to say, regardless of what her name really is. maybe this is something that just gets up my nose because i’m super sensitive to PC things, but i really believe in it. i had an endocrinologist named Dr. Seneveranati and then she left and i had one name Dr. Srinivasan. both of those names are challenging, and the fact that they’re quite similar, at least to me. but i made the effort to learn them and keep them separate. i think a person deserves to be called by their own name, even if it is a challenge for those of us, ie most Americans, to learn to say. but i think it’s our responsibility to do it. this is one of the few countries in the western world that doesn’t teach multiple languages  from a young age in school. i took french in high school for 4 years, but i’m hardly fluent. now with our horrific president they’ll probably try to make sure Americans don’t learn second language, and god forbid, don’t learn spanish! i’m getting angry as i write this!

my messed up diabetic split toe is starting to heal. the crack is widening, but it looks dry and clean . i’ll really be glad when this is all over so i can get a pedicure. lol! it stopped hurting which is great cause i don’t want to be in extra pain and since it’s healing, i probably have to have my leg cut off. lol that’s a horror i’ve always had, that i’d have to have an amputation (sort of common with diabetic people who don’t have foot exams, that have diabetic neuropothy  and don’t realize they get wounds on their feet or legs and can’t feel it. a wound could get infected and if the person doesn’t realize it could get so bad that part of the leg has to be amputated.) before i got diabetes i read about ella fitzgerald having to get both legs removed at the knee. i’ll never forget that.

have a brilliant saturday!

chronic pain, medicine, surgery

my hands

my hands are ruined. i don’t talk about it nearly as much as i do with my other ailments, it’s kind of complicated, especially because it’s a bit weird. plus it’s an emotional pain that can be hard to talk about because, i said in the title, i feel as though 4 surgeries made my hands worse than they were before. they feel ruined because i think the surgeon wasn’t open with me, and i don’t think she even knew what it was going to be like. she was so casual about doing more surgeries. as things went downhill i listened to her because she was the surgeon and i felt so intimidated and out of control. i wish i had thought about it more. there was nothing to research because i really don’t think anybody has done this before. also, i had the problem so much worse than worse than most people ever get.

most people are familiar with trigger finger. it’s a problem when a ligament catches on  something as you bend your fingers the get stuck and you have to straighten out the joint with your other hand. it’s painful and makes it very hard to do normal tasks.

most people who get it have it in one finger  i had it in all ten. when i told my GP about it and she sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. the first step is is getting cortisone shots to diagnose the problem. the doctor shoots you up with the steroid in the joint that’s affected. i get injections in my knees, 12 per knee per year. they hurt, a lot. but try getting an injection in your hand! the first one i got was in my right thumb. i said (and i’m sorry but i have a terrible potty mouth) FUCK! when the needle went into the joint. later i got one in my pinkie and that was even worse.

it didn’t respond, so she decided i needed surgery. i was ok with that, it was a small surgery and i’ve had surgery before. it was really easy, i chose to do it with general anesthetic because i have a horror of waking up on the table and conscious sedation didn’t seem like enough.

to speed things up (it’s a long story!)  other fingers  in that hand started manifesting trigger finger symptoms. more cortisone shots. the surgeon decided the best thing to do was to fix the other four fingers because she didn’t want me to have several surgeries. ha! so it was four fingers at once. when i got my bandage changed the nurse couldn’t believe i had so many  fingers done at once. my hand was huge and black and blue there were four deep cuts on my palm. that one was not easy. the healing took a long time and the stitches were not ready to come out when they were supposed to. my fingers wouldn’t close all the way, so i went to a hand physical therapist. omg she was hardcore. lisa. she had no mercy!

that sort of healed. then the problem showed up in my left hand in several fingers, so she operated on all five fingers. the nurses at the surgery center kept asking me over and over, all five? all five? that surgery was scary and miserable to heal.

i was horrified when the trigger finger  showed up in the left hand again. it was in three fingers, so she decided to do all five AGAIN. i ask  myself why i did it, but i have to remember that there was actually a valid reason. the trigger finger that came back in those three fingers of my left hand. it hurt, just like before. i was unable to do much with that hand without my fingers caught and becoming useless.

