So today I had my appt. with my pain management doc. Such a wonderful doctor by the way, before I start.
I've had two epidurals. One 2 weeks ago, and one two weeks before that. Neither of them worked. :''( The sciatic pain was reduced for about a week, and it didn't really touch the back pain. The leg pain is coming back, back pain getting worse, and I now have pain on the left side of my groin, into my labia (sorry if too graphic).
So, he tells me that more than likely I have a lot of scar tissue from the diskectomy, and that is not allowing the steroid to get to where it needs to be. He said he could try to do it again, doing one below my L5 S1, and one above it, or perhaps a facet block. However, he doesn't really think it will help. He said I might want to try an inverter (ouch!) or physical therapy. He said it's up to me though. He also said I need to taper off of my pain meds. He said they are masking the "true" pain. He can get a clearer picture with what is going on with me if I am not on pain killers. He wants me to start by taking 4 a day for a week, then 3 a day for the next week, then 2, then 1.... He also said my pain will increase at first due to the reaction the body has not having the meds any more. He then said I will feel my true pain. He told me though that the bottom line is that I am heading for a fusion. My facet joints are in terrible shape, and the anulus of my L5 S1 disk is pancaked, which both explain my bone pain.
Boy am I in for a long haul! I know pain is coming, and I'm terrified. He asked me how old my kids are (13 and 8), and when I told him he got the most concerned look on his face and said "I hate to have them go through this". Referring apparently to my withdrawl from the meds, as well as the pain I'm going to be in.
He told me basically that I am going to get worse and worse. My facet joints are going to continue to disintegrate, the compression is going to get worse, and the bone spurs and going to continue to grow. Nice! Not! X(
He told me he was sorry to give me such bad news. Needless to say I started crying like a baby right there in his office. I just guess it is what it is, and I just have to deal with it. I would feel better knowing 100% that the fusion is going to fix me. But unfortunately I won't know until it's done. In the mean time I have to go without any pain meds. :S
Thanks for listening. I'm so confused. First I'm told fusion, then conservative treatments first, then I'm not a candidate, now I'm heading for a fusion again. ~X(