The internet is a funny thing. What to share, what to keep to yourself. What news to break to friends over your blog and what deserves a phone call. For me, things that will impact others, like " we're moving" are best done personally but things that only impact me can get a pass if I share like this. How do you decide?
Yesterday was my big day at the pain clinic. It was a lot different than what I expected. Among other things, it wasn't until an hour in that I realized the young guy I was talking too was the PA, not the nurse and so I didn't go out of my way to impress him. Oh well. That was good too. ( I wasn't being classist, just nurses have a job to do and I didn't want to get in his way. Doctors tend to want to hear the whole story, nurses want a note to add to your chart. Plus, when someone comes in and takes your blood pressure...) On a superficial note, I didn't fit in there at all. Everyone seemed so (excuse my frankness here) pathetic. Unwashed hair, empty eyes, no pride in themselves - seriously broken people. The worst part was on the surface they didn't seem to be physically that bad, just really beat down by it. I made the effort to look my best and I'm pretty sure I surprised them when they assessed how bad things really are. I guess Billy Crystal's "it's not how you feel, it's how you look and you look mahvelous" made a big impression on me as a kid :-)
All chit-chat aside, here's the skinny:
* The scroiliitis is not what is causing all the trouble. It is causing a lot of trouble. Also, my old doc was a huge idiot (this is almost a direct quote). According to these guys, they've never seen SI put someone in a wheelchair and I should, "wipe that from my mind" as "it's not going to happen". Since we've been on a countdown for the last five years and each degeneration was met with, "maybe this is it", hearing there is no it was rad.
* My broken tailbone circa '96 is either still broken or has healed really, really bad. Like crazy bad. And it's causing a boatload of hurt to my already diseased spine.
* I have two or three herniated discs in my lower back - you guessed it, near my tailbone and sacrum. Talk a bout a triple threat.
The plan is to start with epidurals. They'll inject lidocaine and steroids into my spine (for the SI) or my coccyx and see how I do. I might do awesome. I'm *super* excited about big needles in my spine. I watched Incredible Hulk and Blonski - who's a real bad ass - screamed in pain. How on earth will I do? Funny aside, PA says to me, "You've had three kids, you know what an epidural feels like." I said, " Nope. Had mine natural as I couldn't bear the thought of putting narcotics in my babies itty-bitty blood streams" He writes something on my chart. Smiles. " I just wrote we don't need to worry about you and pain meds."
If that fails, we're going to discuss a tailbone-ectomy. Who knew you can cut the silly thing off without too much fuss? Back surgery is always a lot of fuss, but you don't need a tailbone. And since mine is a real brat, this might be the direction we take.
So, right now I'm in the 30 day hold portion of the plan. You have to wait 30 days for treatment while drug tests go through and they gather up MRIs and such. Which means in Nicole terms, 30 days of huge agony before they start making me better. At least now I can put big X's on the calendar. I had my MRI done yesterday so now we wait.
We did the books this morning as it's payday and I nearly fell over to see we have put 61.4% of our income on debt this month. That means we're living on 38.6% - we never managed to make it on 100% of our income before. Yippee. And this month has had a lot of dumb stuff. My first grocery budget ever and on day three we ran out of flour, ketchup, mayonnaise (vegan of course), worchesterchire... all the staples you "never" have to buy. It certainly hasn't been a case of living off of full cupboards and a stocked freezer. We've even had fun! Go figure :-)
Thanks for all your prayers. There is some rough water ahead for me but at least I'm not looking at ending up in a wheelchair anymore. That's pretty awesome.