Tuesday, September 23, 2003


The visit to the pain management clinic was interesting... the doc took me off of the drug that gave me the IQ of a hamster while failing to reduce my pain, and (unfortunately) started me on some new drug. Wheeee.

He also did some electro-acupuncture, which was pretty interesting: 2 needles inserted directly into the worst part of the pain, with an electric current running between them. This hurt like hell. Anne-Marie was given a little box with a dial on it, and told to periodically turn it up to where I just couldn't take anymore. When this ordeal was over, I found (even now, a half hour later) that the core of my pain is somewhat numbed. The fringes still hurt - I feel like I have a bruise (picture a bruise on a plum... I feel like the plum) that I can't see, but most of the right side of my body hurts still and it worries me that these other areas are hurting, because what if it isn't just local nerve damage? It would be so nice if I could just get this pain problem licked and get on with my life, but I'm a bit pessimistic about the whole thing, enough so that I just have to pretend there is a happy ending somewhere, so I have a reason to get through the next day.

This, if I recall correctly, is not how I thought my life would turn out.

I'm going in for a diagnostic nerve block procedure on 28 October. They'll put me on an x-ray table and watch the x-ray real-time as they poke around inside me trying to definitively identify the wellspring of the pain. If they can find it, they can then shoot painkiller in there for short-term relief, and work on a solution for long-term relief (if it is a damaged nerve branch, they can sever the nerve where it exits the spine, and the pain goes away along with any other sensation I may have had in that area... if that sounds like a severe remedy, you aren't up to speed on how seriously this problem has demolished my life). Once again, keep your fingers crossed.