Monday

Pain Management

*important announcement below!

So, you may remember I have pain in my neck from a damaged disc. I chickened out on surgery to fuse my vertebra because the doctor would be using a knife and it would hurt. And yo, there would be blood.

I opted to go the moderate route of medication, Cortisone shots, physical therapy and sweet tea (okay, the sweet tea part is mine).

I'd like to talk about muscle relaxers now. I like them. That is all. Except do not take them right before you pick up your kids from school. Or you might bring home an extra child. Or a dog that looks like a child. And you will see little pink bunnies everywhere.

I've had two Cortisone shots in the neck in the last month. I had relief from pain for five days after the first one and as I'm typing this, I've been pain free for a week and a half! Can I get a booya? 


Because of the location of the injection, they treat this just like surgery. Twice now, I've not eaten after midnight (because Little Debbie snacks at 11:59 PM don't count), been stuck with three i.v.'s (last time the nurse missed the vein, so I got the buy one bruise, get one free deal), and been wheeled on a gurney WIDE AWAKE into the operating room filled with waiting medical professionals.  Both times, they had me climb onto the table face down and they talked about what they were having for lunch. HELLO? Number one, I'm hungry. Number two, can you knock me out already? Or hold me?


Those moments in the OR are very surreal. This is such a minor procedure, but I'm telling you, there's just something about that sterile environment. Reminds me of home. Ha! 

Seriously, though, I find myself praying really hard in my mind please don't let me die, please don't let me die, because I have oodles of faith, apparently.

The other pretty amazing thing is it's over just like that *snap of the fingers* and they don't want to let you finish your nap. The 14 1/2 minutes after the procedure is the best sleep of my life. WHY WON'T THEY LET ME NAP? Before I know it, an elderly volunteer with perfectly coiffed hair is pushing my wheelchair into the sunlight and talking about the weather. 

Physical therapy isn't what I thought it would be either. Because they want me to do stretches and exercises with a large yellow rubber band. I've popped myself twice with that thing and it hurt more than my neck pain. I guess they didn't get the memo that my gym membership expired. 

I'm the youngest patient by about 47 years, but I like that. My knee gets patted and I love talking with elderly people. Unless they cut in front of me in. I have to draw the line somewhere.

I'm not sure if the therapist really understands what's wrong with my neck. Because for weeks now, she applies pressure WITH ONE FINGER, not hard enough to squash an ant, counts to 10 and says, "Do you feel better now?"

I want to laugh hysterically every time. But I don't, I say, "Oh, yes, much better."  Which is true, because laughter does the heart good. I keep going back because of the traction machine. It's a modern day torture device that stretches my neck and I LOVE it. 

Nearly as much as the muscle relaxers.

*Note: I am on the lowest dose of the only non-addictive muscle relaxer and I only take it as needed. Or if I want to see those bunnies. JUST KIDDING, mom! And since I'm not feeling that great, I'm sticking with chicken soup and Tylenol.

P.S. Some time this week I will pass the ONE MILLION mark on blog visits (just in time for my 2 year blogaversary this week!!) The counter is at the very bottom of my blog. If someone can capture 1,000,000 with a screenshot and email it to me, I'll send  a SURPRISE GIFT BOX of some of my favorite holiday things (more than $60.00 value!!). The first person to email me the picture wins! kristenwrites@yahoo.com 

To take a screen shot on a Mac: hold shift, command, 3
To take a screen shot on a PC: (ALT) + Press the print screen button at the top of your keyboard. Copy and paste it into Paint or some kind of program.
....via my friends on Twitter (because I'm not that smart!)

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46 comments:

Smockity Frocks said...

Yes on the muscle relaxers. They make me verrrrry relaxed. Not so good to be that relaxed with 7 kids running around destroying the house, though. But the best part? YOU DON'T EVEN CARE!

Tammy said...

Note to myself: Don't talk about what I'm having for lunch if my patient is not sufficiently sedated. :-)

Glad to hear your shots are working well. I have neck pain too....hoping my head doesn't fall off before I check it out.

Kim said...

You poor thing, it looks and sounds like major surgery to me. Ouch!

Those Cortisone shots are extremely painful if you are awake, so you are lucky that you are knocked out. Good choice.

Have plenty of sweet tea and take care. :)

Muthering Heights said...

You're more brave than I am...I would need to be strapped down for the IV!!! LOL!

Jenn said...

The part about not taking muscle relaxants before you pick up your kids from school had me laughing out loud. The man was looking at me like I was Crazy! ha! :) Hope you feel better!

WorkingMom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WorkingMom said...

Ouch, sounds painful! I'm glad you can find relief in different forms outside of surgery (even though getting the shots sounds as close to surgery as you can get).

Pain meds are great, but I get too spacy on them, and I don't have anyone around to cover for me!

