Tomorrow I am having up to 6 Facet Joint injections in my spine. I say ‘up to’ as I was prescribed 6 but I’ve read on like that they rarely do 4 in one go, let alone more. I only have one appointment and I’ve also fought and waited for 22 months for them as due to the postcode lottery, I found that Facet Joint injections are not funded in North Yorkshire. Rubbish.
Hello and thank you to those of you who take the time to read my blog!
I am so confused. I am nervous and I have no idea what exactly is wrong with me.
My GP was fabulous and she applied for funding. At first, I was turned down but then we reapplied and my GP wrote whatever was required for them to agree that I was in need and that my life is impaired due to the pain. I can’t thank her enough.
I was put on the waiting list on March 2014 and here we are- 18th June is the day!
I’m nervous about how I will feel after them and wonder if the pain will increase as I’ve read on the internet but google is not always your friend in these situations! I’ll wait and see what the surgeon says.
I’m going to be sedated as the pain I’m in is just too great. They inject a local anaesthetic but that doesn’t reach the deep tissue that the larger needle will need to pass through to reach the facet joint which is next to the vertebrae. Oh god. Thinking about that is horrible. Aaaaaagh!!!
All this is to come. A quick recap of my diagnosis so far:
1) Degenerative disc disease in 3 areas and also synovial cysts in joints of my spine.
2) Fibromyalgia!! Woo hoo
and that’s that. Mind you, that’s enough as the results of the effectiveness of tomorrow’s injections will contribute to the decision as to whether I have a spinal fusion.
Oh wait. Hang on. That pain? In your feet and knees and hands? The swelling that comes and goes but that you’ve photographed with intense hot areas?! You know, the really painful bits and hands that swell and become almost unusable?
That pain is nothing. It’s just Fibro. The fact that the foot pain went away with your bilateral hip steroid injections is just one of those things. It’s certainly not related to the steroids…..but then on ultrasound, what’s this? That’s inflammation. That’s far more than someone of your age should have.
I had a missed call on my home phone. My rheumatologist. After a game of cat and mouse we finally got to speak to each other and he asked me how I had found the large steroid injection that I had in my bottom 6 weeks ago?
I told him that my foot pain improved but the difference in my knees was incredible.
I said that I didn’t suddenly feel better, I just found that I was doing more.
I explained that the burning was coming back in my knees and that I was waking il with swollen ankles, knees and hands and that the pain was sometimes very intense.
I answered some pain questions and then that was that
You have Seronegative Inflammatory Arthritis and need to start treatment soon which will require fortnightly blood tests for monitoring.
So. 2yrs of being under rheumatology.
Two diagnosis’s of Fibromyalgia and Hypermobility (on top of my separate ‘mechanical back’ issues) and an almost discharge from their care only to be told that they’ve found exactly what they’ve been looking for, all along, at the last second? Great.
What does this mean? Do I still have Fibromyalgia?
I think possibly so. He did say that the treatment won’t cure all of my aches and pains so maybe he was referring to Fibromyalgia? If so- wow! How can I go from being a fit and healthy person that goes to the gym once or twice a week, jogs 5k 3 times a week and works 60 hrs a week as a nanny, so a physical job to someone with so many painful and physically limiting conditions?! It’s almost laughable.
What happens now. What if these Facet joint injections work and the pain in my back decreases? (Short term I know but still, it then opens doors for discussion as to how best to treat me long term) and what if my new medication for the Sero-negative arthritis (I think I’m starting on Sulfasalizine) works and the pain in my body decreases? Then what? Who am I? Will I get my life back?!
All these questions and more will no doubt be answered or further complicated in the coming months.
Till tomorrow then. (Well actually today now as it’s past midnight!) I’m nill by mouth now (booo) and really should get some sleep.
Thanks for reading and also, if you have any experience of Sulfasalazine, please let me know by leaving a comment.