i think the doctor was getting a bit horrified herself because she sent me back to lisa the *day after surgery.* she had me on a really high dose of percocet because the physical therapy was really tough. i was going three times a week from then til forever it seemed like. lisa told me to ice it and tape it up tight when it hurt in the future; she knew it would.

so four surgeries later, my hands, especially the left, hurt a lot and swell a lot on a regular basis. i’ll never be able to wear my wedding rings again.i have lots of ice packs, self adhesive bandages and compression bandages on hand. when it’s really bad, i wrap it up in sports tape. lisa  was really into taping things as tight as  possible.

i feel like my hands are ruined.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

anxiety, chronic pain, comics, diagnosis, disabled, Uncategorized

trials and tribulations

i wish i was more active on here. i rarely use my pc and i think wordpress has given up on their mobile app. so, i can’t do much on here. at the moment i feel shitty but i have time to kill, like time i really need to kill and i got a notification that my site was having a lot of activity. whatever! so, those two things led me upstairs to the PC.

i now have Achilles’s tendonitis and i have to wear the dreaded boot…

punisher-boot

as you can see there are two patches with the Punisher (a comic book character) patches. he’s one of my favorites. it’s the strangest, i mean strange, thing ever! my husband shops for little electronic components on AliExpress (chinese version of amazon, super cheap and super unreliable.). we get little tiny packages from china all the time. we got one, right after i got the boot, and these patches arrived in one of those packages. it’s one of my favorite characters and i just so happened to have something to put two velcro patches on. we just keep saying, but but what? how? wtf???? so i call it the punisher boot. i have two punisher t-shirts, so i’m super stylin’ now.

the ankle was sore for six months and i thought it was just pain from my fibromyalgia so i didn’t go to the doctor until walking was almost too much, even with my cane. the podiatrist said there was a big lump on the tendon and my ankle was very swollen. i have to wear the boot “indefinitely.”i have to go t0 12 sessions of physical therapy.

i also have a sinus infection! i had two of the most epically  bad nights last week. i felt like i was having extreme cold and hot flashes. i was panicking because it was so painful when cold(that’s because of the fibromyalgia) and then i was intensely uncomfortable when i was too hot. it was worse than nights with stomach flu or coughing all night.

i had a hysterectomy years ago and have been on hormone replacement therapy, so usually hot flashes aren’t too bad and i’ve never had cold flashes except when i get very low blood sugar (i’m diabetic), but i kept checking my sugars and they were fine. i was convinced it was crazy hormones.

finally i went to urgent care and after a two hour wait i saw a doctor who said that it was a sign that i was getting a bad infection. since my nose and eyes were runny and i’d had a couple of bad headaches she said it was a sinus infection. she gave me antibiotics which worked wonders! no more hellish nights and they caught the infection  almost immediately. i had a stuffy nose and sore lungs for two days and now i’m fine! i’ve got a lot more antibiotics and you can bet i’m going to finish them.

this isn’t what i expected to write, but i guess i didn’t know what i was going to write! it works best for me to just jump in.

Uncategorized

goodnight!

for the longest time I thought I had to have something significant to write here, something interesting and of import. I found myself wanting to write posts but not doing it because I coululdn’t couldn’t pin down anything original or well thought out. recently I decided, screw it! I don’t think a whole lot of people read this. I don’t have a cause per se, so i’m just going to ramble.

tonight I had an icky dinner from a Medditerainian dinner, the food was cold, and would still have been sub par even if it were hot. wasted calories and money. I feel ill and that makes me feel twice as bad because I can’t smoke pot. I know it would help. i’m looking at the bong (i’ve got to put that into the waaay back of the garage, our deep storage space!) thinking if only, if only. the stupid painkillers have made me constipated (even though i’m taking stool softeners) and that is contributing to the awful pain in my gut.

