Friday, December 4, 2009

Taking It Easy

I'm blogging from bed. I have my netbook on it's side.... Typing is a little awkward.

I'm starting yet a new drug today. The muscle relaxant doesn't seem to be doing anything for me so now I've been prescribed an antidepressant. Theoretically, I should be pain free, relaxed, and happy!

I've been getting traction three times a week which so far hasn't improved my condition but makes me feel proactive while I'm waiting around for my doctors to figure this out. So in addition to relaxed and happy, I should be a couple inches taller.

I was told during today's traction, I should just go home afterward and lay down. So here I am, in bed with my netbook, listening to Pandora, watching Hulu, and keeping in touch with my faithful readers.

I'm waiting to hear from an anesthesiologist to schedule my epidural. Meanwhile, I have a decision to make: I can't do both the epidural and continue the traction treatments. If I could stay in bed for another four weeks while I continue the traction, I might consider it. But it's expensive, might ultimately not work, and I really need to get back to work.

The epidural option is attractive because it could provide me with some pain relief, is less expensive, will allow me to get back to work, and get off narcotics. It has the potential to give me my life back. Gee, when I put it that way the choice seems clear.

On the other hand, if the epidural doesn't work, the only options left are finding an oral pain regimen that works, starting all over with the traction treatments (they're progressive in nature and I'm almost to the halfway point now), or surgery.

If the doctor is right that this will most likely go away on its own, the traction is irrelevant and the only issue left is pain management. From that point of view, the epidural seems to be the right choice. I'm leaning that way anyway.

Traction (DRX 9000, actually) is promoted as an alternative to surgery. (Turns out there's no literature to support this.) The underlying premise, or one of them anyway, is that surgery is bad and should be avoided at all costs. (Let me remind you, traction is costly.) On the other hand, if the doctor had told me that the MRI indicated surgery was necessary, I would have jumped on the opportunity just for the pain relief.

Oh well. Until I hear from the anesthesiologist, I'll just take it easy.

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