Thanks to all of you who sent e-mails, text messages, and made Facebook comments about the RF nerve ablation on my back yesterday.
We had to be at Park Place Surgical Center in Maitland, Florida, at 2 p.m. We always try to arrive early for an appointment, especially to a place we haven’t been to before, and we got there at 1:30. Due to restrictions in place for COVID-19, I was told to call when we arrived, and then they would call me back when it was time for me to come inside.
It was a hot day, in the low 90s, and we sat outside in the Pacifica with the air conditioning on until they called me at 2:15. I was told that I could come into the waiting room, but Terry would not be able to, which we knew already. Terry assured me she would be fine, she had her Kindle to read and had brought some knitting with her.
Putting on my mask, I went inside, where there were three other patients in the waiting room, all sitting in chairs well apart from each other that were marked for use, as opposed to others that were covered. They took my temperature, gave me some paperwork to sign, and then told me to wait. So I waited, and waited, and waited some more. Finally, at 3:30, they took me back to begin prepping me for the procedure.
When they called a few days ago to confirm the appointment, they told me that I could have my choice of a local anesthetic or light sedation. I said either was okay with me, so they said they would leave it up to the doctor. As it turned out, he decided to go with sedation, so they inserted an IV into a vein in my hand.
Then the doctor and I talked for a while. He told me that based on the MRIs and CAT scans that he has of my back, that while ablation should help, there is so much damage back there that it is not an end-all. He warned me that I will still have pain from other areas in my back, although hopefully not as severe as I have been experiencing.
Then the doctor asked if he could say a prayer, which he does before every procedure, and they took me back to the operating room. I was told to lie facedown on the table, and he gave me a couple of local numbing shots, saying I needed to be awake while they placed the probes so they could tell when they were in the right place. That wasn’t the most pleasant experience I have ever felt, but I’ve had worse.
Once he had everything in place, and I could feel the tingling from the slight electrical impulse they used to test things, he said, “okay, we’ll start in thirty seconds.” I woke up twenty minutes later when the procedure was done.
The doctor wound up burning three different nerve endings, at the L4, L5, and S-1 vertebrates in my lower back. Dr. Creamer said that it could take anywhere from three days to three weeks before I started feeling any noticeable difference and that the results could last anywhere from a couple of months to over a year, and sometimes longer.
By the time they were done with me and I was back outside, it was 4:30 and we headed home. As I write this, a little after midnight, there is some stiffness and tenderness at the site where they made the three injections, but I have noticed already that my pain level seems to be much less. I can get up or sit down in a chair without hurting, and I can go up the three stairs from one level of our house to the other and back down without wincing and crying out in pain as I have done for so long. If it doesn’t get any better than this, I will still consider it a success.
Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an autographed copy of Big Lake Blizzard, the fourth book in my Big Lake series. This copy has the original cover before I commissioned Elizabeth Mackey to design all of my book covers. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – After watching how some people wear their masks, I understand how contraception fails.