Friday, October 17, 2014

Medical Update: Wheels and Word Salad!

They're now used to my taking anatomy-fetish
snapshots at the clinic;) This is the spinal cord
stimulator I have in my butt.
I saw my pain management doctor this week to evaluate this last round of epidurals—I've had three caudal injections of anesthetic and steroids. Caudal means it goes into the very bottom of the spinal cord, which with regards to the patient means:

  1. Nurses expose me down to beneath my ass
  2. Nurses then sanitize said ass including my actual ass crack, which after all I've been through medically in my odd life is the most intimately embarrassing thing I've ever endured while awake.
  3. The neurologist then numbs the area, resulting in a completely numbed bum and partially numb legs all day. It feels very strange to go to the toilet that day.
  4. Neurologist transforms into a sadistic demon and pushes a needle into my nerves and searches with it until he finds the area that's most irritated and ignites every pain sensing nerve in both legs up to about a 35 on the 1-10 pain scale.
In debriefing after this round we decided they aren't helping consistently enough to continue. That's obviously awesome on the surface, but at times they've given me a good amount of relief, so that's unfortunate.

The plan now is to increase my neurontin dose to a degree that is bananaballs crazy. I have been taking 200mg morning and afternoon then 800mg at night. I skip the daytime doses if I have to write or interact with anyone, though. I get this very annoying side effect of my verbal skills turning to shit. I switch random words, like calling a table a phone. More infuriating is mistaking words like there/their/they're. I'll be taking 600mg twice a day and 1200mg at night. The dose I'm on now makes writing very difficult, of course—hence the dose skipping. I whined about this to Doctor B, who shrugged and gave me a 'whatcha gonna do?' look. I pouted and said I'd just tell my volunteer editor. (I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year) I'll be a little extra creative with my verbiage.

Then he suggested I get a folding wheelchair for my bad days. I stayed the stinging tears in my eyes and agreed that it will significantly improve my social life if I don't have to cancel more visits and appointments than I attend. So, my vanity or pride or whatever the block is about getting a chair is going to be squished. I've mentioned several times that I was going to borrow one and then I made excuses to avoid it. Having the doc suggest it helps for whatever reason. I suppose it's as simple as the fact that reality and practicality often sound more solid from someone else.

Today, I'm off with the Triangle Family to see my darling sister-in-law and her sweet boys in North Carolina for the weekend. I can't wait to see them, and I'm stoked beyond description to be traveling. Nomad soul stuck in bed is a recipe for the bad.

As usual, the brother will be house sitting with his very impressive weapons collection, but Finn gets to come with us. I'm thrilled to take my trusty pup. He smells like lavender baby shampoo today after a bath, and I could snuggle him until he's nearly choked. That guy. I love that furry sweetheart.

Have a fabulous weekend, bl'eaders! May Autumn's deliciousness surround you like the best scarf ever.

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