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We Have a New Plan We Have a New Plan

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Unread 03-24-2006, 11:12 PM
We Have a New Plan

I had an appointment with my favorite Gyn today for a yearly exam and preop physical. It was rather strange because usually during a physical there are lots of questions about your medical history and any health problems you're having. We've been in such close contact these days that it seemed like we were friends just catching up with the last weeks news over coffee. We discussed the results of the MRI again and how he felt that the disc herniation had nothing to do with the abdominal pain. He contacted a neurosurgeon friend and they discussed my case. He also agreed that it's unlikely the abdominal pain is from the disc herniation. The neurosurgeon would like to examine me. Right now I have so much going on between preparing for the prolapse repair April 24th, (I have 4 appointments in the next few weeks for urodynamics, Pre op consult, Pre op testing and Anesthesia consult) going to physical therapy and seeing the pain management specialist that I really don't think I can handle one more work up by yet another Dr right now.
The pain management Dr wants to perform another nerve block to L4-L5. This will be my third and the first two were not successful. My Gyn is worried that if I have the nerve block so close to the surgery, if something should go wrong and I end up with a post injection infection my surgery would have to be postponed and we've waited 6 months for this surgery.
So the plan is to keep the follow up appt. with the pain mgmt Dr but not do the block. After my recuperation from the prolapse repair my Gyn will set up the appointment with the neurosurgeon and possibly try the nerve block again with pain management.
Maybe someday I will stop being a career patient and I can concentrate on being a career nurse and stop taking so much time off from work.

One month to go for surgery!!! Can't wait till it's over!!
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Unread 03-25-2006, 03:51 PM
We Have a New Plan

That is so funny, I feel like a professional patient too. My dh is getting really annoyed by the co-pays - oh well he will have to deal.
I'm glad you are still having your surgery - I sure hope they find the source of your pain. Keep in touch this next month. Hugs.
Unread 03-25-2006, 08:16 PM
We Have a New Plan

You said it career patient sounds like a new description of who I've become. Sounds like you have a great team of docs you're working with though, count yourself blessed in that regards. I hope your surgery goes good and you can get some relief on some stretch of the road.

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Unread 03-25-2006, 11:13 PM
We Have a New Plan

Hi Michelle!

I'm glad you've got a new plan. It sounds like a good one.

Why does your PM doc want to keep doing nerve blocks when they are not working?! I had a set of 3 in 3 months, in L4/L5 and L5/S1--4 injections each time. I got about 10 days of *significant* relief from the first set. I was crushed when it wore off. What a tease! Anyway, I got no relief what-so-ever from the second 2. My doc wanted to try to "bathe" the nerve roots to calm them down. Didn't work. And they ain't cheap, are they? I don't think I'll go that route again.

Speaking of career patients, my 6 year old daughter said to me the other day, "But, Mommy, what do you actually *do*?!" They'd been talking about careers in her first grade class. Can't really call me a homemaker, 'cause I hurt too much to cook, clean or do laundry! I can see why she's confused....I actually did have a life before she knew me!

Well....You've got quite a busy schedule in the next few weeks, haven't you? Good luck with everything. I'm soooooo glad that your gyn didn't settle for herniated discs causing your abdominal pain. That sounded pretty bogus to me. Let us know what happens with the nuerologist and your other pursuits...

Unread 03-26-2006, 07:00 PM
We Have a New Plan

Hi Michelle,

I hope you get some answers - I can relate to your situation; I too am currently going back and forth between my gynecologist and neurologist. My MRIs indicate some spine issues and some cysts but the neurorologist does not think they are causing the pelvic pain - the gynecologist said he just did laparoscopic surgery in January and from his end he has done all he can do. They can't seem to agree on where my pelvic pain is coming from. I am scheduled for my first nerve block on Thursday. It certainly is frustrating when there are no clear answers.

You will be in my prayers.

Unread 03-26-2006, 08:24 PM
We Have a New Plan

Margot, tell me about the relief you did get from the nerve block even though it was short lived. Was it complete relief of pain or just improvement? I am confused as to what I should be feeling afterwards. I can tell you I don't feel like a million bucks after, thats for sure. I have some belly numbness that lasts a few days but the pain is still underneath it. Can you describe what you feel like after?
Unread 03-26-2006, 09:03 PM
We Have a New Plan


My pain actually *is* in my spine, legs and butt. I have degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and a bone spur. This is all in the lumbar spine. I also was having a lot of pain in my knees, and thought it was unrelated.

I didn't notice any change in the first few days after the first injections. And then I noticed that I was a lot less stiff, more flexible, less sore and felt stronger. The pain in my knees disappeared completely (and *that* hasn't come back ).

I still felt the pain, but I'd say that it was about 75% better. Believe it or not, one of the things that thrilled me the most was that I could load/unload the dishwasher and clean the kitchen. I could go grocery shopping without laying on the heating pad the rest of the day.

My injections have all been in my spine. I don't remember any numbness, but I was sore for a day or 2. The first 2 times I was sedated (verced and lidocaine, I think), so I was kind of out of it for the rest of the day. Plus, I don't mind the fasting too much, but the no fluid restriction was torture! The 3rd time I went to a different doc who does not usually sedate--I fasted for nothing! I was surprised that the injections really didn't hurt very much. And I could just walk right out afterwards.

So, I would say that even if you didn't feel better right away (which is common), if they were injecting in the right places, you should have gotten more relief than just some numbness.

What signs is your doc looking for to tell if these injections are worthwhile? From what I understand, if you get more than 50% relief--even for just one day--you at *least* know that you've targeted where the pain is coming from. So these injections can be diagnostic, too.

Unread 03-26-2006, 09:19 PM
We Have a New Plan

Margot, I guess thats why the Drs are puzzled. They thought I had ilioinguinal neuralgia so I had the first nerve block to the groin. The Dr said I would have numbness that lasted a couple of days and the steroid would start to work in 2-7 days. It just made my leg numb for 3-4 days and I still had no improvement in abdominal pain. The second was to T12-L1. my leg was only numb for 4 hours and no improvement at all in abdominal pain. Now the Dr wants to try a nerve block to L4-L5. I have never been sedated for any of these injections. It isn't too painful but I don't want to keep trying them and not have any successes at all. At this point I think the Dr would be ecstatic if I said I had 5 minutes of relief.So you can see why I'm not too anxious to run off and have the third one done.

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