That’s the good part.
Whatever infection I had seems like it’s gone, but the tree pollen counts around here have been astronomical. That means post-nasal drip, and I assume that means drainage down into my lungs, hence all of the coughing. It’s not a continuous cough, but when an attack hits, it hits hard and deep. The only thing that comes close to stopping the coughing is turning myself into an antihistamine zombie. To add to the fun, my primary antihistamine is going Over The Counter (OTC) at a price higher than what I’m paying for the prescription version.
I have an appointment with my primary care doctor on Monday to discuss the above.
More fun is scheduled for Thursday. I’m going to be in the hospital for what my spine doctor calls a “diagnostic procedure.” It’s performed outpatient, based on the MRI which was finally done. They’re going to knock me out, roll me over, and inject blocking drugs into the nerves coming out of both sides of the four vertebrae just above the sacrum. That’s eight injections, folks. I’m glad they’ll be knocking me out. Anyway, once I’m home, I’m supposed to try doing some of the household chores that I can’t do now due to acute pain.
Let’s study that phrase for a moment. Acute pain. Not my words, but the spine doctor’s. He came to that diagnosis by sticking his fingers into the four problem nerve exit areas along my lumbar spine. I almost flew off the table when he did that. Seriously, if he would have asked me my name after doing that exam, I wouldn’t have been able to tell him. It hurt that much. I’ll agree that his suggestion of eight nerve block shots is warranted.
Now, if I’m able to perform household tasks over the following couple of days, I’m supposed to take notice of how much relief the shots have given me. If I don’t get sufficient relief, the doctor will repeat the procedure on the nerves coming out of the sacrum. However, if I do get sufficient relief, he’ll perform a second procedure on the original eight nerves. I didn’t catch the exact name of it, but if I understood correctly, he’ll cauterize the eight nerves. That’s supposed to give me anywhere from 6 to 18 months of relief. I shudder at the sound of the word “cauterize,” but if true relief comes with it, I’ll take it.
My spine doctor wants me to begin a regimen of a dozen physical therapy appointments, beginning a few days after the diagnostic procedure. Enter problem number three.
I’m scheduled for an appointment with an electrophysiologist on April 7th. That’s just over a week after the diagnostic spine procedure. The electrophysiologist is supposed to hook me up to a long-term cardiac monitor (something in the three week range) so that he can catch issues I’m having with irregular heartbeats, called PVCs. I’ve dealt with PVCs for years, but they’ve been getting worse lately.
The problem I have is with the combination of the monitor and the stress that the physical therapy will put on my heart. I’m going to have to call the electrophysiologist on Monday and ask about that little detail. That’s after I’m through with the appointment with my primary care doctor for my incessant coughing.
You can see why I haven’t had a spare moment to write lately. It’s frustrating as all get-out, as we Native Texans say. One day it will all calm down. I hope.
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