Monday, May 24, 2010
We Have a Plan
Saw a new doctor today, the physiologist. I'm gonna nickname him Dr. SassyPants, because he's the cheerful joking kind of doc that gets down to brass tacks quickly but keeps it light. Doc SassyPants quickly decided that I didn't have facet joint arthritis problems, and a facet joint injection wouldn't help. Then I had to do some tricks like walk on my heels, tippy toe forward, and walk flat footed, all the while worrying that my paper exam shorts were going to fall around my ankles and trip me! Thank God I had on my granny underwear for modesty's sake.
For the exam (I guess because it's of the lower spine) they had me put on a pair of paper shorts that must have been made for Humpty Dumpty. They were so wide they wouldn't stay up, and so short in the seat that I couldn't get them pulled up to a decent height and the bottoms of the legs were below my knees. I'd like to know what sort of person they designed those things for - I just can't imagine anyone that wide with so short a straddle region and such long legs. I'm short and wide myself and I was lost in these things. They must only come in one size - HUGEMONGOUS.
I came out of the appointment with a plan of action: a script for a muscle relaxer to help my right piriformis muscle relax (I had to request a different med - the one Dr. SassyPants prescribed wasn't covered by my new insurance and was $300 a month! Waiting on the new script), a referral to pain management to be evaluated for a peripheral nerve stimulator for the pain, a referral to physical therapy for some help with my foot drop and weakness and the piriformis muscle problems, and a referral to a pelvic pain physical therapy group for the pudendal nerve issues. Per Dr. SassyPants if the muscle relaxer doesn't work, we will then try Botox injections in the Buttocks to get the piriformis muscle to relax.
I don't have much in the way of reflexes left in my knees and none in my ankles. I know my right leg is worse than my left, and the foot drop is worse on the right foot. Dr. SassyPants says that radiation induced lumbosacral plexopathy is the culprit and there really is no fixing it (as I suspected) but we can try and manage it. I did tell him that I was not sure if I wanted to pursue the pudendal nerve therapy as just about any touch against that nerve sets me into to a world of pain for about a month. I will go to the evaluation and decide after learning what their treatment plan is. As soon as I get my script for the muscle relaxer, I am to quit taking the Soma - which isn't doing an awful lot anyway.
I'm thinking the cane is going to be a permanent fixture in my life. Maybe I will treat myself to an antique cool cane - one with a sword in the handle or a drinking flask under the knob, or mother of pearl inlays with ebony accents.. or maybe I will get one with flames and skulls all over it. Or how about one of those English Hunting Sticks that turn into a portable seat?? Hmmm, I could have an entire wardrobe of canes! What a fashion accessory!
On the road tomorrow morning back out to some clients. Luckily I have a co-worker who is going to drive us - thank heavens for her help, because I don't think The Legs would be able to make it this time. I am coming back Wednesday, no stay overs this week as I don't believe I will be able to walk more than a couple of days the way The Legs are feeling tonight.
Called Cleveland Clinic, and I will go back there on June 24th, and will return at about the same time in July. I will have to pick up the electronic headache diary in June and take it back in July after updating it for a month - then I will be through!!! Hopefully the occipital stimulator results will get published and the device will get FDA approval for migraine headache pain relief. Too many people are suffering from intractable headaches that are like me - out of medication options.
Beanie the snake bit Boston terrier is doing really well. His foot is back to normal size and there doesn't seem to be any necrosis in the bite area. Woo Hoo!