Thursday, January 22, 2009

3 Lumbar Sympathetic Nerve Blocks

I was asleep when the call came in to schedule my blocks. It's at the Sacramento Pain and Diagnostics Treatment Center, also known as Sacramento Surgery Center.

I've been thinking about it since I woke up. I had gone back to sleep after the call.
I admit I am nervous. I am every time. You have to have trust in your doc or who would want someone they didn't trust to shove needles into your spine. I trust him. He's been my Pain Manager since 2004. He's done all my blocks, have had 11 already, 3 sets a year usually, last time I only had one. He also did my trial SCS and then my permanent.

I go in, they start an IV, prep me, the gown and all that. They let me wear panties, but otherwise I'm naked beneath the gown. I wear low cut panties, otherwise they have to roll them down to expose the upper part of my ass. Sometimes there's blood drops on them after.

They wheel me into the operating room and I roll from the one bed onto another and onto my belly. My left arms is placed on a rest board where they inject me with 2 types of med to knock me out. There have been times I have woken up during the procedure.

That hurt! I could feel the long needle pushing and pressure inside me. When that happens, they knock me back out. Thank God! Waking up could cause major complications, one wrong move and that needle could slip and cause paralysis.

Because I'm so desperate to feel better, it's the price I pay, and I'm willing to accept the consequences.

After the doc is finished, they wake me back up. There's usually 4 people in there. The technician that runs well it's like a tv, xray thingy, it's where the doc can see where the needle is going when he's injecting. For example, before they put me to sleep, I can see an xray image of myself on it. Then there's my docs assistant, the anesthesiologist, and someone else as a backup for whatever. Maybe even a student.

When I had my SCS impant, there must have been 10 people in there. Including 2 from Medtronic. That many people saw my bare back and ass. Gosh!

Anyhow then after I go to recovery for a half hour, the doc checks my legs for warmth. The block if it takes will make the flesh extra warm to the touch. If it does get warm like that then I would have to be taken back in and do it all again.

I usually come home with 4 holes in my back. Actually more near by upper butt, slightly to the right. I guess it would be the lower back. Very low.

I'm just praying atleast 1 of the 3 will do me well. It's never happened with any of my blocks, but if the first worked, that would give me 1 full week of decreased pain, if the second worked, another week, if the third worked, another week. I could have a chance at an entire month or more.

I pray for that often.

If they work at all, I only get a couple of days at most. A couple of times, it didn't work for more than 6 hours.

Each time I'm required to fill out a pain diary. I track my pain levels from the time I leave the center (the nurses track the first one) for 36 hours. Then it wants to know how I felt on the 3rd day.

I've posted my pain diary online at my other blog before. Maybe I'll do so here as well.
Will think about that.

Counting down.. less than 5 days for the first.

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