Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pain Update and Hope

Monday I went in for my epidural injections. It was so shockingly different from my last try with this back before the surgery. Last year I was terrified of the idea but the procedure was completely painless. This time it was the most painful thing I've ever experienced. It's hard to write about it because I really don't want this to become a pity-me post but this is where I write my life and this is what I've got right now. I'm scared this will help, honestly, because it'll be repeated if so, and the idea of lying down on the bed knowing it's going to be excruciating is really daunting. This time, at least, I had no idea that agony was going to sneak into me with no warning at all. But if it helps between treatments, it would mean a hugely better life for several months before. 

Anyway, what happened was it was more difficult to get the needles placed behind the hardware from my implant, and then when they were in the right position it hurt. Like off the charts, worst sciatica ever imaginable multiplied a hundred fold hurt. This, however, is really good. [Stay with me here...] My lower left leg was completely numb after the injections, and the doctor told me that the more the procedure hurts, the better the treatment takes. He said the neurosurgeon had guessed spot on about the origin of the pain, and that they both believe nerve inflammation is the culprit. The first time there was no pain, and no relief afterward.

The injection spots and the muscles that tensed up during the painful part are still tender, and I have some shooting nerve pain still, but I'm chilling out in bed and resting. I feel hopeful for the first time in ages. The phrase "cautiously optimistic" is coming up between Shane and me a lot. I'm starting the process of applying for disability now, which is something we should have been in the works already, but it's been a mix of waiting and denial and being overwhelmed. 

I'm feeling active now rather than passive, although I'm also getting this is a false dichotomy... I'm purposeful. I'm hoping I can get my Etsy shop back up and fully stocked soon, and I'm going to restart an anti-inflammatory diet. Basically no saturated fats, lots of polyunsaturateds, no refined carbs. Whole foods. 

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