(Previous post deleted because I've got Cold Medicine Head, and even I couldn't type what I'd just posted!)

Lynn said...

Welcome to the drug ward. Where everyone is your friend and no one judges. My lower back/hips have been giving me problems. I have had all three of my Cortisone injections. And yeah-bring the good drugs. Hope this is helping you to feel better, I would be better but those kids of mine keep creating more work for me!! Darn them!

KK said...

Not there yet, but I'll check back tomorrow! Hope you feel better, I've been through all those methods. Honestly the PT is the best. Its not fun at the time, but doing the work stregthen my muscles and in time my neck stopped hurtin! good luck :)

marfmom said...

Hahaha! This doesn't really make me feel better about my first appointment at the pain clinic tomorrow, but it did make me laugh. I just blogged about the plain clinic process (http://marfmom.wordpress.com) and then came to read your blog and saw it's basically on the same topic! :-)

Alison said...

Those surgeries aren't always succesful anyway. My mother has ruptured discs in her neck as well. She has had two surgeries and she still has neck pain, though her arm has stopped going numb.

Beverly @ The Buzz said...

Ahhh, my favorite is Demerol. That's all I had when delivering 3 of my 4 children and it was marvelous stuff. I've lost count of how many times I've wished for it since then.

Teri Lynne said...

Chuckle ... giggle ... laugh ... snort ... spew coffee ... This was my experience as I read this post. I'm now going to get a rag to clean up the coffee and pray it doesn't mess up my computer. :-)

bridget {bake at 350} said...

Oh Kristen...wow! That is involved!!! Here I thought you popped in and out for an injection. You DESERVE those muscle relaxers! ;)

Tina said...

I wish they'd knocked me out when I got cortisone shots IN THE BACK OF MY HEAD. I'd rather give birth than to do that again.

enjoy those muscle relaxers ;)

Jamie said...

Sounds like recovering from a c-section, for heaven's sake! I had my gall bladder out four years ago in an "old people" hospital and the nurse there didn't let me sleep either. I was pretty grouchy with her, I'm afraid. The worst part was that she had to get me dressed because I was so drugged up. Good times, good times.

Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

Who are they not letting you enjoy that 15 minute nap...sheesh. And girl - do you really think I know how to do a screen shot? I've been wondering. Yea for one million!! AMAZING!
And, I just did my mirror post last week...I wish I would have know you were going to do this and I would have put your pic up and given you a shout out...next time. :)

Jamie said...

PS I think it's pretty ironic that the Ads by Google on the bottom of your page are advertising for "End Chronic Back Pain" and "Find Your Local Chiropractor". How do they know?

Karen said...

I'm smiling, girlfriend. Screenshot?? I have so much to learn. cheers to your back.

Robin ~ PENSIEVE said...

You're stinkin' adorable! You know this, right? So sorry for your ongoing pain, but at least it's giving you something "fun" to blog about.

Congrats on you 1,000,000 served! You've come a LONG way baby in no time at all!

xo

~ Robin
http://www.pensieve.me

Lisa Anne said...

My neighbor has to get shots like that for the pain in her back. She's been on a ton fo different meds that make her feel sick or out of it. They currently have her on oxycoton.

I wouldn't have had the surgery either.

elizabeth said...

UGH! So, will this resolve this for life - or will this be ongoing if you never opt for surgery? I hope so...keep us up-to-date on how it all goes. I have been remiss in not being online much lately, but I try to read your (wonderful!) blog weekly!

Gentle Hug - and I pray for painfree days for you!

Terri said...

I sooooo sympathize with you!!! How long have you had this going on? Do you have side effects from the shots??? I have a friend having surgery this morning for the very same thing. It scares me to even think about. I have lived with neck pain for 10 years... and with no drugs because I am scared of them, too. A non-addictive muscle relaxant sounds good though... I had a couple of steroid shots -- mini surgery, just like you described. I was sure I would move, so I had them put me out for them both. But then I gained weight, grew facial hair -- it was awful, and not all that helpful. Honestly, the best relief I have had was almost 4 years ago when I saw a chiropractor regularly. Then we moved. And my husband lost his job. And we haven't had insurance for two+ years. So, yes, I feel your pain! Blessings!

Nadia said...

Oh I'm sorry about all this pain you're having! I hope all this works out. And you get some good naps. ;)

Grats on the 1mil soon!

MamaOtwins+1 said...

I am going to press lightly on my hubby the next time he says his neck hurts and wants a massage. When he asks WTF I will say I learned it from a therapist ;)

G said...

Don't you love it when the dr's and nurses have these conversations when they work on you?
As I was having my third c-section, the two dr's were talking with my husband (who is a vet) about one of their dogs incontinence. "Hey, lady having a baby here!" Oh well, everything went fine and it makes a funny story.

