Friday, May 08, 2009
I just got back from bed shopping this afternoon (don't read that one too fast or you'll get the wrong impression!). My pain management doctor told me yesterday that the best thing for my back would be a Temper-pedic bed. Do you know how expensive they are? They cost more than my first car (of course that was back in the dark ages). She did have a great reason for this recommendation however. It appears that the disk degeneration and arthritis are now all over the entire spine - at least according to my latest MRI. She said that it will never get better - only worsen. Well, I kind of knew that - I'm 15 years into this whole thing so it was no surprise. However, to hear her say it out loud was depressing for a few minutes but then I realized that I'm still the same person that I was ten minutes before so it's really nothing new. That thinking made me feel better right away. We discussed treatment options and I'm going to start with the dye and fluoroscope test followed by six injections in the lower spine. She'll have to spread them out a bit in the hope that they will improve a larger area of the spine. She'll do 3 on the left and 3 on the right. They do a short (10 min.) anestethic; you wake up fast and the best part is that it doesn't make me sick!!! Yea! We will follow that up with a second series of shots in the lower spine in a few weeks. The plan is to then work on the thoracic spine to take the edge off the pain there. At this point, surgery is not an option. So, I have a plan which greatly appeals to me (can't help myself -I'm a retired teacher. I've got to have plans) lol She drew it to my attention that she can't fix most of it, she can only make me more comfortable as the deterioration continues. I said, "Let's do it!" and I will start treatment on May 15th. Then I had to go home and tell my husband what she said. He became very worried and has a whole list of questions that he'd like to ask her. I was pleased about that - pleased at his concern, not his anxiety. He will definitely take me for my treatments and be involved - also will try to get her to make a list of things I can and can't do. So, since I need a more comfortable bed, I went out to shop for a new one. She even wrote me a prescription so the store won't charge me sales tax. That could save me as much at $300+ ! I have several combinations picked out and tomorrow hubby and I will set out on our shopping expedition. At first he only wanted me to do it, but because of the cost, he is now aware that he needs to be comfortable in the bed too. Rolling around on sample beds could be hilarious if I get him in a silly mood which I'm hoping to do! Maybe we'll actually purchase one of the ones that I've pre-selected and we can get finished with it! I've been looking, just to get an idea of the cost, for about 2 weeks now. GASP!! Hubby has all kinds of questions that only the store can answer and although I already asked them, he wants to hear it from them (which is fine with me). I just want to sleep on something that won't add to my pain like our current bed.
To avoid getting depressed over the ongoing disease, I have to get creative in how I want to look at it and treat it, in order to get maximum pain relief. Getting the new bed is the first step. The shots are the second step. If I'm careful, after the next few series of shots, I might be somewhat okay for the next year. If I'm not, well, I guess we'll take it from there. I'm hoping that continuing to lose weight will help. Other than walking, I will cool it with the weight routine until my doctor gives me the "all clear". Hubby is afraid that I'll do something that will make matters worse so I need to be careful. I'm so blessed to have a life partner like him! We'll think of this as our creative campaign against pain!