Saturday, October 3, 2009

Oh My Aching Back!

Hey there, everybody, this is Suzy! Jerry let me have a turn at this blog today. I guess it’s because I have a story to tell.

As some of you know and maybe others have guessed, I have a very limiting physical disability that makes it difficult for me to walk very far. That’s why you’ll often see me riding Big Red, my scooter. In this picture we’re visiting Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park in Arkansas.


Very quickly, I have polymyalgia rheumatica, which basically means I hurt everywhere, According to the doctors, that will go away by itself, maybe, and it may take from months to years for that to happen. I also have some spinal things, so that the vertebrae that should line up – don’t. Also. there is spinal stenosis. a genetic condition that narrows the nerve canal, causing pressure.

To try to remedy this situation, instead of just giving me more pain pills, our new doctor in Tucson has been sending me for every kind of test and evaluation, adjusting the various meds I’m taking, and making some progress. She also prescribed physical therapy. And that’s helping some.

But it was one of the therapists who suggested the most recent treatment, an epidural shot given by a pain specialist. Of course, I sought my doctor’s advice; she agreed and referred me to a pain center in Tucson.

So, to start off our two week road trip to the east, Jerry drove me west to Tucson Friday morning. I had to be there before 9:00am, so we had to get up before breakfast! All went well. The doctor, an anesthesiologist, showed us a model of the spine and pointed out the areas where I have trouble, then explained the procedure. Then he kicked Jerry out of the room, had me lay face down on a table, and went to work.

The only painful part of the procedure was the initial injection of a numbing agent before the actual shot. I lay there waiting for things to continue. The doctor said “We’re done!” and I said  “What? I thought you were just getting started!”

After about 10 minutes of recovery in a nice reclining chair, and a glass of ice water, a nurse ushered me out and delivered me to Jerry in the waiting room! Now – off to New Mexico, and Jerry can tell you that story later.

Incidentally, this morning my back and leg pains are quite a bit relieved. The shot is supposed to take full effect after about three days, so we are greatly encouraged!

Oh, we have to tell you this. Our friend Al the Stargeezer sent us an email referring to his blog about the exact place in New Mexico we will be visiting a week.from now. Wow, what a place! You can see his blog HERE.. As soon as he read Al’s blog, Jerry grabbed the New Mexico map and started checking our route.


Now we are ready to continue along … Our Life on Wheels!


  1. Glad to hear the injections helped!!! My husband also has
    "spinal stenosis. a genetic condition that narrows the nerve canal, causing pressure". Earlier this year he had some surgery where they went in and did some scraping to open up where really narrow..which relieved him quite a bit. Then the injections and he is doing physical therapy. But he says there is MUCH improvement. Take care and travel! *Tricia*

  2. Holy Cow, Suzy! I hope this new treatment will bring you long lasting relief from so much pain. Now you and Jerry can get out there and enjoy New Mexico. I can't wait to read your blog and see the photos to be posted soon. Take care! Travel safe!

  3. Hope your pain management is very effective.

    Congratulations on a good blog.Jerry needs to share these blog messages and have you write too.

    Darlene Miller

  4. I hope that the pain therapy works well for you. Congratulations on a well written blog. Jerry needs to share writing blogs with you.

    Darlene Miller

  5. Great to hear from the 'better-half' Suzy!! I'm glad you are feeling a bit better and I sure hope this new treatment gives you more mobility and a whole lot less pain and discomfort. Paulette also suffers from a bad back but as long as she does a daily workout it seems to stay under control. I hope you and Jerry enjoy your holiday in New Mexico and find a few of those ghost towns Al's always talking about.

  6. Hope that treatment helps you out. Sounds like a complicated problem you have with your spine. My Aunt in Florida has some similar problems but not nearly as severe as yours. You are fortunate to have that scooter. You should get Jerry to paint some racing stripes on it for you & how long did it take him to realize he had his New Mexico map upside down..........:))

  7. Great to see you blogging, Suzy! Thanks for the full description of your condition. I really hope the treatment takes full effect soon and that you get to enjoy your time on the road.

  8. Feel free to write more blogs, Mom! I'm glad your procedure went well and hope to hear more good news after the epidural really starts working its magic.


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