Thursday, July 17, 2014

Monthly "Health" Update & Doctor's Report

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Hello dear friends. Thank you for your prayers from last week, as I mentioned I had an upcoming appointment (my monthly visit) with my specialist.

So there were only two items on the agenda for this visit, and one of them I will share with you. I mentioned last week that I have had issues in my sacroiliac (SI) joints for years, medically known as sacroiliac joint dysfunction syndrome (bilateral). The sacroiliac joint is the last joint in the spine near the pelvis & hips. It acts like 2 joints in many ways, and is treated as such when discussing SI joint surgery, injections, etc.

Keep in mind that I have almost countless pain generators (especially with fibromyalgia, and in addition to that at least 15 diagnoses related to chronic pain/spine). So it took time to be able to get a fairly good grasp on the idea that much of the severe pain was coming from my pelvis/SI joint.

There are certain steps patients & doctors typically take prior to making incisions on the body. For SI joint dysfunction, we have done over half of these steps. I have had over 24 epidural/nerve block injections, and none of these have been effective over a long period of time. However, the nerve block injections on the SI joint that were done last May were extremely effective, however it wore off quickly. This is a procedure used to confirm that the pain is indeed coming from the SI joint. This cuts down on the risk of doing a surgery and having ineffective results.

So I will have one more set of SI joint injections under general anesthesia & flouroscopic guidance to re-confirm that the severe pain is coming primarily from the SI joints. I will have this done by Neurosurgical Associates at St. Vincent's in Birmingham. From there, the doctors and I can determine if we need to focus on nerve ablation (they permanently damage approximately 5 nerves on each SI joint so that the pain signals do not reach the brain as effectively; nerves grow back every 6-12 months and process has to be repeated) or the SI joint fusion, which involves a more intensive and long-term recovery process. The surgery, however, has an extremely high success rate.

So we have set up the appointment for my next set of injections on the morning of August 25th. Please pray that it will be effective, as the last ones were, and that we will know which direction to go following the injections. Please also be in prayer for the finances involved. We pay a hefty copay for procedures such as injections. It can be challenging, but God always provides - what a hope & blessing! Pray that we never forget that promise!

As always, your prayers are a blessing!

Romans 8:28  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

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