Sunday, December 28, 2008


Defined as: English class—at least during my last year of high school.

But before I go into details, let me first wish everyone a fantastic what's-left-of-the-holidays. Christmas Day here in South Texas was peaceful and warm. In fact, late in the afternoon Carol and I took a walk around the neighborhood wearing shorts and tee shirts. (Us, not the neighborhood.)

The closest thing we saw to "white" this Christmas was the puffy clouds in the otherwise hazy-clear sky.

But I digress . . .

The (awful-sounding) procedure described in the post immediately below this one was apparently successful. I am essentially pain free. I say "essentially" because there is still a tiny twinge every now and then on the right side, but compared to the way it had been for the preceding two weeks . . . well, there's no comparison.

From what I read on the Internet (so it HAS to be true!), relief gained from this epidural injection is rarely permanent, and sometimes only lasts a week or two. In longer cases relief is gained for from 6 months to a year. In some instances, a regimen of two or even three such injections is required.

Yeah, I'm hoping to be on the long end of that relief time scale.

For those of you who have suggested chiropractic treatment and/or just time (which heals all wounds . . . or brings them to a fatal conclusion), I'm generally inclined to use those treatments also. This time I let myself be talked into going to a neurologist, who looked at the MRI images and said, "Do NOT get your back 'adjusted!' It will NOT help, and it might do further damage." He was quite emphatic.

Well, I know that some doctors take a very dim view of chiropractic treatment. "Quackery" is a descriptive term often used. However, I know a lot of people (my wife among them) who have had considerable success with chiropractors. I've been to one myself in the past for what I call "traditional" lower back pain.

My problem this time is fear. This sciatic nerve problem is NOT my traditional back pain. It includes long-lingering numbness in my foot and ankle, causing doctors to wonder if I have permanent nerve damage from this alleged bulging disc. They measure strength and calf-muscle size to see if I'm atrophying. They are talking about the possibility of giving up (permanently) activities that I have enjoyed for decades.

So yeah, I got scared.

However I plan to take this one step at a time. If this one-to-three injection treatment is unsuccessful and my friendly neurologist tells me that my next and only other option is surgery, you can bet I'll first try some alternatives.

In the meantime, I'll revel in my pain free state for as long as it lasts!

I might even go back to English class, but it's not likely.


kenju said...

I'm glad to know you are almost pain free and I hope the injection will last longer for you. I had to have a shot in my right hand about 7 years ago and I never had to go for another one.

Osteopaths are as good as and sometimes better than chiropractors, and they can dispense meds. A treatment from a chiropractor will not make your sciatic nerve worse - it will take the pressure off the nerve. One treatment will not cure it, however. Neurologists hate to say that anyone else can help you, so they make up bad stuff about alternative treatments. Don't believe them, in this case. I've been there and done that too often!!

Happy New Year! (it is 71* here today!!)

Jack K. said...

Glad to learn that the injection is working. Sciatica pain is one of the worst.

I am sure you will follow the regimen that you believe will do you the most good. I will be sending you Reiki energy as well.

I am envious of your walk in such "skimpy" attire. Have a great new year.

Nankin said...

John, glad you're feeling better.