12 September 2007

MBB anyone?

Ok, not offering an MBB but offering my experience today if anyone is interested. I'm 11 months post RFA on my right lumbar spine at 3 levels. Not too sure which 3 levels though. Doc didn't seem too talkative today. He asked what we were doing and then said "an epidural right?" I said "no a nerve block" just as the x-ray guys said an MBB. Then the doc was going through my chart and realized this was my third time for an MBB and said "ok so if this works, we're burning those nerves again right?" Uhhh well yeah I kinda always thought that was the plan but...sure. Personally, I trust him enough that if he would have said "let's forget the block and just burn the nerves" I'd have said sure because I actually trust my pain doc rather well despite only seeing him either in passing before or after my appts with the NP, or maybe 4-5 times a year for procedures. My appt was at 3:20 and I was getting in my vehicle to head home at 3:38. That's what I get for being about 20-30 min early for my appt.

It was the standard check on BP, pulse and pulse ox. Get on the table, get swabbed with Betadine, get the local which the doc always warns me about and says it's gonna sting. Then some pressure, some movement of the flouroscopy equipment and the table and then we start all over. Then another BP/pulse/pulse ox check and a quick trip to the recovery room to tell the doc how much my pain had decreased. About 50%. I was hurting in my lower back because I did a stupid thing...forgot to send a note to school with my son saying he'd be picked up rather than riding the bus. And we got in there after they'd put the kids on buses because it was raining and starting to storm. Thankfully, the secretary is SO nice and knew I likely had to be somewhere like the doc without me saying so. She asked if I had an appt. I said yeah and so she radioed the bus to get him brought in. She's the one who helped me find a comfortable seat to register my son for school and called when the transportation office called her to notify her of the change the school made for my son's bus stop. His stop was about a block away. I was having a major problem getting him there and being there to meet the bus of an afternoon because the standing was just too much and I can't use my wheelchair alone around here because of the incline and no cut outs on the side walk close for me. I'm wimpy at wheeling myself still. So I called and asked what we could do. Could I sit at the end of our drive and the driver see me and let him off the bus? Google maps said the distance is 200 feet. I felt fine allowing my 5 yr old to walk that far with me watching. My hubby was fine with it, a good friend of ours who is close to my son (like a second mom) also said that while maybe another kid she'd not say it was ok but our kid...she'd feel ok with it. But, the transportation people said they were not ok with it. So, they added a second stop which they normally do not like to do stops that close together. What's wonderful about it is that they didn't make me feel like I was wrong in asking for help. They didn't give me the prevailing attitude that many handicapped people around here complain about. And what's more, they made the decision in about 10 minutes. I was expecting a few days.

But, I digress. I was hurting from the standing inside the school, rushing as fast as I can gimp along in the rain (bet that was pretty funny for an outsider to watch) and from the rain also. Plus, the right side of my back has been starting to hurt frequently hence scheduling the block. Overall my pain wasn't too bad...but my back was painful. And by the time the doc was done, it was about half of what it was. No burning anymore. And the pain that spreads from my lower back to my buttocks is pretty much gone. So, we scheduled the RFA for 2 weeks from today! Gotta see who will drive me. Either my hubby or my Mom who will just happen to be here when I have the RFA. She'd be happy to go with me. Hubby would have to schedule his day off to take me but he's the boss so not a big deal. But he'd be bored waiting on me. Today he dropped me off and went back to work to hang some signs with his little helper. Our son loves to help Daddy do little things around the store.

I'm completely satisfied with the blocks today. But having done this before on the same nerves...I expected no different. I feel a bit tender where he did the blocks but not nearly as sore as I do with the RFA. Felt kicked with it. I'm being cautious letting my son grab me around the waist and having the critters near me just in case they hit it. I am a bit concerned about one little thing. The doc asked if I was on blood thinners. I'm not unless it's a side effect of one of my other meds I don't recall hearing or reading about. He didn't fully say why he asked but I am assuming I bled a little more than usual this time. That's happened to me before. When I was so sick two weeks ago, some needle sticks didn't seem to want to quit bleeding. In fact, my IV that I removed bled a bit after I smacked it on my shower. But others stopped fine. And then apparently (I wasn't told but read it in my records) my OB had trouble with stopping uterine bleeding after my labor and delivery. Sadly, as effective as the blocks are for my comfort level, they help me only slightly in being able to do more. I still have to be careful how hard I push myself or I pay for it for days. But pain wise, they rock at making me more comfy. Once I no longer feel so tender, I can finally sleep in my own bed again!

If anyone wants more details or anything feel free to ask. I'm more than happy to be as open as possible about this. I was thrown into my first MBB on rather short notice. 2 days in fact. Now, I did a lot of reading in those 2 days but firsthand stuff is much better to hear. My pain doc and rheumy and I all kind of have an agreement. They don't waste time telling me about things beyond a name of the procedure/medication/etc unless I ask. That way we can cover more problems in one visit. They both know that even if they explained something in great detail, no matter how much I trust them (and for once I trust my docs VERY much) I'm going to go look it up and research it myself. But my rheumy and I discussed this one time. He basically said after 23 years of dealing with my issues, I know them cold and know how I need to manage them. He particularly said this in regards to managing my dose of prednisone inside the limits he gave me. So, I don't have to call him each time I raise my dose due to a flare or when I taper slowly because the flare is going away.

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