Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Can I buy narcotics on ebay? (and I'm going to L.A.!)

Oh. My. God.

My lower back is KILLING ME. Nothing is helping. I sit in a hot bath. I use ice. I'm taking more than is recommended of ibuprofen, tylenol and aleve. Combined. I had some vicodin, but I used that up after my second physical therapy appointment.


Let me tell you a little bit about what happened last week. As we all know, I have chronic back pain for about, oh, 4 years now. I've been through injections, rfa's, lots of medications, etc. I had a new back doc but I just didn't click with him. I felt like he was listening to MY recommendations on what to do for my back pain instead of him, oh, I don't know, doing doctor work. "what have you done before? Okay, we'll do that." Bah.

So I talked to my PCP and got a referral to their back pain guy. It took a few weeks to get in, but I met with him last Thursday. I ♥ him. Seriously. First thing was he sent me for xrays. I've done xrays and mri's before and only thing anyone says is "facet joints in [particular part of spine] shows inflammation". Okay, yeah, BUT WHY? And how can we FIX it? This new guy, who I'll call Dr Love, and I have this conversation right off the bat:

Dr Love: [looking at xray] "Have you ever been a gymnast or cheerleader?"

Me: "Yeah. I did hardcore competative gymnastics for 9 years."

Dr Love: "Does your pain stem from right here?" [pointing at one spot on my back]

Me: "YES. That is EXACTLY where it hurts"

Dr Love: I would hazzard a guess that gymnastics is what did it. And the two consecutive births aggravated it more. [pointing to xray] See these two white things touching together? Those are your facet joints. And they shouldn't be touching. We should see nice big parts of black, which would be fluid, in between those points. And see all these fuzzy white things? That's new bone growth."

Me: [excited beyond belief that he fucking DIAGNOSED ME yet suddenly aware this is not a good diagnosis] Oh no.

Dr Love: But there have been great strides in facet joint fixes, from fusing your vertabrea together to facet joint replacement, which we would only do on someone young and healthy, which you are.

So. I'm exstatic a doctor, after years of going to different ones, figured out what is wrong. And even more exstatic there are treatment options. I hope nothing gets that drastic, but I'm going to continue to see this guy through it all. He started me with physical therapy, the first diagnostic stop, which I am more than willing to comply with. He even said it probably won't help, nor will the injections that are next, but it will help him in the diagnostic process. What not helps is sometimes a better indicator of a problem than what does help.

Anywho. I've been to two sessions with PT and I'm being a good girl and doing my in home excercises. Problem is, my back HURTS. A lot. More than normal and it's a constant thing, barely getting relief for even a few moments. What can I do, right? but I have my next appointment with him on Monday, which we'll talk about the next step. I'm in pain, but I'm ~thrilled~. There may be hope for a fix yet.

Oh - I'm going to LA for my brother's wedding. I'm flying in butt ass early Friday, wedding is next day 10:30a-2p and then I'm heading to mareike's house. Mareike is a commenter on my blog and you may know her, although she doesn't blog herself. I saw she lived in LA and asked if we could meet up. Looks like I'm going to spend saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon with her. She's even setting me up on her couch for the night! Yay! We're goingt to have a full on slumber party.

So. On Friday I'm pretty much on my own all day. Is there any bloggers out there who live in the LA area who would like to meet me for lunch?


Mareike said...

I imagine you are beyond thrilled that Dr. Love finally diagnosed your back problem even if he can't fix it right away at least the fix may actually be out there.
I had assumed you had family stuff going on on Friday but you are certainly welcome to come here from the airport on Friday. I don't have any obligations for that day either.

Lisa said...

I am so happy you found a good doctor. They are definitely worth their weight in gold!

Sorry, but I don't live anywhere near LA. But if you're ever up in Canada (Montreal to be more precise) let me know!

jill said...

That's wonderful that you finally got a dx!! I absolutely hate inconclusive testing - it's so mentally defeating (like "great, no one will ever be able to help"). I hope you are able to find a quick solution for your pain that doesn't involve surgery.

Have fun in L.A.!

Natika said...

I have developed chronic back pain recently and went for PT.
I went to 9 sessions before I had to say "screw this" and quit!
It made the pain worse. My husband kept telling me how ridiculous it was that I was in more pain now then before. I just keep taking 4 advil every 4hrs.
I'll worry about my stomach later!
Back pain SUCKS!

Christina said...

Glad that you found a doctor to figure out what was wrong.

I was in a car accident almost 4 years ago and went to the ER afterwards. They did x-rays of my back and the first thing the dr said was "where you in gymnastics?" I was for like 4 or 5 years and turns out I had tons of old stress fractures that had healed and I never knew.

Jendeis said...

The pain blows, but I am so excited that you've found a doctor who actually knows what he's doing (what a concept!) and that you now have a diagnosis. Hopefully, you will be well on your way to finding some relief.

Robin said...

I'm glad you feel like you're getting somewhere with the new doctor! It's so nice to feel like someone listens and actually DOES something!

Hope you feel better soon. Have fun in LA!

Denise said...

First, I'm sorry you're in so much pain. Second, I'm glad you found a doctor who will HELP you. Third, how did I not know you were a competitive gymnast? What level? What age were you when you quit? I wonder if we ever competed against each other. Wouldn't that be crazy?

Jen said...

Damn lady you can't seem to catch a break lately. I'm happy that you found a good doctor though, I'm sure that will help.

I wish I lived near LA. I would love to meet you one day for lunch. If I ever head out that way, I will let you know.

Hope you feel better soon.

Kristin said...

Wow, it really sounds like Dr. Love rocks!

Have fun in LA.

Mareike said...

I forgot to mention how fucking excited I am that I get to meet you AND have a slumber party with you. The wine coolers are under my bed:)

Sarah R said...

I am so glad you found a great doc! LOL @ buying narcotics on ebay--you may want to try craigslist instead.

Have fun at the wedding and with Mareike! :)

Brandi said...

How fun! I'm in the L.A. area if you would like to meet for lunch. I'm off work at 1 and work near the airport. Let me know. I would love to meet you.

nancy said...

Brandi, I'm going to email you now.

Caitlin said...

THat's so great that you finally have a diagnosis. Although probably not what you want to hear, but it's a huge step in the right direction!

BTW I live near you live in the Springs? We are probably about 2 hours away from eatchother! :-)

Nic said...

Have you considered acupucture to possibly help with the pain in the interim? I have not had pain as bad as you describe, but have found acu to help a ton with various back pains I've had. Just a though!

Anonymous said...

Just curious how the PT is going? I hope you are doing better- since this post was like a MONTH ago! (Stirrup Queens post today was about commenting on old posts..hee hee- guess what my stance was?)

I am just curious as to how it is going, and what else they are doing now? I hurt by back in the spring, and they said it was the facet joints also.

I am enjoying catching up on your blog!!