Quality of Life

February 9, 2008

Thank you for the comments attached to my last entry. I always look forward to hearing your thoughts, and I continue to be grateful for your support and encouragement.

And, Penny? Thanks for making me laugh out loud. It never occurred to me that Dr. Spine Specialist could be the Text Message Killer! Ha ha!

As for your concerns (and mine), one of the doctors who advised me against the procedure did tell me that the injections themselves are not always “benign.” That scared me. Also, just as Sunshyn knows someone who was done more harm than good by the injections, so do I. Fortunately, the resulting disability in this case was temporary.  On the other hand, I should also point out that I know quite a few people who were helped by the injections.  It’s a tough call to make.

I voiced my fears to Dr. Spine Specialist, but he dismissed them and declared that most people are helped by the injections. For the record, I had those injections in the cervical spine years ago (yes, LeAnn, it’s an uncomfortable procedure), but they did not help me. I guess when it comes to medical issues (and other things), I can’t be counted among those who fall into the category “most people.” Still, it is possible that the lumbar injections might help, even though the cervical injections did not.

I have given this a lot of thought, weighing the pros and cons, and the bottom line is – I can’t go on this way much longer. I have to find some relief, even if that means taking some risks.

I went through two natural childbirths like a champ. I’ve done very well in the pain department after several surgeries. I once walked on a broken leg. Those things lead me to believe that I don’t have such a low tolerance for pain. It’s unremitting pain that does me in. It chips away at my reserves of strength and endurance, not to mention my psyche.

So, yes, there are risks to be considered, but quality of life needs to be considered, as well.

Song of the Day: Quality by Paul Simon

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12 Responses to “Quality of Life”

  1. liz said

    My husband had those shots in his lumbar spine. The first one helped..for 2 weeks. But they say they are cummulative, so he went for the second. It helped less…for 2 weeks. He didn’t go for the third. But then a new doctor convinced him to do it again. So the third helped even less…and not even for 2 weeks. The fourth one did nothing, and he ended up in surgery a month or so later. Like you, the pain was excruciating and he had to do something.

  2. LisaL said

    Stephanie, I was already thinking “quality of life” before I got to the last line of your entry. Sure, risks are scary, but so is living with that kind of relentless pain. I’m hoping very hard that these injections give you some relief.

  3. Jim said

    I understand your hesitation… People keep telling me how wonderful that Lasik eye surgery is, but I keep wondering but what about that one percent (or whatever number) who end up worse off? Since I have been able to get by quite well with eyeglasses for more than half a century now, I have no pressing need for laser surgery so I have no plans on having it.

    On the other hand, I have always avoided chiropractors, fearing the possiblity of suffering some kind of damage by having my spine, etc. manipulated and moved around (I don’t know anyone who was ever hurt by that, it’s just a concern I have always had)… Now, however, my various shoulder, neck, and back pains are really affecting my ability to exercise and my ability to sleep… so I had a preliminary chiropractic visit yesterday and my first treatment session coming up on Monday.

  4. LeAnn said

    I think I agree with Lisa. What doesn’t have a risk? Are you willing to miss out on pain relief at last, because of what might happen? I mean they have to disclose the risks to you. Every single drug commercial makes you think you might die or grow a second head if you take their drug, but they want you to take it anyway!! If you decide against it you will never know what degree of relief you could have had and it is certain that you will continue to have extreme pain. If you decide to take the shot, you have a great chance of finally getting some relief from your pain. I look forward to learning what you decided to do.

  5. Wow…my piano teacher has had the same thing done…and they did not help him. They helped for a bit, but I guess he’s one of the people that fall into the “other” group. But I am one of those folks who firmly believe that to get rid of extreme pain, I will walk through fire with asbestos shoes. Whatever it takes. Good luck!

  6. goatbarnwitch said

    Tough call no matter which side you take. I guess what it comes down to is the lesser of two evils…. live with what you have or risk some additional discomfort that may bring relief. Or it may not but the only way to find out is to give it a go. Most statistics on side effects of meds and procedures note negative results in a singal digit percentage which means over 90% rate of no complication.

  7. LA said

    TSSN, sweetie. Get the shots. You CANNOT live as you have been, if you can call it living when everything from a hug to a trip to the thrift store is tinged with pain and anticipation of worse pain for ‘overdoing it’. Always opt for doing something over doing nothing, even if there’s some risk or the result isn’t guaranteed. (As for future osteo? Smoking will do a bigger number on our bones than any med. Drink some milk, eat cheese and lots of milk chocolate.)

    $$$ situation beyond critical here. Will call from cell tomorrow. No worries, we’re still eating, heh. Love, ~LA the Broke-Ass Bossy Friend

  8. Michael said

    With all you go through, nobody can accuse you of being a wimp. And only you can decide whether getting the shots is worth the risk, but I suspect you’ve reached the point where it probably is. If so, I hope it works with no ill effects. Why shouldn’t you have something like that go your way for once?

  9. sasha said

    I think in this case it’s worth the risk. I hate that you suffer so much. xoxo

  10. Diane said

    I would try something over nothing if I had continuos pain. Good luck. I hope it works for you.

  11. Sunshyn said

    On the Lasik comment up there — my cousin was in that one percent, and he still has constant eye discomfort years later. (It sort of serves him right, though — he’s not a favorite cousin, the slimeball!) Ask Spine Doc about RF ablation. And funny — the cervical injection (only one) gave me true lasting relief for a couple of years — I could use another about now, but it can wait. And I love my chiropractor, but the problem with chiropractors is: How many chiropractors does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one, but you have to keep going back to get the lightbulb adjusted.

  12. My son-in-law has to have the shots. They knock him flat on his ass for about 2 days, but then he’s good to go for several months. I would try it in a heart beat and in fact it will be up for discussion on my next visit with the neurosurgeon. The PT he sent me for and I’ve been faithfully doing, since September just isn’t making enough of a difference. Good luck with what ever you decide!

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