Second Opinions and The Great Physician

It’s been a full month since my last post.  I haven’t wanted to whine, so I’ve just not said much at all.  I’ve spent the last few weeks, basically in bed due to my back pain.  I’ve not been to church, which is wearing on me.  I’m doing my best to keep the main parts of the house up to snuff…the kitchen and family room.  Andrew handles the guest bath.  The rest is pretty much going to pot!  I have to be realistic though…that means feeding my family and keeping them clean.  I’m using my crock pot to make meals easier…they have to be gluten free and not something I have to stand at the stove stirring.  So far, no one is going hungry, even though my youngest looks like it because he only grows vertically!  I cook and clean in stages…15 minutes here, 15 minutes there.  A energy burst with good pain control gives me 30 minutes or so.  Going to the grocery store is probably the hardest chore of the week because with the Celiac disease, shopping takes longer due to constantly reading labels.  I am so thankful for Andrew being able to unload for me when I get home.  I’m totally done in by that time.

As far as the Celiac disease goes, I’m doing ok.  I am not intentionally ingesting anything with gluten, but if I go by the pain I am feeling that is not related to my back, I’m still getting it somewhere.  The only way to isolate it is to go back to the basics and add in one thing at a time again.  I just can’t handle that right now…maybe in a week or so, when I am mentally handling my other issues.

I am doing much better staying in the Word.  The Lord has shown me many things and I do feel encouraged for a time.  It just doesn’t take much to knock me back down right now.  I guess when you are dealing with chronic pain, you are still on a sure foundation, but your legs are shakey…so it’s very easy to fall on your butt!  Maybe that’s one of the reasons my low back hurts so much!  That’s good…I can still joke about it.  Today I read another blog that encouraged me.  I need to go read it again tonight.  Amy Voskamp’s blog…link to the right in my blog roll.  Great encouragement!

Many of you prayed for me today as I saw this new doctor.  He came highly recommended by a respectable Raleigh neurosurgeon as being “the best” in pain relief by way of spinal injections.  My mother is seeing him and has been pleased as well.  Originally my appt was at the end of October, but my mother was talking to his office a couple weeks ago about her own appts and happened to mention me.  The gal suggested I make an appt at their office in Dunn, over an hour away, because I could get in faster.  So my mama made me an appt and THEN called me to tell me.   I was so thankful!  I guess mother’s never stop doing things for their kids…I know myself that it is hard to see mine go through difficulties and learning from their choices.  I am learning that those feelings a mother has will always stay with me.  I am greatly loved by my family.  My daddy even volunteered to drive me to the appt so I could recline on the way.  They are a blessing to me and my family!

My appt was at 3:30.  After 20 minutes to drive to my parent’s house, then my father driving 45 minutes to the appt, we arrived 30 minutes early.  We went on in, hoping to be seen early.  I saw the doctor at 5 p.m.  I was so ready to go home, not because I was angry or anything…I was just tired and hurting.  I really liked the doctor, although I didn’t get the kind of answers I was hoping to get.   A quick fix would have been nice.

Basically, there are two issues.  One is the lumbar area where there are 3 discs in various stages of bulging.  There is a small tear in one, but it hasn’t “ruptured.”  Surgery isn’t an option, but he is going to do an epidural injection on the 28th to see if that will help with that part of the pain.  The reason my back keeps “going out” in that area is totally due to weak back muscles.

The second, and more painful problem, is the area from my waist to my knees…literally.   I could name all the muscles that are loaded with painful trigger points, but suffice it to say that there is not an area from my waist to my knees, front and back, that is not painful to the touch.  The root cause of this, per this doctor, is my shorter left leg.  I’ve been wearing a heel lift but it says it is too soft and flexible and not doing the job.  The word “orthotic” was what he said was mandatory…Oh the image that conjures up in my mind.  Just give me a walker with tennis balls attached at the bottom!  So that needs to be corrected and I will be given an appt with a company who makes prosthetics and devices for all sorts of needs.  Because my legs are not the same length, he thinks about 1 1/2 cm off, my pelvis is thrown off kilter, causing joints in the pelvis to be painful and the muscles contract to try to compensate or get my pelvis “righted” again…which ain’t gonna happen with a shorter leg!

I think the discouraging part was to hear that in order to relieve the pain in those muscles, it will take intensive physical therapy (did I say my insurance will only allow me two more visits this year? ).  This is therapy I will need to manage myself, religiously…his words.  The muscles must be worked and stretched and then strengthened.  These muscles are full of knots…and they hurt…and I have to make them hurt more for them to hurt less.  I’ll need to really devote my time to this…several times a day.  Honestly, I was doing my exercises before!  But not this intense.  I’m just not sure I can do this without a trained professional egging me on.  It is so easy to quit because there are days that you just don’t wanna wake up in pain and then talk yourself into creating more pain in order to be in less pain.

He did say that he could do an injection into a couple of those muscles.  I may get to that, but the hard work is still going to be mine to do.  He also is starting me on a muscle relaxant for 3 weeks, Celebrex as an anti-inflammatory and a prednisone pack that will taper.  Hopefully these will make it easier initially as I get started.

I am going to have to get our my books on myofacial pain and trigger point release therapy and teach myself a lot of techniques.  I was looking into that last week and got overwhelmed and put the book away.  I need to come up with a routine that works and then a routine for my day where I can stick the exercise times in.

My mother was upset after I spoke with her this afternoon.  She doesn’t like to see me hurt.  She was doing her best to encourage me and help me take my thoughts captive.  I told her that I’d start the captivity tomorrow…I just needed to get my emotions out tonight.  I think it might take a little longer than that.  I have a wheat delivery on Wednesday and after that is over, I can devote myself to this.  But to start myself off…

I have family and friends who love me and will do anything possible to help me.

I have something that can see improvement with some diligence on my part.

I have a Savior who dealt with more pain that I will EVER experience…He understands my pain.

l am loved with an everlasting love…He is enough…He is enough…He.Is.Enough.

Please pray that my heart and my head can get together on these truths.  I am truly feeling the battle fatigue of taking captive the thoughts that the enemy is using to bring me down.  I’m not sure I’m strong enough for all this…but I keep telling myself that the Lord IS strong enough.

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