Seriously. How many appointments am I going to have to go through before I feel like a normal person again?!?! This is getting ridiculous. Yesterday was my 6 week follow up after the radiofrequency ablation procedure I had the beginning of August. I met with the doctor and we discussed that I am still having pain. Although the pain is different, it still limits what I am able to do.
She did a brief exam and tried to find the exact location of the pain. We talked about the benefit I had initially received from the diagnostic branch block injections. She then pulled up the X-rays and MRIs and her notes from the first couple appointments. We looked at an image she had taken during the 2nd injection and she pointed out a pseudoarthrosis of my S1-S2.
And what is pseuoarthrosis? Basically, it is a failure of the S1-S2 to fuse completely. It creates a joint where there really shouldn’t be one. This was pretty apparent on the MRI. Is this what is causing the pain? Who knows. But, it is the next logical step in the diagnosis/treatment plan.
And what is the diagnosis/treatment plan? Well, I have scheduled an injection into that joint. It will be a combination of a steroid and a numbing medication. If it works, I should get several weeks of relief AND then we will know that is where the problem is. Then we can progress to the next treatment option to provide a more permanent solution. (surgery?) If the injection doesn’t make the pain go away, then we are back to the drawing board. (And I will cry. Again.)
So, the injection will be on October 10th. It will be another situation where I will have to go in early and not eat anything. I’ll need a driver and they’ll probably want to give me some Valium (which I won’t want). The whole process will take about 2 hours, even though the actual time of the injection process only takes 15-20 minutes.
The doctor wrote the same work restrictions that she wrote when I started my new job. I am allowed to do moderate duty. It is a bit subjective, but the management has been really great about letting me get in on a wide variety of different cases and I just have to be very cognizant of what I can and cannot do. I am fortunate that I am still in orientation because it means that there is always another nurse with me and I don’t have to do anything by myself just yet.
The doctor wants me too continue doing the physical therapy, although she did mention that I shouldn’t be extending my back (think: back bend) too much. A little bit, just to get a stretch is fine, but too much will put pressure on that area. So, no yoga for now.
As for running…and really, isn’t that the most important thing…I told her that I have had a couple runs that have felt pretty good. I’m still doing a lot of walking and I try to get in the pool once a week (although with the new job that is a challenge). She said that I could increase my running mileage from a half mile to a mile, on the days that I feel good. I have to maintain a slow pace and I still can’t run more frequently than every other day.
So, I’m still working through this stupid injury. My fall marathons are rapidly approaching and I am going to have to suck it up and deal with the fact that I am not running. There is always next year…maybe.