Hi, friends. Here’s another update on the current situation:
Mom’s sciatica pain increased so much that I took her back to her doctor again, right before New Year’s eve. The doc kindly increased her narcotic pain medicine dose to every four hours (rather than every six). Then he prescribed a walker for her, since walking is so painful and she’s so unsteady on her feet.
She absolutely hated that she had to get a walker. To her, it means “frail old lady.” Her doctor assured her that the walker was simply a tool to aid her mobility until her sciatica could be treated and relieved. It’s temporary, he said.
So we got the walker. It’s pretty darn nice—it has wheels, handbreaks and a seat. And to my delight, once she started using it, Mom’s attitude toward the walker did a 180. It makes moving much less painful for her, and she feels a lot more secure on her feet. (I’m relieved, too. I was so worried that she’d fall, and that I’d be unable to catch her in time or even injure her more trying to).
She gets exhausted very quickly when she’s up, so she appreciates the seat on the walker. She sits down at the sink to brush her teeth, fix her hair and put on makeup, all of which make her feel better. That walker has made a really big difference in her outlook.
Finally, it was time for Mom to see the pain specialist. He did an epidural lumbar injection of steroids in her low back yesterday, hoping to relieve her sciatica. As of this morning, nothing has changed—she’s still in great pain—but he warned us that it could take a few days before it takes effect. So we’re being patient and hopeful.
In the event that the injection doesn’t work, he said we should call him. And if she does experience improvement, but not a complete eradication of pain, then he’ll do another injection in two weeks.
And my bursitis hips?
Well, the lack of a parking space at the VA hospital nixed my opportunity to, once again, try steroid injections. Yep, you read that right: the lack of a parking space. I went to my appointment on Monday, only to find every parking lot surrounding the VA hospital facility completely full. There was no place to park, period, and there were so many people cruising the lots looking for spaces that the moment one opened, it was taken.
I ended up parking illegally in front of the physical therapy clinic, went inside and told them what was going on. I was already 20 minutes late at that point, so I didn’t have much hope that they’d still see me. They wouldn’t, and I understood why. Instead, they rescheduled my appointment for Jan. 24.
I was devastated about missing my appointment for such a stupid reason, but I’m over it. I’ve toughed it out this long, so I guess I can tough out another three weeks or so with seriously achy hips. And I have to admit that since the first round of steroid injections didn’t work, I don’t have a lot of faith in this second round. Still, it seems to be the only real possibility for relief.
On the bright side, the weather is simply gorgeous. We have bright sunshine, clear blue skies, and it’s snappy cool but not cold. I’m planning to take a short walk in a while, while Mom naps. The walk has to be short; I can’t walk or stand for long before my hips start killing me. But I really need the fresh air and a change of scenery.
I hope this post finds all of you feeling well and enjoying this first week of the New Year. While it has started out a bit grim for me, I have a feeling that 2011 will be a better year than 2010 was. Yep, I’m an optimist. I can’t help myself.