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Thursday, December 08, 2011


when push comes to shove

When Push Comes to Shove

About 6 weeks ago I saw my rheumatologist. As per usual this year, I couldn’t sit still. Not because I was “rarin’ to go”, but because I couldn’t find a place for myself that wasn’t torturing me with pain.

This has NOT been one of my better years. Not quite sure when the actual decline happened, but once the spiral did begin it just wasn’t stopping. Not comfortable. My rheumatologist sent me at the beginning of the year to physical medicine. He had done his best to stop the ice pick from continuing to drive further into hips, but decided a fresh set of eyes were what we needed.

I really liked him. He suggested (after the usual MRI) that we start with physical therapy and acupuncture. The acupuncture helped a lot, but the PT said “you’re in too much pain, get that under control and then come back”.


Anyway, I digress. I’m still seeing the acupuncturist. She really has helped, but with what the MRI showed, well, she’s a specialist in this field, but I don’t think she’s been labeled a miracle worker.

My MRI showed severe OA (what, rheumatoid wasn’t enough, I needed Osteo too?), severe levoscoliosis (had this since birth and dealt with it for years) and then the really good part-degenerative and bulging discs in both the lower back and the neck.

Back to my rheumy-who I am taking was feeling as uncomfortable watching me as I was living with it. He asked if the acupuncture was really helping. I said yes, but after a couple of days the pain went right back to “just shoot me, I’m done”. He said, “You know an epidural will help this. Look at it this way-how much worse can you possibly feel?”

I went home, thought it over and realized, as usual, he was right. How much worse could I feel?

Contacted the phys. Med. Doctor and set up the appointment for the beginning of last week. Went in and it was over in under an hour. I was told to rest up for the day and that the next day would be the worst of it. By Thursday, I was out and about enjoying time with my husband when I realized at about 4 in the afternoon that I HADN’T THOUGHT ABOUT EITHER MY BACK OR MY HIPS ALL FREAKIN’ DAY!

What was I so frightened of? Why in the world had I put myself through the torture of all this pain? My twice monthly shot of Humira is far more painful than that epidural was!

So my advice, when you are in blinding pain-don’t live with it, be proactive and do something to make yourself feel better at FIRST instead of AT LAST.
Of course, this is only my opinion-anyone out there has to come to their own conclusions.

I swear, even before I read about the epidural I was going to suggest what my brother had done, a nerve block in his back, which I think is the same thing or similar.

"Usual MRI." Had to shake my head a little at this because my wife suffers greatly also from OA knee pain and after a series of injections and a round of rather pointless physical therapy, they wouldn't order a follow-up MRI to see if she's getting better or not. Really ticked me off.
I think the nerve block is the same idea, if not identical. I've had the orig. MRI and the one during the procedure-both of which haven't checked the neck since it was done about 4 years ago. I'm sure that's the next step in my long line of fun tasks.
Kaiser is pretty good about follow ups. Have to say though, their PT dept has never been one of my favs.I've told the customer relations dept just that.
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