the part, ok, one of the parts, that really bothers me is that the percoset that I had to give up the medical marijuana for, isn’t killing all the pain. in fact, my hips, pelvis, butt, and back are aching constantly and giving me sharp pains if I move much at all. whoop ti doo. if I lived out in the boonies, i’d be howling at the moon like an unhappy dog.  instead, i’m grinding my teeth and swearing under my breath.

i’m looking forward to tomorrow because amazon is bringing me a new coffee grinder and the thermal mug i’ve always wanted, but didn’t realize it existed. I love the heat retaining qualities of stainless steel but I hate drinking of a metal cup. this one is ceramic for the top few inches and stainless below. obviously the part you drink out of is thr ceramic part. yay!

i’m cold and tired, not to mention grumpy. it will be time to crawl into my delicious bed with my lovely family (consisting of my husband and my dog) and sleep away my troubles, if only temporarily. the cleaning people came today and changed the bed. it’s almost untouched. WHEEEE! lol

goodnight!!

Uncategorized

backs and books

i’ve been away a bit, partly taking a little time off because of my health and partly having fun on twitter with other chronic pain  survivors.

i have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow to discuss the results of the MRI and x-rays.  all he’s said so far is that i have spinal stenosis (http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/spinal-stenosis/what-spinal-stenosis) and it’s causing sciatica. his nurse called on friday saying i will being scheduling and epidural for an injection of steroids in my spine. fun fun fun.

the pain is really bad and very restrictive to what i’m able to do. i’ve been spending most of my time either in bed or laying on the couch. i’m trying to take only one or two norco, but it seems like a lot of the time i take 3 or 4 a day. the doc had me up the gabbepentin dose a lot more. i think that might be helping. it surprises me; there are so many different ways pain can feel. it changes a lot from time to time. it changes in severity a lot, too.

yesterday i went to buy a new batman comic book but it was free comic book day (i think it was a nationwide thing) so the shop i got to, which is ALWAYS empty, had a line out the door! i couldn’t believe it! i didn’t even want a free comic book, i mean, it would be nice, but with this pain, standing in line is out of the question. i managed to squeeze inside just to check it out and the line to buy regular comic books, snaked around and around inside (very small store) because all comics were 25% off. i just needed my batman fix, i read volume one and two of the series i’m into and was  desperate for the next one! i left empty handed. meh! bright side…i went back today, no line, no free comics, ahhhh just the usual empty store! i bought the comic i wanted and went home a happy woman.

that was this morning and i’ve been napping ever since (well, after i read a little of the book, gotta stretch it out, they’re expensive!).  i’m feeling better and am even *hoping* to paint.

check back tomorrow for details of the effing squashed disc in my back.

🙂

Uncategorized

chronic pain upon chronic pain….

i was diagnosed with bursitis a few weeks ago for severe pain in my hip and leg. it didn’t get  better so i saw another internal medicine doctor. same diagnosis. they told me to go to my orthopedic surgeon. she didn’t think it was bursitis, so she gave me an injection of lidocaine in my hip as a diagnostic procedure. it didn’t help at all, so she ruled out bursitis. my PCP referred me to a specialist…a doctor of Physical Medicine. i hadn’t heard of that specialty. i read up and apparently they’re good at diagnosing problems that other doctor’s can’t figure out.

it’s not bursitis. :/ it’s sciatica. 😦 😦 😦 i have to have x-rays and an MRI to see if there are bone spurs, too. Dr. Lu prescribed gabapenton (for nerve pain) and diclofenac (strong anti-inflammatory). he’s checking with my endocrinologist to see if he can give me prednisone. all of that is supposed to help the pain, and if that’s not good enough, i can take narcotic painkillers. i really really hope she says yes, and i expect she will. i know from experience that steroids make everything feel better.

he said it might take months or years for it to get better and even then it will flare up now and then. he specifically spoke about chronic pain.

how depressing! i had no idea that it was coming from my back! pinched nerve/herniated disc in the spine. turns out all that stretching that my husband has been nagging me to do just makes it worse! lol

i’m so tired. i picked up the meds and took them, so we’ll see if  i feel any better. :/ :/ :/