A lesson in real pain

Finally went in for the full-bore MRI Thursday at the imaging center on Franklin Road in Roanoke.

Doctor came in with a long look on his face.

“You’ve got two problems,” he said. “Badly abused nerves at L1 and L2 and again at L3 and L4. The nerves shows years of abuse. Frankly, I’m surprised you’ve walked on them as long as you have.”  I explained that pain has always been part of my lifestyle, mostly because of a misspent youth, and admitted living on 2400 mg of ibuprofen a day for the last several years

He shook his head and  recommended immediate treatment of the worst — the L1 & L2. That meant putting me on my stomach, sticking a long needle into the vertebrae, and pumping it of pain killers and steroids.

That was the easy part. What he didn’t tell me was that the procedure would hurt like hell — far worse than any back pain I’ve had to date.  After about 15 minutes, my vertebrae were screaming and I was saying I had to have some relief (along with some choice cuss words).

He finally let up — when 80 percent of the procedure was finished. I laid on the table for about 30 minutes, waiting for the pain to subside. Then they helped me up to a chair where I sat for another 45 minutes, waiting for the burning and stinging to stop.  After another hour or so I tried standing. No go so I sat for another 60 minutes.

Finally, I was able to stand and put on my coat.

“I got about 80 percent of the procedure completed,” he said. “in most cases, that should be enough and you should start feeling better in 24-36 hours.  If the pain continues, we’ll need another treatment and this one will be on the L3 and L4.

I winced. Did this mean another around of pain?

“No,” he said. “I gave you the worst first because that was the big problem area.  Jut take an easy on the way home and lie down in the back seat if you can.”

I explained I couldn’t since I drove down to Roanoke from Floyd.

“You drove? Are you nuts? Don’t to it again. If you have to come back, have someone drive you.”

I drove home, cautiously, in some pain but made it without incident. If all goes well, I should be feeling better by Saturday and won’t need a return trip.

We will see.

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9 thoughts on “A lesson in real pain”

  1. Doug hope you get better soon back problems are the worst, I know the pain
    just went to Blue Ridge Chinese Center for Chiropractic (Bethlehem church Rd)a few days ago they did me well.Nothing like acupuncture for pain relief
    I got my buddies Harley in the garage to do all the maintenance for it , it’s been in Chicago for 3 years he finally went and picked it up. (V-Rod)

  2. Whoa. My mom will have her 2nd (or is it the 3rd) spinal injection on 12/15, and she will not go into the detail you just did. Like you, she’s in a lot of pain (working for many years in a woodworking factory on concrete floors, doing heavy work) and hates losing any mobility or independence. Can certainly relate to that! I hope the injections will provide relief– and that you don’t have to resort to surgery.

  3. I have heard that the 10:30 gatherings, except on Monday have had you as missing in action. I wish you a speedy recovery…Let me hear from you…My dad tells me my mom is out on the snow covered roads…I think he may have a conduit to the other side. As others have noted…take the cold weather as a respit from riding and think about all that you have seen this year from two wheels. Get Well Soon!!

  4. “If you have to come back, have someone drive you.”…the Doc

    Don’t you have any buddies good buddy? Too bad I don’t live in your area because I’d be the guy offering you transporation to and from the clinic.

    As I’ve mentioned before, nobody gives a “rats butt” less about your perseverance of pain.

    You have to not only endure this painful treatment, but give yourself some time to heal and hopefully adjust to the procedure. Along with you admitting you are an “adrenalin junkie”‘; seemingly you want instant gratification concerning the solution to your back pain.

    It didn’t write this to be mean, but I’m probably one of your most ardent supporters on CHB and as an occasional reader and poster to BLM which reflects more of your personal life and current tribulations.

    You owe it to yourself and your family to follow the doctors “orders” and also to protect the public while on the roads in terms of reflex response time to the brake and gas pedals….!

    Best of luck on your path to recovery. : )

    Carl Nemo **==

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