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Friday, September 4, 2009

Nerve Block

I finally had my pain clinic appointment on Monday. The Dr. was great, and sympathetic, and sorry that it took so long for me to get in. And I confirmed that the TWO previous referrals I had were never forwarded to the pain clinic at all. That means I waited months longer than I should have. And now that I know what it's like to be almost pain free, I realize how much pain I still had until Monday.

Anyhow, I got a nerve block! This one is only a small (?) one to tide me over until I get the real one. I was injected with a sort of anesthetic into the area where the main nerve that gets info from the side, and bottom of my foot. I believe it's called the medial plantar nerve (*edit: the medial plantar nerve comes from the tibial nerve, which is the main nerve that branches to your feet). He injected the general area, and within about 5 minutes I noticed the pain was gone (I now realize, it's not all gone, but mostly gone). This one will last from 3 to 6 months. He had a bit of trouble injecting me from all the scar tissue still in the area. Now this is all making sense to me. That same area of the injection site, is the same area my tibia was dislocated into, and pushing on, almost to the breaking point of my skin. No wonder there is scar tissue, and the nerve is angry.

Sometime soon I will be going back in for a radio scan (?) to find the exact location of the nerve, and then they will inject it directly. I can't wait.

This also means I should be able to get off the drugs, which would be fantastic. I take for granted that I don't need these meds normally. The side effects are not easy to get used to. He has also got me on a new anti-convulsant to help further with the nerve pain issues. This time I am on Gabapentin. It's similar to Lyrica, but I am not quite so dumb on it. I am having the dizzy and tiredness issues, and some slight problems with focusing. I was worried it would keep me from doing my work properly, but so far it hasn't. I have to up my dose tonight to 900mg from 600mg. That might push me over the edge. At least it's the weekend, and I have a few days to try and get a handle on things.

Another annoyance has been that for some time now (since I began physio), my toe/s have been infected on the sides of the toenail on my bad foot. The only thing I can think of is that I cut my nails too short, and because things are all messed up in my foot, it's super sensitive, and it's been reacting weirdly. This has been excruciating, stopping me from physio exercises properly, and making me terribly concerned about bumping or stubbing my toe. Even a slight bump into something, like a towel on the floor, causes an unreasonable amount of pain. But within minutes of the nerve block, that pain more or less disappeared, and I can now see the infections are lessening, and my toes are returning back to normal. I didn't even think the nerve block would help that.

Other things used to cause unreasonable pain as well. Like going barefoot (even inside), or putting on and taking off socks and shoes, washing my foot in the shower, sliding my foot along the floor, or even sliding my foot while in bed between the sheet and cover. It's ridiculous. Even the pattern etched into my Havaiana's bothers me, but it's better than going barefoot. Since the nerve block, all of those things have gotten so much better now.

The past week and half, I haven't really been doing physio since I am pinching something in my heel, and I am supposed to let it heal properly before continuing with some of my strength exercises. A few weeks back, they got me to start jumping rope. It's been going well, until this, but I hope to get back to normal exercises again soon.

So it's been a slower week (and a half) in physio progression, but a nice week when it comes to the nerve issues.


Anonymous,  September 5, 2009 at 5:38 AM  

Thanks Kath for the detailed info - i had no idea what a "nerve block" was or where they administer it. Can't believe the accident you had has caused such pain! I am thankful for the medical care these days! I remember a guy in high school who had a horrendous break (I thik it was ankle) playing baseball & it consequently ruined his life - he became addicted to pain killers. Now I understand that! Mom

Heidi Epp September 6, 2009 at 1:16 AM  

You poor thing. What a life changer. sucks -- glad you got a shot. Seems so maybe they could have given it to you earlier.


I Should Be Cleaning Up September 6, 2009 at 9:06 AM  

exactly what I thought. it was a simple shot! like when I waited for HOURS at the ER, crying because I am desperate for something, no doctor there can spare the 3 minutes it took?

I Should Be Cleaning Up September 6, 2009 at 9:07 AM  

and the reason I had to wait so long for this simple shot is because there are too many people addicted to pain killers, so the system is clogged, and I think they try and weed out the ones who are serious, who will wait for months for relief.