A week or so ago, I whined here about the pain I’ve been having in my neck. I hate to complain, and I try hard not to whine at home all the time, knowing that I’ll get a compassionate response from my husband. But who wants to live with someone who complains all the time, right? (Those are screws fusing my C4 through L1 vertebrae.)
So this morning I had an appointment with a pain specialist at Campbell Clinic. I had seen Dr. Martinez a few years ago—before my wreck—and had liked his professional and compassionate manner. Our visit this morning did not disappoint.
My appointment was for 7:40 a.m. at a clinic that is 30-45 minutes from my house, especially in rush-hour traffic. But having an early appointment meant not having to wait long, which was good. And once I was in the exam room, he took lots of time with me, really listening—really hearing me—about my pain. This is something I did NOT experience at the neurology clinic in May.
First he talked with me and examined my neck and got all the specifics he could gather about my pain. Then he looked at the x-rays that were done at the neurologist’s clinic in May. Then he sent me for a couple of more x-rays to get some different views. Then he met with me again and we discussed my options. He definitely recommended physical therapy, and I’ll start the first of six sessions next Tuesday. I’m thrilled that he suggested the director of their PT program, who is a friend of mine whom I worked with after my wreck and surgeries four years ago.
Then he talked with me about other options, including an occipital nerve block, and maybe an ultra-sound-guided block. He would do the first one. A colleague (I assume a surgeon but I forgot to ask) would do the more invasive one, under anesthesia.
I’m a real wimp about needles and pain, but I’m also tired of this on-going pain and stiffness. So here’s what I’ve decided:
Next Tuesday I’ll have my first PT appointment and will discuss these options with my friend/physical therapist. Then I’ll decide whether to (a) wait until I’ve had all 6 PT appointments (and I imagine also doing work at home) to decide whether or not to do the nerve block, or (b) go ahead and schedule the nerve block.
As I’m reading this I’m thinking this is a boring blog post, but I felt like I had bombarded my readers with so much about my books, and publishing, and all of that, so I just decided to share what’s going on.
If any of you have had nerve blocks, I’d love to hear about your experience, and your advice. Leave me a comment here or on Facebook. And thanks, always, for reading! (Hopefully I’ll have something more upbeat here on Friday!)