Allow me to whine for a moment. I just got back from the doctor and the news wasn’t that bad, not really. He told me what I already knew. I have degenerating discs from T4-T9 and bulging discs at T5-6 and T6-7 in my thoracic spine. Add these to the 3 bulging discs in my cervical spine and my back is a mess. I knew these things because I’ve had the test results for a long time. He also ordered the ultrasound for my liver. Which was expected.

What I didn’t know

He began by saying something like:

The thoracic spine is very well protected, injury to this area is rare and unusual at your age. Have you had any serious injuries? Like, have you ever fallen off a roof?

Wow. No. No, I have never fallen from a roof. (I even asked my mom later to check). So, we discuss this, and he explains that it’s downright difficult to injure your thoracic spine and mine is quite bad. It’s deteriorating and resembles the spine of an 80-year old…which is peculiar because I’m obviously not.

The doctor and I agree that, because I’ve never been severely injured and since I’m obviously not elderly, the condition of my back must be a result of my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Thanks, EDS.

The pain I frequently experience in this region is from muscle spasms, but as time goes on and the deterioration gets worse, the pain will transition into bone-on-bone and shocking sparks of pain. Oh, Good.

What’s the treatment

This area can’t be treated with surgery. Well, actually, it can, but it’s not advised. Surgical procedures have been attempted but usually end up making things worse. What I mean to say is, these discs can’t be replaced like cervical discs. I don’t know why not other than I know they insert them from the front and there is a lot more “in front” of the thoracic spine than the cervical spine. Nevertheless, I think disc replacement would be ideal.

He said I do have a good amount of muscle around the area but more muscle is always better—so I am off to physical therapy. Muscle will stabilize the bone structure and hopefully help things to stay in place.

Pain

Here is my pain pity party. I’m depressed. I just am. I’m tired of being in pain everyday. Today I went into an appointment and had my doctor say that he cannot take away my pain and also it’s just going to get worse and worse—it was rather disheartening.

What do I do for pain? Currently I’m taking Cymbalta, which is for both pain and depression, I can take a muscle relaxer when things get bad, and I take a daily migraine preventative pill, which is also supposed to help with nerve pain. I’m not supposed to take anything like Advil because it upsets my stomach to the point of causing chronic gastritis on the verge of an ulcer, which is exceedingly unfortunate because I think it does help. I also generously apply heat, DMSO, Salonpas, and naps.

Today in the office he gave me some kind of “trigger point” shot. It was magic. I pulled something in my neck the other day. Who knows, maybe I slipped another freaking disc. Anyway, it’s been hard to turn my head the muscles have been spasming. Magic shot and ta-da, the pain was gone instantly. He also shot-up my mysterious right shoulder pain which may-or-may-not be caused by the probably-not-cancer spot on my liver. He said the shot is a combination of lidocaine and rainbows. Ok, not exactly, but he specifically said that it didn’t have steroids in it, and that’s all that mattered to me.

Moving forward

So what now? I want to crawl into bed, burrito myself in blankets, and sleep. But the catalog is almost finished, TNNA plans are coming together, and new patterns are being drafted. I just need to focus on business and work and family and friends.

I will persist.

3 thoughts on “Pity Party, Table For One

  1. Heather, your work is awe inspiring. I am sending you hugs and positive thoughts. You go on, no matter the pain and depression.
    I applaud you and wish you happiness.

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