Hope everyone is well and enjoying the start of December!
Last week, I worked on getting a new patient appointment at a different pain management clinic, one where the doctors hopefully have better bedside manners than the one I saw a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, I got the call that I won’t be able to get in for 2 months. I was all set to wait it out, until that night when, as usual, the typical nightly pain became so unbearable, the cries of frustration were abounding and I couldn’t take it any more. I decided to go back to Dr. Pain again, at least to get me through until I can be seen in the new clinic. If I end up liking him, I may stay with him, but at least I can see someone else for a “second opinion” if need be.
The worst of all of my pain, and the constant, is my “flank” pain. I liken it to laying down on hot coals while simultaneously being branded with a burning metal poke. It is a terribly hot, writhing pain that never goes away, and is only slightly muted by the combo of pain meds, anti-spasmodic meds and a heating pad. The docs have no idea what is causing it. The rest of the pain sort of comes and goes, it is a mix of joint pain, muscle pain and nerve pain in random places.
The first thing Dr. Pain wanted to do (besides tell me again that I didn’t act like I had bipolar disorder, like he can “tell” after the 10 total minutes of talking to me), was trigger point injections. I was very excited about this, since this would be the first attempt at easing the flank pain. We had no idea if it would help, but I was up for trying anything. According to the Neurology Channel, “a small needle is inserted into the trigger point and a local anesthetic (e.g., lidocaine, procaine) with or without a corticosteroid is injected. Injection of medication inactivates the trigger point and thus alleviates pain.” We chose to do it without steroids, especially since I want to avoid them if possible.
I got a total of about 15 shots in my right flank. The doctor first numbed the skin by wiping a topical anesthetic across it, though I don’t think it helped, then injected a bunch of different areas. It was a bit uncomfortable, but not that bad. Dr. Pain said I should feel some relief within 10 minutes, and that it should last between 1 and 4 weeks. Unfortunately, because I bruise easily, he also mentioned that I might be sore for a day or two from internal bruising, and I might not notice the relief until it eases up. Lastly, he put tape over the injection sites. I mention this, because even though it was paper tape, it was awful to peel off. No tape next time! About 30 minutes after the injections, I did notice a bit of relief. The normal pain level in my flank is about and 8, ending up at a 9 by bedtime. As of now, a day later, I am down to the average flank pain being about a 6 or 7. Yay! It does still progress and is pretty bad by bedtime, but any help is welcomed with open arms!