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A Visit to Dr. CGL

I had a follow up appointment with Dr. CGL.  We talked about my SI joint pain and how none of the things we have done so far have helped.  We talked about Doc Brutus' (well, PA L's idea anyway) insistence of trying spinal cord stimulation.  We talked about my second opinions and his view of what they said.  Then we talked about next steps.  Here's what the file says:

Significant relief from the SI joint injections on 2 separate occasions, it has become difficult to ignore the probability of the SI joints contributing pain to a significant degree. In this case I would like her to undergo a pars injection for diagnostic purposes at L5 bilaterally and if she does not sustain any transient or eventual relief from the injections, then we will focus our attention on the SI joints and I would likely recommend SI fusion in that case. I would avoid the spinal cord stimulator unless there is no alternative source of pain discoverable or treatable. We will hopefully be able to accomplish this in the next month or 2 with Doc Brutus' help
 Which is what I thought we were trying to do after the last appointment, in May... after which we already did injections.  Ugha these things take a long time.  I am looking forward to my vacation.

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Back in the Saddle Again

Well, not technically  in a saddle.  Pretty sure that CGL would not be happy about that. I think he would be happy with my recent progress.  I got to the pool today! I wasn't swimming, but I did 30 minutes of water walking and stretching.  And then 10 minutes in the spa.  LOVE that. After all the stress of the last month, getting back to a routine is nice.

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Today!

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Another Day, Another Bracelet

Maybe not the bracelet that one might want however. Today was my (most recent) diagnostic SI joint injection.  Dr. CGL believes that if I were to have a positive result - which would be a 50% or more reduction in pain during the diagnostic period - then SI fusion surgery would be indicated.  I did have a blessedly low-pain period after the injection!  And as a side note, never believe someone who is about to put a needle in the most painful part of your back when he says "you're going to feel a little pinch."  I am fairly certain that Doc Brutus has never been stabbed in the back by his pain management doctor.    Sadly, the diagnostic period is only a few hours.  I now also have extra pain from the procedure itself.  That pain will happily be going away in a couple of days - yea! So, the diagnostic injection worked.  Not too surprising, since I've had this injection three times already.  First thing tomorrow I'll be sending a message to Dr. CG

Here we go!

Ready for my surgery.  Sheepy is too.

What One Week Looks Like

One week post surgery scars.  Not terrible.  Hopefully they'll smooth out as time passes. I'm glad I have pain medication. 

Sometimes it's the little things...

I've had a really good couple of weeks, activity-wise.  I've managed to walk more than 11,000 steps each day this week, I've been to the pool twice and had an amazing massage. Pain-wise?  Well, that's a big jump in activity, and I can totally feel it.   I know that I need to get stronger, and to do that I need to move.  And stretch.  Being careful not to move the wrong way. I still have times when it is hard and I wonder if I'll ever get back to normal (whatever that is...).  I feel like those times are fewer.  Chronic pain is crap. Hot tea on a rainy day is nice though.  Sometimes it's the little things.

Weekend Walking

Before my last two surgeries, I was a walker.  I've worn a pedometer for more that 20 years.  I get more than 10,000 steps a day, 2 - 3 times that many on weekends.  Even with my first two surgeries, I was up walking right away, and getting back to my 10K, even if they were slow walks. With these last two surgeries, I had weight bearing restrictions.  That really cut down on my walking.  A lot.  And since October. This weekend I decided to try a couple of around 13,000 step walks.  Both Saturday and Sunday were beautiful San Diego winter days, temps in the high 60's.   Beautiful, right?  This was taken from one of my (many) breaks.   Afterwards I had pretty high pain level, mostly my hips and SI joint.  Stretching, acetaminophen and rest helped.  My goals this week are 10 minutes additional walking each day and stretching twice a day for ten minutes.  Plus two pool days and a massage.  Wish me luck!

Scheduled!

I'll be going under the knife  on October 22 at 11:30! This has been the fastest approval process I've had yet.  I give credit to Dr. CGL's new office staff. Now I've got a week to get ready.  Lots to do at work, not so much at home.  Have to find bell substitute for my handbell choir... potentially for the Christmas concert.  I'm so happy to have this set.  Maybe by next spring I'll be out of pain!

Nice waiting room...

Anyone like Torrey Pines? ;-)