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…

Juhi at condo July 28, 2016
Juhi at my place

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!