I really thought I’d be feeling better by now. I’ve had many weeks of physical therapy, both land-based and in a warm-water pool, to no avail. I had a therapeutic massage that I got with a Groupon coupon. The massage actually made things worse.
Tuesday I had an epidural injection of prednisone into my spine. The shot site was in my neck. It has really increased my pain. I called the spine clinic, and they said it was normal to have an increase in pain after the injection and that the increased pain would wear off in about a week. Bummer. I surely hope that after the bad week, the epidural will help.
My friend Juhi from Delhi, India, went with me to the spine clinic to provide moral support. They assumed she was there to be my driver, but she can’t drive in the U.S. yet, having only gotten here mid-June. Since I didn’t have a driver, I couldn’t be sedated for the injection procedure. But it really was not too bad, thank heavens.
Back in June my new primary care doctor prescribed Lyrica for me, which is supposed to help nerve pain and fibromyalgia. It took forever to get my insurance company to approve the script, and then when it did get approved and filled at the pharmacy, my copay, with insurance, was almost $300 a month! I can’t pay that.
So, it turned out that Lyrica’s manufacturer, Pfizer, has a financial assistance program for some of its drugs, including Lyrica. I applied and waited for approval, which they said would take two or three weeks. Yesterday, as I was sitting in my living room with Juhi, the FedEx guy brought me my first month’s worth of Lyrica. So I took it last night for the first time. I hope it works and that I don’t get any of the bad side effects it often has…
Next week I have my first appointment at a pain clinic. I got the referral from my PCP because I’m running out of my emergency stash of Percocet. Hopefully they will give me a new script for it or maybe a patch of something to relieve the pain.
The pain is really wearing me down. To counter it, I repeatedly remind myself of all my many blessings. I listen to good music, everything from Baroque lute music by Bob Barto, to Lucinda Williams, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Los Lonely Boys, and Carseat Headrest. I spend some time every day in contemplation, of cats and trees and sky, and meditation. I read, several books at a time, literary fiction and history. I take free online courses through FutureLearn (which I highly recommend).I volunteer, this summer with Juhi at Freedom School (although I’ve had to take this week off because of the epidural) and starting in September at a nursing home. I stay as active as possible, although since the epidural I’ve really had to cut back on physical activities.
Still, right now I have to say that the pain is winning the battle in quality of life, these days.
But I’m not giving up or giving in. I’ll keep looking for new ways to deal. I’ll keep using the things that I’ve already discovered to be helpful. Something will work. I’m just sure of it!
Good morning, Timi One of the things I find so gratifying about writing a blog is that you get to know people in a way that might take so much longer in the real world. First of all let me say, Juhi is such a beautiful lady and I am quite sure presents a very healing spirit….and secondly, how much we have in common. I love many different forms of music, and of course nature, and Cats…..oh how I love cats:)
I am sorry to hear of the pain you are experiencing. I have been blessed for most of my life with good health, but a couple of years ago, I had shingles twice in one year, and with it came pain….which reminded me of how wonderful it is to be pain free. I often talk about the creative process offering the key to physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Watercolour painting is for me, and I know many others, very therapeutic…..and can often transcend physical pains and ailments. have you ever considered watercolour painting?
I love the photographs on your blog. Thank you so much…Janet:)
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Thanks for the like and the comment, Janet! I’m glad you are enjoying my blog, and I agree with you that it is a great way to get to know people.
You are right about Juhi: she is beautiful inside and out and is such a support to me!
We do share many interests. Including watercolors. I started painting with them in junior high school (when I was about 12) and won some honors in regional competitions that my art teacher entered some of my paintings in. I continued that medium through university, but then dropped it in favor of pencil, charcoal, and pen and ink. But in 2008 I went on a Sierra Club Art & Hiking lodge trip in Northern California (where I used to live), and the medium there was officially watercolor; the subject landscape.
My artistic spirit went elsewhere, though, and I did color pencil sketches of floral still lifes instead. Now I have a project waiting, which is a color pencil portrait of one of my nieces for her mother. I do still have my watercolors, though, and good paper for them, so I hope to get back to them sometime soon. Your watercolor paintings are a big inspiration for me to do so! 🙂
So sorry to read that you’re having to contend with chronic pain – I do hope the latest meds provide a little relief, without (as you say) bad side effects.
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Thank you so much for your like and your comment and most of all the sentiments you express in your comment. I do appreciate your support!
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