Well, my implant was put in 3 months ago, and things are going great. I'm able to turn it off at times now, and it seems to have broken the pain cycle to a certain extent which is a nice change.
Unfortunately, it's not covering my knee pain anymore, so I'm having to get a referral to a rheumatologist. We know that I have arthritis in both knees, so hopefully they'll be able to come up with something. I had been getting Supartz injections in my knees and they were helping, but between one thing and another the set didn't get finished and we're trying to see if we can start over.
My biggest problem, though, is my neck. I've been having trouble with it for a while, but my hips always shoved it off to the side, understandably. Now that my hips are sorted, my neck is acting up. At the pain clinic they had told me they would sort my neck once my hips were done, and now that time has come.
Wednesday I had my 2nd set of epidural injections in my neck - C-4 to C-8? Unfortunately the first set didn't help - my neck still hurt a lot the day of and the next few days, then felt good for about 8 hours and that was it.
My doctor told me with the second set that if they didn't help the day of, I need to call and cancel the third set, because they aren't doing what they should be so there's no point in continuing. Well, I'm going to have to call and cancel. This set was even worse than the first set, and I have been spending a lot of time with a bag of frozen spinach on my neck.
The worst part is that if I lay on my back, both of my arms fall asleep and go completely numb. I'm pretty sure that's a good indicator that I have some pinched nerves in my neck. I know that there is a vertebra that my physical therapist was concerned about years ago, because it is pushed forward too much. Now I'm afraid that they'll send me for a CT scan of my neck and find out that I have a slipped disc or something and that they'll say I need surgery.
If the injections had helped, they were going to go in and do a nerve burn. Since they haven't helped, I have no idea what's next. I hate to think of the possibility of ending up with another implant, but I can't think of a lot of other options.
Due to my surgery I had to get an extension on my classes for last semester, so I'm still trying to finish those. I just discovered the other day that after I finish them, I have one more class plus my thesis and then I will be done with my Master's degree. So I have resumes and thesis fears and job hunting on my mind, as well as everything I need to do to get my graduate certificates. I think I might just go insane before I manage to get everything finished.
On top of everything else, I had managed to get off almost all of the pain meds after my implant was put in. I'm still taking a flexeril most days, and I was taking hydrocodone - until I found out the hard way that I developed an allergy to it. It makes me itch as though I had rolled around in poison ivy, so no more hydrocodone for me. I've had to start using the fentanyl patches again for the pain, and they aren't helping a whole lot.
I guess the only good thing with all of this is that I have a new boyfriend (2 months together, now) and he's great about helping out and driving me to doctor's appointments and such. Hopefully he'll manage to help me retain my sanity, because if I have to do it on my own I'm not so sure...