My follow up with the Pain Specialist was today. I wouldn't blog about it other than the fact that I've seen so many doctors for so many different things that if I don't record it somewhere, I'll lose track.
Friday, April 29, 2011
So far in this story we've discovered:
degenerative disc disease
nerve damage from my knees to my feet on both legs
and since this process began we have added:
high blood pressure (which I didn't have before - or rather it had been under control)
And after padding my Pain Specialist's pockets to the tune of $11,000 here's the verdict:
none of those things above is the primary cause of pain. or the only cause of pain. or a treatable source of pain. Essentially... the two different types of injections serve to not only treat but also help diagnose... so if the bulging discs were the cause of the pain, one kind of injection would have given me some relief. If the things that are joint/skeletal related (like the osteoarthritis) the other kind of injection would have helped. The neurologist determined there is nerve damage causing weakness in my legs but BELOW the knee. Nothing stemming from the spine is causing the weakness in my thighs.
Which means we have to start looking at/ruling out diseases and disorders that cause musculo-skeletal pain. They're starting with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (and something else I forget)... which they do with blood work. And then they sort of wind their way back to things like fibromyalgia. As it was described to me... they don't know if I'm exhausted because of the pain or in pain because I'm exhausted. Although, I'll submit that while I've never quite been a bundle of energy, I wasn't this fatigued until the pain started. I do have some other diagnosis that can fall under the fibro umbrella - interstitial cystitis and migraines, for two - and family history.
$11,000 and they still don't quite know how to make me stop hurting, however, we all agree that no more injections for me EV-UH.
They prescribed cymbalta which has newly been approved by the FDA to treat chronic back pain. We're going to start weaning off neurontin as we figure out if I can tolerate cymbalta. I'm adamant about not taking any medication that is not absolutely necessary, not taking narcotics or anything that causes dependence and nothing that causes weight gain.
He.he. I'm a bit of a pain to the Pain Doctor. Whatever. For $11,000 he can do a little pharmaceutical research.
My blood pressure was 162/99 and my pulse was 119. I decided it was probably best not to do any shopping today. *sadface* I am going to find something amazing for myself on amazon and treat myself to a little double the pleasure shopping trip - I get the thrill of shopping when I order it and the thrill of having a package to open up when it is delivered.
And now...after getting up at pre-4am and making a hour long round trip drive to civilization... and then having about half my blood volume drawn out by the friendly local phlebotomist... I'm wiped out. Gonna take a disco nap so I'm ready and able to have dinner with the Gant Girls tonight.
It's STILL my birthday!
Posted by Heather at 2:47 PM