My One Half a Century Tune Up

Pain, pain go away.

no pain

“I will never feel old, be achy and complain. ”  I remember thinking this way when I was younger and naive.  I have to laugh and have a sense of humor as this year it seems I’m getting my one half a century tune up prior to turning the big 50.

I appreciate your prayers and concern in regard to my back which began giving me problems in 2008 and has become more chronic pain for various reason.

BACK UPDATE Previously (1/12, 12/12, and 1/13) I had a required diagnostic test called a medial branch block done.  This is where an injection of local anesthetic is given near the two small nerves that feed the facet joints located at L4, L5, and S1 as this is where my issues are as seen on a MRI.  If dramatic (or greater than 50%) pain relief occurs while the local anesthetic is active (typically several hours), then a diagnosis of facet joint pain can be made as in my case 🙂  They did  a second confirmatory test with desired results making me an ideal candidate for radio frequency ablation (RF).

RF is a relatively safe procedure that provides six to 12 months of pain relief and in some cases even longer.  Heat disrupts a nerve’s ability to conduct painful signals. Nerves regenerate but it takes six to 12 months for this to occur. An insulated needle is placed near the appropriate medial branch nerve and the area is tested. Testing ensures that the needle is far away from the large motor nerves of the spine that are responsible for strength.  So the procedure on Thursday went really well.  They only did the left side which means I am still experiencing pain on my right side which they have to wait two weeks before I can go back. I go back on March 12th to have the right side done at L4, L5, and S1.

Once I heal I will continue with PT and other core strengthening exercises to hopefully help my back.

FOOT SURGERYis scheduled 2/28/13 at 2:30  

left foot before surgery

I have had pain in my left big toe since last November which I assumed was a result of my back issues.  Finally I saw a foot specialist as I was unable to walk for extended time without pain.  The doctor injected my left big toe joint with cortisone on 2/13 providing me with NO relief thus indicating a much serious problem so an MRI was ordered. Well, I have two torn ligaments and an issue with the joint.  Jon and I agreed that surgery is the best option to repair the torn ligaments, joint and fix a mild bunion.  I will finally have hardware as two tiny screws will be used.  How vain am I?  Wearing a foot boot for 4 weeks is as disturbing to me as not be able to walk or do weight bearing exercise.  My focus is what I have to look forward to so I am gearing up for our summer vacation which will require lots of walking and God willing I will be pain free.

I am so thankful for my in laws who will arrive on Tuesday to help me out during the surgery as Jon is in Barcelona, Spain. Surgery is scheduled for Thursday 2/28 at 2:30pm. Jon will get home late Friday.

Hopefully these minor tune ups will allow me to be active and ready for my upcoming 50, half century mark.