Hi all! I finally have my trusty MacBook back (forgot it at my parent’s when I was visiting over the weekend – whoops!) Crazy how much we rely on our electronics eh?! So I can FINALLY get back to writing my FULL blog posts – it’s rather difficult typing an entire blog post on my iPhone, then adding pics. Sorry about that!
Crepes are my FAVOURITE dessert – I MIGHT have stopped at the Eaton Centre’s food court to grab one on my way to the doctor today. I know…not good! But oh so tasty!! I have made up for it by having healthy, nutritious snacks the rest of the day 🙂
Today, I had my weekly appointment at the Centre for Pain management with my pain specialist. As of last week I have OFFICIALLY completely stopped taking my narcotics (hydromorphcontin) for my pain, which feels AMAZING! It doesn’t feel good having to put chemicals in your body, especially the kind that mess with your head as much as these do. They cause you to be just a tad “high”, which I really do not enjoy as much as others might 😉 My family has noticed a difference in my personality – I’m more even keeled, which is so nice to hear. SO, I am still seeing my pain specialist for my weekly lidocaine injections, and she writes my script for the cyclobenzaprine (flexeril) muscle relaxant for sleeping. Because my pain has been a bit more manageable lately (mainly because I am not working, I am nowhere near stressed as I used to be, I have time for yoga, I have time to cook healthy meals and snacks, and I don’t push myself or overdo it) I have ALSO decided to try to stop doing the cortisone epidural injections, because that medication really does a number on your body as well.
I want to continue posting once a week (or more) about which treatments have helped me, and for which illness (I will be covering anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and chronic pain from my scoliosis), phew that’s a mouthful. Today, I will focus on the lidocaine injections I receive on a weekly basis in my neck and back.
As I mentioned in an earlier post on pain management, I began receiving these lidocaine injections about five years ago. Patients with all types of pain see pain doctors for lidocaine injections every day – as am example, my doctor sees a minimum of 40 patients per day for injections, and these pain clinics are all over the province.
My doctor injects along both sides of my spine, under and above my shoulder blades, into my shoulders, along my cervical (neck) spine on both sides, the sides of my neck (those are painful areas and terrifying to get done for the first time!), and any other random spot that’s in pain that day.
For me, the lidocaine numbs the area that’s injected, which varies from a few hours to a few days. Normally, once I leave the appointment I feel more relaxed, my blood pressure drops, and my pain levels drop quite a bit. Because she injects into “trigger points” it’s hard to lift my head if I’m lying down, and I can’t lift my arms to get a glass out of the cupboard for water, or hit a volleyball at a game that night (but can the next day). When she injects at the side of my neck, 50% of the time my ears and cheeks become numb as well, which wears off the next day (there is no cause for concern from that, she just hit an area she shouldn’t have ha!) This numbness that stops me from being able to do daily tasks wears off within 24 hours, and then I just feel about 20-50% of pain relief in my muscles.
What every chronic pain patient needs to remember, is the fact that NO SINGLE TREATMENT is going to help with your pain. Our bodies are very complex beings, which require several types of treatment for pain. Every body and personality is different as well, and therefore, no “set” of treatment protocols will help every single person the same way. So, just because these lidocaine injections help with some of my pain, doesn’t mean it will help for the next person. In addition to this, I also practice hot yoga, eat a specific type of diet, medidate, spend enough time every day relaxing alone, I don’t push myself beyond my limits (but you have to learn what those limits are FIRST), my muscle relaxant helps me sleep which in turn helps reduce my pain levels, and on days where I don’t practice yoga I go for a relaxing walk and listen to music. I am also constantly educating myself on new types of treatment for pain. The list goes on and on and on – managing chronic pain is a lifelong “strategy” we learn to develop and manage.
Today, I spent the afternoon treating myself to a manicure, pedicure and eyebrow wax. My nails look 100000x better than they did before the appointment, and on top of that, it allowed me to relax, and spend some time in my head / with my thoughts. The foot and hand massage didn’t hurt either 😉
If you or anyone you know could potentially benefit from lidocaine injections, OR have questions about them, please feel free to send me a note. These injections can help with many different types of chronic pain.
Unfortunately, my ankle is still swollen and not functioning the way it should, so I had to bow out of my weekly volleyball game again tonight – what a bummer 😦 Bart is away in Kelowna for work until tomorrow, so I’ll be making myself a nice and simple dinner, and spending some time doing school and work research tonight.
I have not yet decided what I will be writing about tomorrow, so stay tuned!
Thanks so much for stopping by!