Mom chauffeured me to the pain management center on Friday morning, where I was given some good news… The bulging disc at C5/6 really isn’t a big deal; apparently bulges of this type are relatively common and since mine is not impinging on anything within the spinal column (like nerves), I’ll be alright. And since I’ve lived with my not-completely-fused sacrum my entire life without incident, the Doc didn’t feel like he needed to start treatment for the lower back pain. Rather, I was advised to continue working with the chiropractor to ease L5 back into place and provide the relief I’m aching for.
Regarding my left shoulder, the Doc feels that since it has only gotten worse over the course of the past year, we should proceed with a pain management treatment to try to interrupt the muscle spasms and hopefully get me out of the pain cycle pit I’ve fallen into and haven’t been able to crawl out of. The Doc gave me another round of lidocaine injections into the top line of my shoulder (dang if he doesn’t hit the center of that first trigger point every time!) and in the muscles between my shoulder blade and spine.
I followed up my pain management appointment with a trip to the chiropractor. I was stretched and pushed on and manipulated and finally, given a combo treatment where the technician squirts gel on my butt and applies an electric current to the muscles. I love that part, because for ten minutes I get to lay down and just chill! 🙂
I’m still restricted — I’m now allowed to walk, but I still should avoid sitting down, and especially avoid squishy, soft surfaces like couches. I’m supposed to lay down to watch TV, and I had to drop out of my Pilates class. (Three cheers for an awesome instructor, who’s going to let me drop into the next round of sessions starting in March!) I’m also not allowed to go to the gym until cleared (sob! I never thought I’d miss working out so much), and I have to avoid bending at the waist and twisting.
With a follow-up appointment scheduled with the Doc in three weeks, I’m hoping that since my cold is all but gone I’ll be able to start moving again, even if it’s just walking. I’m also hoping to get another massage scheduled to work out these knotted up shoulder muscles, and then if I can be good to my lower back and get cleared to get back into the gym, I’ll regain my focus of taking care of my shoulder.
A final dose of good news? Dad says he’ll take a look at my car by the end of the week!!! If, by some miraculous twist of the wrench, he can stop my car from constantly pulling a little to the right all the time that will be a HUGE relief! (Driving my car is one of the two things that aggravates my shoulder. The other? Sitting at my computers at work and typing between the two of them.)
The only piece of news I can’t deliver yet is any information on the nodule on my thyroid, which was identified during an MRI that the Doc ordered for my shoulder. Last Tuesday I followed up the MRI with an ultrasound. Those results were sent to the Doc who informed me, basically, that the ultrasound confirmed what the MRI saw. *crickets chirping* The recommendation was for me to make an appointment with an ENT specialist and get the nodule aspirated, which I believe means that I’ll get a needle stuck into my neck to take a sample of the tissue that makes up the nodule. Yay.