Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Update on Suzy

In Sunday's blog we mentioned that Suzy's pain level was pretty high. Monday she had her bi-monthly epidural injection for pain, this time from a doctor we had never seen before, Dr. Bruce Mullen, here in Carson City.

At her regular pain clinic, I am not allowed to observe the actual injection, but Dr. Mullen's routine is different. I didn't take any pictures, but I can tell you about it. Because X-rays are used during the process, I was given a protective covering and offered a front row seat. Suzy was lying on her stomach atop a pile of pillows (very awkward for her!), and the X-ray machine was on a swivel arm, alternately above her back or to the side.

After a lengthy interview and a study of her regular doctor's notes (that took place BEFORE she had to lie on the pillows!), Dr.Mullen and his assistant loaded up a syringe with a mix of numbing chemicals and injected them into the appropriate spot in Suzy's back. She felt just a tiny pin prick from that. Then they mixed three other syringe tubes full of different assortments of chemicals, and set them aside.

While I watched, Dr. Mullen took a 3-inch needle and carefully bent it into a gentle curve. While keeping an eye on the X-ray screen, he inserted that needle gently into Suzy's back and down into the spinal area. I watched Suzy's face, and she gave no indication of feeling that insertion.

One by one, the doctor selected the filled syringe tubes and carefully screwed them onto the needle in Suzy's back, and pumped the fluids into the spine. Suzy told me she really felt a lot of pressure from the third insertion, more than she usually feels with her regular doctor.

And then it was over. Suzy clambered back to her feet, picked up two prescriptions (one an antibiotic, the other to assist with nerve pain), and we left. On the way home, Suzy had a series of shallow coughs, which really hurt her lower back region. For the rest of the day, she was in a lot of pain (which is usual after the injections). After taking the prescription for nerve pain (which she had been cautioned would make her drowsy), she got the best night's sleep she has had in a long time, and today her pain level is significantly reduced. We look forward to several weeks of relief before the effect wears off and another epidural is called for.

Today, Tuesday, we went to Costco, got new tires for the Suzuki -- and a whole bunch of other stuff; after all, it WAS Costco!

Now to finish this post, I was going to select some lovely pictures from our past travel. However, all of a sudden I no longer have access to Blogger on my laptop, which is where our pictures are stored. I can get to Blogger on Suzy's laptop, where this final edition is being finished, but she doesn't have the pictures. RICK! What do I do now? I've tried all of Blogger's "can't remember your password" steps, and I still can't get to Blogger on my laptop.

For the rest of you, I hope Rick can suggest a solution, because Blogger can't seem to help. Maybe we'll learn something tomorrow in... Our Life on Wheels!


  1. I'm so sorry Suzy has to go through all that, but thank goodness for modern medicine! What a deal!

    Blogger has been acting up lately for me, too. I've been typing, saving, typing, saving, and then copy/pasting into Word, just in case. I don't trust it to not lose my post before it gets posted.

    I hope Suzy is pain free by now. Wish her well for me. :)

  2. Pictures or no pictures, I hope that Suzy will feel better and better until, as you say, time for the next epidural. Suay, you are a brave lady!

  3. Your stories and those of several other people who deal with chronic pain or disability show me it is possible to travel under many circumstances.

    Suzy is brave in my eyes.

  4. Wow, what an experience to watch the injections! I hope Suzy's pain level is greatly reduced now and she can enjoy life for a while.

    I think the Blogger access problem was a temporary one, as I had the same thing happen to me earlier this evening. Maybe Rick can help, too. I got on again after changing my method of access (RV park access to Droid PDAnet - our Datastorm can't shoot over the mountain here in Skagway). Don't know if that was a factor.

  5. Great news that Suzy's procedure went well, I hope she will someday find a cure for that pain. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna...

  6. Maybe Suzy didn't feel those needles but from the way you were describing it I sure was feeling the pain for her way up here in Canada. Yeeeeeouch!! So unfortunate to be in a situation like that where that kind of procedure is required every few weeks or so. Sure detracts from one's mobile quality of life. All the best to Suzy as she deals with those ongoing problems.

  7. Gee, that is quite a procedure. I hope that it helps for a long period of time!

  8. That's quite a procedure Suzy has to go through! Ugh!

  9. Blogger was having a lot of sign-in problems yesterday so maybe that was what you were experiencing. It's supposed to be fixed by now but let me know if it's still not working and we'll see what we can figure out.

    I hate needles and reading your blog just sent shivers down my spine. I sure hope I never need to get one of those. Hope Suzy is feeling a lot better today.

  10. We hope you're feeling better soon Suzy!!

  11. So sorry Suzy has to go through that...but glad it helps.


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