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Highs and lows, coupled with minor disturbances

July?  Really.  I apologize for being tardy with posting.  It’s not that I don’t have anything to share but most of my time has been taken up with the launch of my re-worked bi-lingual book, Fly Catcher Boy, now available as an iBook. If you want to catch up on that part of my life,  go to www.rebeccakool.com.

Life continues much the same.  Self-care takes up a good part of my day.  By that I don’t mean hair and make-up!  I mean morning stretching, lying on back foams, swimming 3x week, and a myriad of other ablutions that I know you aren’t interested in reading about.  Truly.  You wouldn’t be interested.

However, a major shift has occurred.  After almost a year on the wait list, I was finally called for my first appointment with a new, state-of-the-art Pain Clinic about 30 minutes from my door.  After an initial intake and diagnosis (I have facet arthropofy which in English means arthritis of the facet joints in the spine).  The arthritis is coupled with  degeneration of discs which has resulted in a “compressed” Rebecca.  I spent most all my life being much too tall for my liking.  I have now lost height;  gone from 6′ to  5’9 1/2 “. Imagine that!  If I wanted to I could now wear those new stilettos confident that I wouldn’t scare anyone away.  Fortunately, I’m afraid of falling and my bunion and hammertoe have rejected anything but open toe shoes.  Oh, how life has changed.

So, what to do with facet arthritis?  Tough it out?  Take drugs?  Luckily the doctor said, “we have an effective, relatively safe” treatment.  I perked up.  “We inject an epidural steroid into the area.  If it works, you will know within two days.  If not, we can go in again to a different area and see if that makes a difference.”

I replied thoughtfully, “I don’t like the word ‘steroid’.  Do you have any words to calm my fear?”

He did have a few.  I thought about them for two weeks and returned with a “yes”.  It seemed the only logical route to dealing with daily pain.  Days later I had the epidural.  I did feel better within two days.  In fact on day 3/4 I felt much better but days 5,6,7,8,9,10  put me back to where I was.  It didn’t work.  Disappointment is an understatement.  I held high hopes, but all was not lost.

I’ve just completed two more procedures, back-to-back, injecting right into the facet joints.  The first time was a “test” to find out the most painful spots.  This wasn’t fun.  But it seemed to work.  I wasn’t pain-free but felt encouraged enough to continue with for a second visit.  The same process produced a good result.  It’s now been four days and I can tell you that I think we have success!  Again, not pain-free but compared to a 7/10 I’m now 2/10 which is a significant reduction.

I have a follow-up on July 11th and we’ll assess if any further procedures are needed. In the meantime, I’m enjoying more movement, a brighter disposition, and positive thoughts on being able to survive a 3-hour plane ride in early August.

Stay tuned.

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