Just Getting Started, It Seems

Okay, so I went to my physician and explained my aches and pains.  He thought it sounded like sciatica and gave me a shot in the spot I identified as most painful.  That was on a Monday.  For the next couple days I thought the “shot” was the panacea for all that ailed me.  Then on Thursday, some tell-tale sensations started me thinking, “Maybe not”.  By Friday, I was taking Tramadol again for pain; The weekend was back to “horrible as usual”!  By Sunday evening I was ready to try anything.  After consulting my “most trusted authority”, I began thinking seriously about inflammation as the most likely cause of the pain.  I had reached the point I was willing to do almost anything to ease the pain even at the risk of serious side effects.

Sunday evening I took four 200mg ibuprofen tablets (800mg).  On Monday I began a regimen of taking three 200mg ibuprofen tablets, three times a day.  By Monday afternoon I was pain-free and remained that way until Friday when I cut back to one tablet three times a day; The pain began to return until I was convinced it was going to take higher doses than that.  I returned to taking three at a time and the pain left again.  I have not needed to supplement the ibuprofen with Tramadol.

I know this is risky and I don’t plan on doing this long-term.  Of course, I admit that long-term may be relative, but I am considering safer and permanent solutions as well.  I’m trying to find out how to proceed to identify the source of the inflammation and pursue a course that brings healing at that point.  I don’t have a lot of confidence in allowing my personal physician to direct this pursuit but I don’t know what sort of physician I should seek out, first.

Pain

I’m no expert on pain.  I don’t have any information or answers on what to do to get rid of pain; I wish I did.  I have pain:  physical pain.  Mine is caused my arthritis.  It keeps me from doing a lot of the things I want to do most.  It steals the joy away when I’m doing the things I can.  It saps my energy until I’m tired and don’t feel like doing much, at all.  It prevents any restful sleep at night and causes me to wish for the sounding alarm on the clock.  Medication helps, sometimes:  meloxicam, Tramadol, acetaminophen, ibuprofen.  Topical pain relief creams and moist heat give relief, at times.  Even Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) has a place in my self-therapy.  But when the sciatic nerve on my left side erupts pain courses across past my artificial hip, runs down my leg and explodes into my arthritis destroyed left knee.  It quickly becomes crippling agony.  What to do?  What to do?

I have no answers.  I’ve already had a total replacement of my right knee and left hip.  I anticipate future replacements of my left knee and left shoulder.  Will replacements stop there?  I don’t know.  And then, what do I do about the sciatic nerve?  Tomorrow, after a regular monthly visit to my chiropractor, I have a “not regular” appointment with my physician to discuss options.  I’m hoping there are some.

I know there are many out there who have it much worse than I and their pain is greater.  Some will think I’m whining.  Perhaps some will understand.  My hope is that writing about it will help me feel better.  That’s all!