So It’s Been a While

I know. I’ve been MIA for nearly two years unless you’re connected with me on Facebook or Instagram. But hey, I’m still alive.

What’s happened since we last spoke, you ask?

  • Hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy in June 2019 for the fist sized tumor on my ute. The surgeon also confirmed that I have endometriosis to go along with that PCOS. Post surgical complications included a giant hematoma without internal bleeding, and a blood clot in my hand from the IV site. The highlight would have to be the doctor sternly telling me at one of my followups: nothing in your vagina for ten weeks or your guts will fall out.
  • When I started having trouble with pills getting stuck in my throat I saw my horrible endocrinologist again. My thyroid was deviating my esophagus. I got a thyroid ultrasound, and that led to a fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy. I was fully awake, I just got some anesthetic injected into my throat—in the wrong place, so I completely felt the first few needles shoved into my thyroid until I got some more anesthetic. They referred me to my third oncologist who removed the left lobe of my thyroid in January 2020. That tumor was benign.
  • My primary care doctor tried treating the post thoracotomy pain I have, then my main onco tried, then he referred me to pain management. When I first saw them in November 2019 I’d already tried every common chronic pain drug except Lyrica, which insurance didn’t want to cover. I agreed to a neurostimulator trial and nerve block. The first nerve block didn’t help, but it didn’t hurt either. The trial stim was basically a tens unit where the leads were inserted into my spine and taped securely. The battery and control pack was on a belt I wore constantly for six days (no showers). I had a remote to change settings at the direction of my assigned company rep, who I was in touch with multiple times a day, every day. On day five we found a setting that took my normal pain level of 7-8 down to 0-1. Oh my god, it was amazing. Then they pulled it out and it hurt again.
  • Also in January 2020, I had surgery for a permanent neurostimulator. This one was the leads in my spine again, but sewn in “real good”, and then the wires tunneled under the flesh of my back to the pocket they made in my right hip, where they put the battery pack. I got a charger pad to put on the skin over the battery pack and a much sleeker remote. Unfortunately, I’m guessing something was not entirely sterile in the OR, because I had an infection in the upper site less than two days post op, before I’d even taken off the bandages. I ended up in the hospital for three days on IV antibiotics and pain meds. It hurt pretty dang bad. The hospital didn’t have any PCA pumps, so I got several injections of a super fancy anesthetic directly in and around my surgical wound. It was much better after that. Then we turned the stim on. We were still trying to find a good setting at my next X-ray when—guess what. The leads were no longer in place. Less than six weeks after surgery, they were several inches lower than they were placed. Since it was too low to help anymore, we turned it off and I forgot about it until…
  • The battery back started hurting like fire ants inside my body, so on June 3rd pain management yanked it all out. Since then I’ve had several nerve blocks in different spots that have not helped but actually hindered. I go back to pain management Friday to discuss one last nerve block before possibly trying another neurostimulator.

But I really need to talk that through before committing, so here we are, back at the blog like cancer never happened.

What’s new with you?


8 Comments on “So It’s Been a While”

  1. Ugh, what a horror story, and it sounds like it’s not over yet. While we here on WP can’t do anything to take your pain away, we can be here to listen and hopefully offer something to think of other than the pain. Hugs, April. Good to see you back here.

  2. abbiosbiston says:

    It’s lovely to have you back but I am so sorry to hear you have been through so much healthwise. Sending you so much love.

  3. tnkerr says:

    I don’t know how I missed this too now. All the best April.

  4. LRose says:

    Me as well! No kidding, just last week I was rearranging my bookshelf when I came upon the little bit of wood you burned “LRose” and a little rocket. I love that thing!

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