Tomorrow morning is the start of the Portland Marathon, my favorite, and I can use my imagination and see the crowds in the early morning darkness. I can feel the jostling as the participants move about in the street, trying to keep warm and stay focused on the event ahead. But I won't be there and I'm only tormenting myself with these thoughts…I suppose I should recap all that has brought me to this point in time; now. I'm two and a half months post op and I still live with pain 24/7. Yes, it's better than it was immediately after surgery but now it has become static, nothing is happening to change the situation. I do my walking, my exercise and I take my pills and still the pain is there. Disabling me mentally as well as physically. My mind is no longer my own since pain and its attendant medications have taken up residence there. I take an average of five Norco a day for pain and it has been that way for close to two months now. I even take Dilaudid on those occasions when Norco won't do the job; it's rare, but it happens. Those really scramble your thoughts.
I've been to see my surgeon and as soon as he walked into the exam room he saw that there was something wrong; 'What's going on?' he asked and then I proceeded to tell him. He was quite serious as he did a quick neurological exam and then told me that he had expected to see me in much better shape that I was in. He said the nerve that passes through the foramen on the right side of L-5, the last lumbar vertebra was the culprit and he was at a loss as to why. He ordered a 'with and without' MRI for me as soon as possible. (That's one with contrast media injected and one without) Then he will meet with us as soon as possible after that. He was nice enough to go over his surgical notes with me and showed me where he had explored the channel for the L-5 nerve for a distance of 'x' centimeters and had concluded that it was free of anything that might injure the nerve. He said that it might very well be that the previous nerve injury, the crushing of the nerve that had brought me to him to begin with, had injured the nerve beyond repair. Nerves normally repair themselves without a problem. You can cut a nerve and the two halves will eventually find their way past the scar that obstructs them and rejoin. Anyway, it's all conjecture at this point and he needs the MRI before he can come up with some sort of plan.
I asked him about the drugs and the amount I was taking and he said that they were not a problem. Pain control was first and he said that we would confront the addiction problem afterwards. In the meantime, I was to take them whenever needed. And as he said, they really do very little for nerve pain. The pain remains when you take them but your mind is muddled enough so that the pain doesn't seem quite as important as it was.
Once again I'm without a plan. This is where I was a year or so ago. Waiting for relief. And another marathon.