Thursday, July 2, 2020

Hard day, long day, good day

Monday yielded an excellent visit with pain management. The doc and I were on the same page from the beginning. He confirmed and reinforced my belief that physical activity and movement are vital to getting better, that fighting through pain is essential, and that the siren song of morpheus is an express train to hell.

The plan we came up with is to target some epidural steroid injections to the symptomatic area as opposed to the area that looks bad on imaging. Nerve/pain mapping shows that the L-5 area needs attention first, followed by L-3.

Long term studies have shown that this approach can be quite efficacious, with 80 percent of people achieving a 50 percent or more reduction in pain over 2-5 years. There are reasons to believe this will work for me, but there are also reasons it might not. The best course forward seems to be targeted injections. If that doesn't work -- and due to hypertrophic foramenal narrowing -- it might not -- then we'll look at surgery. But first things first.

So yesterday I had a 6 a.m. show time for the first injection. And 6 a.m. really meant 5:30 a.m. because of going-through-the-motions phantom menace screening. Which meant wheels in the well NLT 0430. Which meant up and at 'em at 0300 because my B/N had to do all that girl stuff.

So by the time the injection was done it had already been a long day. But it was just beginning.

When we returned we let the kids out of their cell and spent several hours checking cows and exploring. It was a breezy day and a touch on the cool side but there was endless nature stuff on display. It was a lovely and relaxing time. I was a bit wobbly on my pins, but that was expected. I pushed through it.

It's a Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris) baby. See it?


Cool stuff.

I didn't take enough pics and videos of our simple excursion. Too busy living the moment I guess.

In the evening we shot off a few firecrackers.

Smoke out!

Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.


  1. Shaun: WTF, over. I'm old, are you trying to give me a myocardial infarction? Not that I am nosy ( which means, of course, I am ), but who are those people, both the adult and the young ones? If I am reading this post correctly, I am very happy for you. If I am off base, I apologize.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    1. Well, I'm not trying to cause anyone to experience adverse effects...

      More will be revealed...

  2. P.S.: I can't watch the video just now because Kristin is on a business call and our internet connection does not support both of those activities at the same time. I shall watch just as soon as she's through.


  3. By the way, in all the other excitement, I forgot to write that I am happy to read that you seem to be getting a good handle of the pain you have been experiencing.


    1. That should be 'on ', not " of ".


    2. Making good progress on the pain. :-)

    3. On, of, I had a good idea what you meant.

      Thanks for stopping by commenting Paul!

  4. Well done, Shaun! Sounds like you and your Doctor have a good relationship.

    Fingers crossed for improvement on this course of treatment.

    And it sure looks like the rest of the day was quite pleasant.......pretty hot here today, but it was really gorgeous on those cool days we had!

    1. He's a good doc it seems. I feel fortunate. So far so good. 👍

      The cool days were awesome, and the hot ones are good too. It's dry heat!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting drjim!

  5. You're making progress on the medical front, that's good news.

    Weather here the past few days has been gorgeous. Warm but with a nice breeze off the water. Very pleasant.

    A cliff hanger! I love it and am breathless with anticipation!

    1. Breeze off the watah!

      Yeah, little cliff hanger. Life is for livin', clifs is for hangin'.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Sarge!

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks WSF. Good to feel progress!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  7. It's great when the Doc (in any variation of that job) and patient are on the same page and can actually communicate about what the problem is and options available and select a good path. You lucked out! And, so did he.
    It also relived some of my askance views of your energetic work habits.

    It is neat to see kids exploring things and experience the joy of learning. They got a good teacher, but hope you keep lessons age appropriate. Not sure if that means you gotta use short sentences and small words with the kidlets, or with us blog readers. I certainly have enjoyed learning a lot from you.
    John Blackshoe

    1. Some of these physicians are surprised at the depth and breadth of medical knowledge and experience we corpsmen accumulate. It can go either way; some don't like such things in their patients, some like it a lot. This guy seems to appreciate working with me as a patient and not having to try to manage an ongoing train wreck.

      A lot of cool lessons attended that baby bird, I'll try to describe them in a future post. The little ones (2 and 3) got a lot of miles out of "baby birdie, don't touch!"

      I can get way too didactic and come across like the worst of the C-School instructors I've had. Gotta work on that. Some of my video narrations are torture!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting John!

    2. Ooh... I remember C-school instructors. The good ones built on what knowledge was already there. Others thought they needed to reinvent the wheel, forgetting how much fleet sailors hated wasted time.

      My own experience with specialist physicians is they aren't necessarily anxious to do surgery because of numerous potential complications. It was a good 12 years from the time they diagnosed stenosis before surgery, a fusion of C3, C4 & C5, was performed twelve years ago. The only drawback is that one hand is slightly less functional than the other. I am blessed.

    3. C-School instructors obviously had a challenging job. I think a lot of times they chose to let the top tier fend for themselves while elevating the lower tier. Probably the best way to do it.

      I'm hoping for a somewhat speedier resolution to my nerve ishas. It won't be as quick as I want but hopefully we'll get through the process sooner rather than later.

      Sounds like you had a great resolution!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Skip!