Today I saw a pain management specialist. My LLMD recommended him if I felt I needed something stronger than the Vicodin that had originally been prescribed. I have two categories of pain. The first is this horrible upper back pain that I've had for well over ten years. It's gotten a lot worse since I've been sick. It's with me every minute, every hour, every day.
The second kind of pain is this shooting/hot/cold/electric pain in my bones and sometimes joints. This comes and goes, and is most likely directly the result of Lyme and/or herxing from the antibiotics.
The pain management doctor prescribed methadone. I got the fanciest prescription slip I've ever seen (so many security features!), and I had to sign a long document promising that I wasn't going to sell my drugs on the street or use them more frequently than prescribed, etc. Basically, be good.
I've dropped off the script at Walgreens, and I can't wait to pick it up tonight. At this point, the Vicodin dulls the pain a little, but it never goes away (the back pain, that is; the other pain comes and goes). So I'm happy to stop the Vicodin and see how the other drug treats me. The idea of a pain-free night makes me swoon. I am also supposed to continue with the gabapentin.
But I haven't gotten to the most exciting part of the appointment. I've seen numerous doctors over the last dozen or so years for the upper back pain. Responses have varied from "it's probably an ergonomic issue--change your work space" (didn't help) to "try physical therapy" (didn't help) to just nothing more than a shrug. I understand that it's natural to doubt a 21-year-old complaining of intense back pain, but still. Really.
Anyway, the doctor today pressed on a spot on my neck and asked if I could feel the sensation in my shoulder blade area. Why, yes, I could. He said that I probably had a pinched nerve in my spinal column, and if so, it could probably be fixed with minimally invasive surgery.
I nearly fell out of my chair. Fixed? You mean this could just go away?!
Obviously, I'll want to look into the issue and so my research. And then I'd need an MRI to determine if there really is a pinched nerve there.And then I'd need to choose a doctor for surgery and so forth. So I'm not acting on anything immediately, but it's just so exciting that there might be a clear and discernable cause for the problem.