Cheri-Beri said...

I had hand surgery a couple of weeks ago. Those drugs they give you for conscious sedation are the bomb. I woke up so happy and giddy :-)

punkinmama said...

Can't believe you have to go through all that for a shot. The least they could do is not wake you up from your nap!

Cheri-Beri said...

OH! And thanks for the info on how to take a screen shot. I never knew how to do it!!

Donna said...

I get cortisone shots in my neck, too. Ahhh, the muscle relaxers... funny thing is, you really don't mind the fact that you are seeing bunnies or bringing home extra kids. At least until they wear off and you then have to clean up the mess from said extra kids :)

Bloggin' Mama said...

Hopefully all of your current treatment will remedy your problem, but here's an encouraging story about the spinal fusion should you ever need to go that route.

Last year (after going thru all of the treatment you are now doing) my mom had the surgery to try to fix a herniated disc in her lumbar region and it didn't help. So this year she bit the bullet and had a spinal fusion in June and she could not be happier! She had the surgery the first week of June and it did take about 3 months for all of the surgical pain, residual nerve pain from having the damaged disc for so long (2 years), and back pain to disappear but she is COMPLETELY pain free now!!

Lisa Curcio said...

I am sorry you have to got through that treatment!

Very amusing post though, I had muscle relaxers when I delivered 4 of my children, such a happy feeling.

Maybe you should tell your physical therapist to press a little harder next time lol.

rachelizabeth said...

I had no idea cortisone shots were that involved. Wow.

And them talking about what to have for lunch reminded me of my first c-section. MY doctor couldn't remember the name of the movie he had watched the previous night. So I asked him if I should be worried that he's doing surgery on me. Then we started joking about what you don't want to hear the doctor say in the operating room. You know, like "oops". Of course, all this was going on WHILE he was doing the surgery!

Grin and bear it, I say. And if it does you good, then hooray for shots in the neck and pink bunnies! :)

Samantha @ Mama Notes said...

Ah, feel better!

Totally random, except sort of not, but I'm just curious... is it hits or page views on the site meter thing? I have that too so I'm wondering, I thought it was individual hits.

Anyways- yay for a million!

Lydia Frank said...

Hope you feel better soon, Kristen!

Jane said...

#1 - Thanks for the funny, funny laughs!!!
#2 - No thanks for the iv pic ... even the thought of an iv turns my stomach, but to SEE it?!? Ugh! (4 c-sections and suddenly I can't look at an iv? What's up with that?)
#3 - I hope I'm #1,000,000,000!!!
#4 - MUST we be mentioning shots and needles and iv's and other stomach-turning unmentionables in the middle of such funny blogs that include the well-coifed volunteer and those wonderful, beautiful, lovable drugs that I would give anything for right now (I don't sound too desperate, do I?)?!?
#5 - I love you, Kristin, and really really REALLY wish you were my next-door neighbor!

Domestic Accident said...

A million? Gosh, girl, I'm proud of you. I love that I can say I knew you back when...

Many, many congrats. And enjoy those drugs.

Jessica Young said...

I know that this is probably no fun for you, but oh my word, you crack me up with your play by plays. You've got talent girl! Congrats on the upcoming million!

Kari said...

since I haven't been reading consistently, this may have been discussed, but have you looked into prolotherapy?

melaniet42 said...

I *heart* the traction machine. I don't need physical therapy for anything right now, but I'd love to go just for the traction machine. It's WONDERFUL!

Cardamoms said...

Awww, you are a trooper! Praise God for the strength He gives you. I'm sure it's a surreal experience every time...

Josie said...

Congratulations! Sometime before 8am CST Tuesday, you have passed the 1,000,000 mark! I so enjoy your blog!

Wendy said...

We walk a very similar path, lady. I've been through the therapy and shots, also. I even had to have a form of epidural performed on my back 12 years ago so that I could stand through my wedding ceremony! That's when it used to be really bad. Good luck and God bless you!

Alicen said...

Sorry, I was number 1,000,881, so no luck with the screen shot. And I really wanted the box with your favourite holiday things!
Congratulations on a million visitors!

Jennifer said...

funny post! our computer crashed yesterday, so i'm at the library now... (you know, can't live without my daily blog fix) anyway... it's all quiet and somber here, but when i read about you popping yourself with the big yellow rubber band, i laughed out loud! aside from the few strange looks from my fellow patrons, it was totally worth it!

Mind Of Mindi said...

LOL! Funny post!

My husband has a ruptured disk in his neck! From falling out of a grocery cart when he was small. :/ (Or so they think.) He gets a lot of migraines. His doctor wouldn't perform the surgery just because of how risky it would be.

Congrats on one million and hope your neck doesn't cause you too much more pain!