Pain Pity Party

Not really.

Maybe a little bit.

In either case, I’m starting my first round of Prolotherapy next week. I warn you all now, since I suspect I’m going to be rather grumpy for the next several months as a result.

Essentially my SI joint is continuing to fall out of whack. As soon as I get put back into place, about 15 minutes later it’s out again. It’s driving my PT nuts – every time I come in, it’s in a different location – right side, left side, posterior, anterior, left leg is too short, right leg is too short. Yesterday morning when I went to PT, I was out on the right side. A few hours later when I went to my pain doc, I was out on the left. So…yeah. Ligaments aren’t really holding it in place too well anymore.

So. Prolotherapy will involve a series of injections (about 4 or 5 on each side of the spine/joint). The needles will go all the way down to the bone and will contain some sort of “foreign” substance. Usually sugar water or glycerine or something you’d think of as pretty harmless. The theory here is that small annoyances to the body tend to increase healing (or in this case, the creation of scar tissue along the ligaments). If this works, I’ll end up with newer, stronger ligaments that will keep the SI in place the way it should.

However, the fun part is that during this process I can’t take any pain killers – no ice, no advil, no aspirin, no nothing. In fact, I’m going off all my herbal supplements too. The doc wasn’t entirely sure if they would interfere, but for what this is going to cost me, I can’t take the risk. We want the body to inflame, since that’s what causes the creation of the new tissue.

In the meantime, I’ve been told to increase my intake of animal protein – at least two servings a day (which is a lot for me since I’m mostly vegetarian in my food choices.). If my body doesn’t have enough protein to rebuild the ligaments, then this may not be successful. I also have to take up to 5000 milligrams of Vitamin D3 a day, 3000 milligrams of Omega 3 (yay, that would be *six* of those smelly lemon-fish pills I’ll be burping up), and something called Fucoiden – a supplement that is supposed to stimulate stem cell growth.

Now, each session costs $600. I was told I would need 10 sessions. It’s not covered by insurance. I sorta freaked at that, so they said if I tolerated the first two sessions (about two weeks apart), they would move me into something called PRP – platelet rich plasma therapy. Same sort of deal, except instead of using said substance, I go into the doc’s an hour early, they draw 60 ccs of blood and spin my platelets out of it and then inject *those* into my back.  Bad news? It’s about $800 a session. Good news? I’d only need 3 to 5 of them. They are spaced out longer, but they’re also more intense and more painful.

There’s an 80% chance this will work. If it doesn’t, I’ll be out a lot of time and money and my last option will be fusing the SI, or possibly a spinal cord stimulator, neither of which I want to remotely consider.

And so I continue to trundle on down the path of chronic pain. Alas.

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12 Responses to Pain Pity Party

  1. Aleta says:

    I admire your strength and courage.  I can't imagine… can't begin to.  Sending thoughts and prayers your way.

  2. KAK says:

    I'm pretty sure this is the beginning of some Sci-fi book with nano-bots…no wait, it's the pre-pre-prequel of Terminator. No, no, I've got it now — The Borg Collective Origins: Back-rica.

  3. mynfel says:

    I'd almost prefer to be assimilated at this point honestly. 

  4. mynfel says:

    Thanks. This is just one more bump in the road, I guess. 

  5. Amie Boudreau says:

    I hope this works for you. I have dealt with chronic pain before, and it is not something I would wish on anyone at all. Sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers out to you.

  6. Joan says:

    Some months, ago I suffered a pull in the short part of the back and me he causes a terrible ache in the lumbar zone, I have gone to the doctor and Hydrocodone has prescribed me to relieve my ache, though I have not much time this medicine, newly, I have noted some changes and thereby I have looked for information and I found in findrxonline that points out that this medicine has side effects that can be dangerous if one combines with alcohol or with other medicines.

  7. Jenn Bennett says:

    So sorry that you're having to go through this. My sister-in-law endured a six-month nerve treatment that wasn't covered by insurance, also with no guarantee it would work. Luckily it did, and I wish the same for you.

  8. Jenn Bennett says:

    So sorry that you're having to go through this. My sister-in-law endured a six-month nerve treatment that wasn't covered by insurance, also with no guarantee it would work. Luckily it did, and I wish the same for you.

  9. Renee says:

    Oh, my gosh! I'm so sorry that you are continuing to have this pain. The treatments sound dreadful, not to mention expensive. I'll be praying for you!

  10. Simon says:

    Well, bollocks. That's no fun. The odds look pretty good, though, of it helping, so here's hoping it does what you want it to and more.

    A few months of pain traded for years of health. Here's hoping, good lady.

  11. Danielle says:

    80% are great odds when it comes to medical treatments like these! As a chronic pain sufferer myself I know it sucks to the extreme, not only to deal with the pain constantly but also to try and try and try and have nothing you've done help fix the problem. You are so strong though, chica. I've known you less than a year and it was clear to me from the start.

    I'd suggest (I love my unsolicited advice haha) trying meditation for the pain as you deal with the prolo, since nothing else is really allowed. There's this great site for free podcasts online called meditationoasis.com and they have meditative episodes for all kinds of different purposes, including pain. Just keep breathing deep, thinking positive, and taking care of your body the best you can. You're going to come out the other side of thing even stronger, and most likely, with much less pain and discomfort. 

    Hang in there! XO

  12. Veronica says:

    Wow. Rooting for you.

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