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?|
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?