Dr. Unicorn Update, or: Please don’t ever make me do that again.
On January 11, I saw Dr. Unicorn and received lumbar facet injections.
Let me tell you how much that sucked.
I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t understand that the injections were to be so far down on my spine, and I didn’t know that I wouldn’t receive any sedation or calming meds at all.
I said many, many f-words, in a variety of ways and sentences. I apologized, of course, for the fact that my mouth turns into that of a seasoned ex-con working at a tattoo shop (yep, believe it or not, I’m familiar) and they forgave me. The doctor and nurse insisted that it was nothing they don’t hear every day.
The doctor kept telling me that I was doing great. At one point I replied, “I don’t feel like I’m doing great. I feel like a giant wuss.”
You see, the joints of my spine in which Dr. Unicorn administered
these injections are right at the L5 vertebrae and the sacrum. See the red circles on the image below.
So then, what the injections felt like, as the numbing solution and then the steroid solution was being administered, was that something was ripping through my ass and down my legs, and at any point the pressure may become so much that my leg may just rip open.
These medicines sting, too. You ever had an antibiotic shot in the butt? Well, it stings like that, except it goes through your insides, all around your butt and down your legs.
Hence, the onslaught of f-words.
On January 22 I saw Dr. Unicorn again, to follow-up and discuss next steps. He believes we have ruled out anything being wrong in my SI-Joint, because the last injections didn’t do a whole lot to help the pain. Some of the arthritis pain is a little calmer, and I am walking a little better, but nothing too remarkable.
I had a very frank discussion with Dr. Unicorn about how I was feeling about the journey leading up to the point where I finally found him, how much of my life I have lost since June, and that our resources as a family are depleting rapidly.
In other words, I said, “We need to have a come to Jesus moment with my spine and pain. We have to figure out what’s happening, and quick.”
Because I continue to have this chronic sciatica, and because it has been progressively getting worse since my early twenties, and became downright crippling in 2017, we will next be trying Piriformis injections. We believe it is quite possible that I have Piriformis Syndrome.
Dr. Unicorn will begin by mapping out where, roughly, the injection should go, on my butt. There will be a fluoroscope so that he can see what he’s doing.
He’ll inject me with numbing solution, then dye so that he can see that he’s in the right place, and finally with the cortisone steroids. The idea is to get the Piriformis muscle to calm the hell down with its spasms and inflammation, and take pressure and irritation off of the sciatic nerve.
I asked if I had to be fully awake and awake for this one. He said yes.
He did say I could have some Valium, and that it would take about 20 minutes all told.
If this does not work, I’ll likely be headed to another neurologist for nerve conduction studies and God only knows what else. Dr. Miracle did say that it’s possible I’ll end up with a neurostimulator implant. We must exhaust all other more conservative options first.
Surgery and hospital stays quite frankly scare the living Hell out of me. But, at this point, I’m willing to do whatever I have to do to get my life back.
I don’t necessarily ever want to work outside the home again, I am LOVING building my virtual skin care business as well as my freelance writing/editing business and I am enjoying being connected with my most authentic and creative self again. My nonprofit work was, quite frankly, beginning to kill my spirit.
I do want to travel, though.
I do want to go back home and see my friends and family, which I haven’t done in years.
I do want to hold my nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews, finally.
I do want to get through my days without needed to take two and three naps because of the sedative effect of my medications.
I do want to feel like myself again. My awake, clear-headed self.
I do want Nathan to have his partner back, the partner he recognizes and fell in love with.
So, we shall see. For now, it’s Piriformis injections, happening this Wednesday. Wish me luck!
Thanks for indulging me.