bohor: (Visiting Tate)
[personal profile] bohor
If you didn't read my last post about the joy of my refurb-quality lumbar discs, please scan it for context.

So...I'll spare the insurance-company-scumbag rant. Suffice to say that government-run health care is a good idea precisely because they lack the competence to develop a system that's anywhere near as effective at screwing every party involved except themselves as private carriers. Civil servants simply lack the desire to fine tune the process such that the option of enduring severe physical agony seems is a favorable option to convincing an insurance agent to do their job.

Anyway, potentially bad decision: I have a bad back, and I'm still going to FurFright. My plane leaves in eight hours. Here's the logic behind the decision:
1) Nothing is refundable.
2) Torrle's going. (I won't let him not go because of me.) So my option for the next five days is to stay home alone, drive up and stay with my folks, or try to impose myself on some locals whose hearts are bigger than their brains.
3) If I'm going to spend five days lying in bed, soaking in a bath, and watching TV, it might as well be somewhere that I don't have to clean and that has better cable.
4) I might be able to exploit my ailment for pity sex sketches.

I'm adequately stocked to fend off most of the major pain, but please don't panic if you see me suddenly yelp, grimace and clutch my right side. Certain (unpredictable) positions and movements can cause the nerve to get pinched, which feels like every muscle from my right hip to my foot is cramping. Usually I just have to grit my teeth, stretch, and wait a minute or two for the pain to subside. This happens most frequently when changing from sitting to standing. Because of this, and not to be a killjoy, please please please do not pounce, pinch, surprise, sneak up on, or tickle me at this con. Anything that causes me to tense up suddenly will trigger one of those pain spasms.
- - - -
Now, with all that fun out of the way. On election day, Tuesday, November 2nd, I plan on getting literally stabbed in the back. One unique thing about that statement is that I mean the word "literally" literally. The treatment for this back problem involves sticking a large needle into the space between my vertebrae and injecting steroids directly onto the inflamed nerve and tissue. That should cause significant relief within 24-48 hours. Of course, they could also just cut the entire thing using wire clippers in which case I suspect the lack of pain (or any other sensation) would be noticeable much more quickly, though the insurance company would probably reject the claim for using a specialized tool like "wire clippers" rather than a cheaper alternative like scissors or the neurosurgeon's teeth. But I'm not bitter.

Date: 2010-10-28 12:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You're a trooper, dude. Remind me to hug you gently the next time I see you. :-) Or at least flex my back. ;-)


Date: 2010-10-28 04:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ouch jesus, I hope it all works out and no sneak attacks for sure.

Date: 2010-10-31 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sounds like you got sciatica due to some herniated disc? That's what I had in graduate school 10 years ago or so and folks such as [ profile] otterdoc can tell you how much fun I had with it.

I wound up getting two or three of the steroid shots, but they didn't really do a thing for me. I wound up managing it with about 2400 mg of ibuprofen a day (yes, that's a dozen of those a day) supplemented as needed with large amounts of acetaminophen for the year or so it took whatever was irritating the nerve to work itself out. Anti-inflammatories are good things! Swimming was extremely helpful for getting things relaxed, but any which way I spent a ton of time sprawled out on the floor.

Have you had the fun and excitement of trying to get decent pain medications?

Date: 2010-11-09 06:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, that's exactly it. The shot has gotten rid of the most severe spasms, but the side-effects have been a bitch. And the procedure itself was really harsh because I stupidly agreed to try it without being sedated, since it had been improving a little the week leading up to it.

I had the 10mg Oxy tablets prior to the procedure, but blew through those pretty quickly. (My family is pretty opiate-resistant and I was in a ton of pain.) I see the doc again tomorrow to get another prescription - hopefully the same prescription will last longer since the pain is down to a dull soreness.

Date: 2010-11-10 01:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was out and out under medicated myself; I only got 30 vicodins at the beginning and after that they just wouldn't give me any more. To this day I'm pissed off about that.

I didn't have any trouble with my shot - all I had for that was some lidocaine and it wasn't that problematic because I'm apparently really easy to find the spot they were aiming for on. I don't wonder if I got placeboed or some shit.

Anyway, long term, I managed it with the NSAIDs primarily - and APAP if I thought a breakthrough was coming. That was the main deal for me anyway - no saying sitting up or standing for more than a couple hours at a time, doing the exercises, and tons of ibuprofen to keep inflammation down. Swimming was super helpful because that was exercise and range of motion and no pressure - I was 100% pain free for about an hour after swimming which was a huge incentive to do it.

Date: 2010-11-10 12:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Mine shot was definitely harsh. For a moment it was the worst pain I've ever experienced, and that includes when I broke my femur. Finding the location wasn't an issue; it was that there was already so much pressure that forcing another couple hundred CCs of fluid into that space sent me way over the edge. I recently switched from Naproxen to Ibuprofen because it seemed to be better suited to this kind of inflammation, but man, you have my sympathies - I couldn't imagine dealing with this without something more substantial than OTC meds.

Date: 2010-11-11 02:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I suppose it was good for me in the end or something but ever since I've hoarded opiates for this kind of situation.

Seriously, the front line folks treated me like a junkie.

Anyway, though, 200cc, literally? That's like the better part of a can of coke. Maybe we didn't have the same thing done - I just had what was basically a normal injection except for being sorta carefully fluoroscoped while having it done to make sure they didn't inject my spinal cord or whatever.

Date: 2010-11-02 06:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hey. Was cool seeing you, albeit briefly, at FF. Good to know your back had improved by then. Hope it's still doing better, and I hope the election day medical process goes well.

Date: 2010-11-09 06:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, it was great seeing you too! I just wish it hadn't been so late that night. I would have liked to hang out and talk for a bit. Hopefully we'll be able to meet up at some future con.


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