Friday, June 5, 2009

Whac-A-Mole: Part 1

Discussing my recent medical problems with my cousin Tyler, he compared my medical history to the classic arcade game Whac-A-Mole. A pretty accurate comparison I think, in that it often seems once one problem is taken care of, a new "mole" pops up in need of being whacked on the head and forced back in its hole.

1 year ago on June 7, 2008 I underwent my 4th knee surgery. And about 2 1/2 months ago I developed extreme lower back pain. With a very sudden and random onset, I was concerned it was related to using my crutches for so long-about 10 months at that point. So I stopped using the crutches but it made no difference with my back.

The back pain is like no pain I have ever experienced. A deep pain across my entire lower back, nothing makes it feel better and has slowly and progressively worsened. I saw my orthopedist who ordered an MRI. The MRI was an hour and a half long, lying flat on back on a hard metal table covered only in a sheet, unable to move the entire time. After it was over I could barely walk out of there. Sitting vs. lying down vs. standing does not seem to make a difference, but staying in the same positing for too long increases my pain. I am in pain from the minute I wake up to the minute I finally fall asleep, but my nights are restless due to constantly waking up in pain. I have seen a physiatrist and a pain doctor and no one can figure out exactly what is causing the pain or where it is coming from. The MRI was negative and my symptoms manifest in an unclear manner. I have gone to physical therapy, but even the smallest exercises produce high levels of pain during and after. I have tried acupuncture, with no success. I have tried a multitude of drugs, including various pain meds, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers, and medications for nerve problems - all with no results.

After trying all these without any positive outcomes, my pain doctor agreed to an injection. Because no one is sure where the pain is stemming from, this is a diagnostic injection. Scheduled for 12:30 this afternoon, a general anesthetic will be injected under fluoroscopy (guided by the use of xray) into the nerves connected to the joints. The anesthetic will have a numbing effect for 4 hours and if I have pain relief it is likely that the pain is coming from the joints. So depending on the outcome of the procedure they will treat it accordingly.

P.S. This back issue is the reason why I have not written on my blog in so long...just trying to deal with it has taken everything out of me. But hopefully this tenacious little mole will get whacked once and for all. Is this a weird analogy? Whatever I like it...thanks Ty :)


  1. Oh Chels!! I am praying for you!!! Love you dear<3

  2. Thinking about you too sweetie. Miss your blogs too :) xoxo I soooo hope you feel better and something helps very soon!

  3. sending lots of good thoughts your way!


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