2 Steps Forward, 1 Very Painful Step Back

Today I had 2 injections into the nerve next to my L3 and L4 vertebrae. My leg still hurts.

About a month and a half ago I was walking in my socket and all of a sudden felt like someone had stabbed me in the front of my leg. It was all I could do to stop from yelling and hobble into my seat at the restaurant. I was very ginger on it going home and took it off as soon as I could. I didn’t wear it for the remainder of the weekend, thinking some time out of the socket (prosthesis) would make it better.

Monday comes around. I wake up, get ready for work and put on my leg. I walk around a bit to test it out and everything is fine. I pick up some mail I want to sort through and shift my weight over onto my prosthesis and it happens again, but much worse this time. It feels like there is a knife lodged in my leg. I yell and fall back onto my bed and rip off the prosthesis, but the pain doesn’t stop. I fight through it and rip off the liner, and the pain lessens somewhat. I lay on the bed shaking for about 10 minutes before I can manage to get up and get to the bathroom to grab some of the pain pills I have left over.┬áIt took about a week before I was comfortable moving around again.

We have figured out that my nerves are trying to grow back. The problem is, there is nowhere for them to grow! So now they just start to grow around themselves and end up making a ball of nerves that send out severe pain signals with the slightest bit of pressure. When I contract the muscle in that leg, it squeezes those nerve bundles and makes me want to yell.

Needless to say, I have been using crutches for over a month now and my list has unfortunately been put on hold.

While it is far from ideal, things are still going well. I am very fortunate to have Ashley who helps me out more than I could ever explain. When you are on crutches, your hands are constantly occupied, so doing little things like grocery shopping, or even swiffering the floor is impossible, unless you do it hopping. I am an expert hopper, but it is pretty exhausting for long stretches.

Over Thanksgiving one of my crutches broke, so I hopped everywhere for 2 full days. Hopping down the pier and onto the boat was the longest distance I tried, but it is always worth it to get out on the water and fish!

We had an incredible Thanksgiving and had a lot of family around which was very fun. It was great to have a week up there and the weather could not have been more amazing! The picture above is of the sunset we had on Saturday night after Thanksgiving. I took it from our deck, with my iPhone. Incredible!

But back to the leg… I have been taking a lot of pills to try and stop the nerve pain, but they aren’t working. I also started using a patch a neurologist gave me which doesn’t even come close to touching the pain. Today I went in to see a pain specialist. He said that we could try to set up a time in the next couple of days that I could come back and have this procedure done where they inject numbing medication and steroids directly into the nerve at my L3 and L4 vertebrae. It is supposed to block the pain signals being sent from the end of my right leg. He said I couldn’t do it today because you can’t eat for 6 hours prior to the procedure. Fortunately I hadn’t had breakfast, so I talked them into going ahead and doing it right then and there!

They numb your back deeper and deeper until they can get the final needles for the injections next to your vertebrae, where the nerve is. It was kind of uncomfortable when the needle scrapes across your bone, but fortunately you can watch the whole thing on the little screen right in front of you! It was actually pretty cool. You can literally see the needle advancing next to your spine. I almost asked the tech to go grab my cell phone so I could take a picture, but decided that might be a bit much while I was sitting there with two needles stuck into my nerve!

Everything went very smoothly, but the “numbing medicine” they gave me didn’t do a thing. Hopefully the steroids will do their job when they kick in in a few days. I have an appointment for another injection next Friday, before I go to Dalls for Christmas. I really hope I can have this pain under control and get back on my prosthesis by then!

I’m going to be more diligent about keeping up my blog. Not much has been happening lately because I have been laid up with this pain. I just work a lot and try not to move much when I get home. I definitely find myself thinking about where we were last year. So much has happened in the past year, it is hard to believe!

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving and finds themselves as blessed as I have been with such incredible family and friends!

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3 Responses to 2 Steps Forward, 1 Very Painful Step Back

  1. Peggy Redfern says:

    I sure hope the steroids kick in. Glad to hear y’all had a good Thanksgiving.
    Sounds like you’re still grateful, especially for Ashley. That’s wonderful.

    It’s nice to read a new post and hear how you’re doing. I’ll be sending prayers your way!

  2. Bob and Paula Parris says:

    Rob, so sorry to hear about your pain. We hope that the doctors will be able to find a way to give you some relief soon. We’ll continue to pray for you!

  3. Chris Casteel says:

    I feel for you. Hopefully this stretch of rough road will pass soon. Hang in there.

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