Travel

For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Feb 14, 2014

Born Again Walker!!

It's been four years of pain, but guess what! I am walking and standing without pain. Yes!!! The surgeon dismissed me from his care to a pain clinic with the exact same pain I started with. (After having an MRI, it was determined that my back was unstable, and surgery was a must.) Not really expecting any resolution from the pain clinic after trying so many things including the surgery, I went as a last resort. Family and friends urged me to go. The first visit a month ago was an introduction to the practice; the second was for injections.

There I met the most wonderful young woman (seemed impossible that she could be a doctor--they get younger every year!). Everyone from the front desk to the treatment room was wonderful, but Dr. Clingan was incredible. She LISTENED to me. She listened to me as though I knew what I was talking about.

She said the initial plan was for nerve blocks. However, after talking for a few moments and reading over my forms, she said, "Your description is like reading a 'text book' for where I think I should insert the needles. Will you sign additional consent forms to change the treatment?"

I said, "Go for it!"

Dr. Clingan was kind, pleasant, and very gentle. If I understood correctly, there's a sort of canal between the spine and the pelvic bone that leads to a pocket on both sides. She said she would inject (I'm fairly sure it was Cortizone--I know she told me, but I forgot) and flood the pocket with it and pain medication. The worst of the process was the sting of the pain med that went away in exactly 3 seconds as she said it would. I was excited that it was something different and a completely new approach, but truthfully, didn't have great expectations. Could such an easy procedure do anything after I'd been through MRIs, a Myelogram, physical therapy, major surgery, aquatic therapy, and narcotics--all without helping the pain? I didn't know, but something told me that I was in the hands of a very smart, empathetic, young woman. My orders were to go home and rest for 24 hours.

I was wheeled down to where my friend was to meet me to drive me home. Poor Gail. She and I both expected to be walking out, together, but unbeknownst to me they had told her she could go get the car and meet us in the front of the building. Well, not realizing that she would have to navigate the maze that I've come to know, she had forgotten that we went through one building to get to another from the parking garage. The nurse was just about to turn around to see if we could find her at another entrance when I saw her--with a rather harried look on her face. She had been assisted by a couple of gentleman from one place to another to find the car to no avail. I was still a little sedated so I was a little mixed up, myself. I had left my purse (and phone) with her so there was no way I could let her know where we were. I was grateful that she had done me the favor of taking me so felt badly that she had to run all over creation. I owe her a lunch, for sure! Good friends are invaluable.

So, that was on Monday. This is Friday. I HAVE NOT HAD PAIN--even without taking anything more than Aleve. The reason I'm taking it is because my upper back hurts plus it's an anti-inflammatory that I've been taking since my initial visit. I think the upper back pain has been disguised by the narcotics so I didn't know it was there until I stopped taking them two weeks ago (it's more of a muscle ache than debilitating pain). I return to see Dr. Clingar in five weeks for a follow up.

I went for a walk at the mall, today. No pain. I got ready for our "storm of the century" the day after getting the shots. No pain, and I did a lot of standing and walking to prepare for the power outage that everyone said we would have. Getting flashlights, stocking up on food, running to the hardware store, getting gas for the generator, etc. Fortunately, we didn't have to use it.
That's the Generator Under the Tarp - Fancy set up, huh?
I feel as though the excitement I feel is not getting across in my writing, but to be honest I'm still pinching myself and waiting for the "other shoe" to drop. I had just about dropped out of life. Then, the day after the shots I brushed my teeth and showered and I wasn't in excruciating pain for standing that long. I am in such disbelief that I am almost afraid to be happy, but happy I am! NO PAIN!

Life is very different without pain. Seems like colors are brighter, my brain isn't so foggy, I have hope, and I'm thinking in terms of the future, again. It seems like a lifetime ago that I felt this way. I owe this rebirth to one young woman who cares for her patients and LISTENS.

And, no, I haven't forgotten a picture of Jack. We've had his nephew, Bogey, visiting for the last couple of weeks. Here they are settling in to ride out the storm. They look nervous, don't they?

12 comments:

  1. That is the most fantastic news. I am so excited and happy for you and prayers will continue that this is permanent for you. I am so glad they talked you into going for one more thing. Give that doctor a hug for me the next time you see her. The pups look like they are prepared for any kind of storm that comes along.

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  2. Oh Nancy, this is the best thing I have read in a long time - YIPPEE!! I am so happy for you! When my lower back is "out" sometimes my upper back starts hurting just because I am carrying myself differently and putting pressure on different muscles. Maybe your upper back is reacting to all the stress you have had and it will self correct as you begin to move around in a more normal fashion. I sure hope so and I'm so glad you found a doctor that listened and was able to help you. WOO-HOO!

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  3. Nancy, your excitement does come through in this post...and I can certainly understand why! That's the best news for you to share. It's great to know that you're feeling so well, and getting around PAIN FREE! So happy for you. Looks like Jack and Bogey were waiting for the generator to start up, so they could hop down and get busy. HAHAHAHA Give Jack a Valentine's Day pat for us. He's just such a sweet guy!

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  4. Sandie, Donna, and Russ, I can always count on you for encouraging words. Thank you for being happy for me. :) Can't wait to walk Jack for the first time!

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  5. This is just wonderful. After everything you have been through, your joy shouts out. I am so happy for you and Jack.

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  6. This is such an upbeat, wonderful blog. So very happy to read that you are not in pain! Praying that this miracle continues.

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    1. Thank you for your prayers. I hope it continues, too!

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  7. Glad to hear that you are finally pain free and that it continues that way. Like Donna said when your body hurts at one spot we tend to compensate for the pain and start moving differently hoping the pain will go away instead we cause other problems. So now that your lower back pain is gone maybe the upper back pain will also soon disappear. We'll keep praying this works for you and your recovery continues so that you'll so be back out on the road enjoying life.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. I think you and Donna are right. The upper back is not something I can't live without. I just never noticed it before. No problem, today, so I think it will work out okay. Just vacuumed the whole downstairs. I can't remember the last time I did that.

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  8. Oh, Nancy, so happy for you. I can remember when I had a ruptured disc and the pain was horrendous until I had my first injection. What a miracle for me and now for you. I bet Jack can hardly wait until the first walk with you. But please wait for all the icy bits to melt. Sure don't want you slipping and falling! Hope to see you on the road soon. SKP Hugs, Karen

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    1. Thanks, Karen. I had 6 shots before surgery, but it seems they've "been in the right church but the wrong pew for years." I overdid a little, today, so I'm relaxing for now. I don't know how I missed it, but I didn't realize you had back problems. So glad yours are solved, too. Probably makes me sound like I've been whining! I'll be hanging around the east coast when I camp as Jack is getting older. He loves to camp and it doesn't matter to him whether he's in the west or the east. I'm camping in South Carolina for a week next month so he'll get to do everything he loves, including the beach. Except that I have Bogey, I'd be out of here on Monday, but it's two difficult to handle two dogs; especially one whose exuberance abounds! Wish I could take him. I know he'd love it. Going to do a short post about him, now. I have got to get back to reading blogs. Hugs back!

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