my docs are on my nerves!

Literally!  I got a nerve block on Tuesday.  Hehe, wasn’t that a funny title?  I’m so witty.

we pulled up to TAMC and saw a rainbow, i thought for sure that was a good sign

Anyways.  Yeah, I got a Stellate Ganglion Nerve Block placed on Tuesday morning.  And the results are in:  they missed, it didn’t work, mah face still hurts.  Total bummer, I know! But, at least nothing went wrong, and I haven’t suffered any dreadful side effects.  So, it could have gone better, and it could have gone worse.  It’s a draw, and I’ll take that over things getting worse, any day!

The plan was to go into my neck and inject some meds to help cool off the nerve area that we suspect of causing my chronic facial pain.

quick background info:  since january of 2011, i’ve been suffering what is being Dx’ed as “atypical facial pain casue by peripheral neuralgia.”  they at first thought that i had “trigeminal neuralgia,”  but that was ruled out.  my docs believe that an acute exacerbation of the blood disease i have (porphyria) caused this nerve issue to happen – the blood disease, when exacerbated, can cause all kinds of nerve pain and damage.  doctors have been trying to find the source and treat my nerve pain all year long, and so far we’ve only come up with band-aids.  the nerve block this week was my first attempt at using a physical intervention directly into the area like that.  i’ve also done rounds and rounds of trigger point injections to try and treat the area in a referred way, as well as taking oodles of meds.


The plan was really solid, and I had been so very hopeful.  I had so many people rooting for me and my doctor, praying for us and the procedure.

The procedure itself was rather unpleasant.  It hurt a little more than I had been expecting, and just because of old experiences back when I had cancer, I don’t appreciate people rooting around in my neck with long needles (when I had cancer, I had this core biopsy of a lymph node in my neck go terribly awry, ugh).   So yeah, not the most pleasant way to spend a Wednesday morning, but it was manageable.

I did get about ten minutes of sweet relief, during which I cried happy tears and referred to my face as “blissfully painless.”  And then… IT CAME BACK.  The pain started in my ear, again, and just spread out.

that's a little snap shot of my procedure the doc took for me!

right afterwards, yeah i don't look thrilled

Don’t worry though!  We have more plans.  There are different kind of nerve blocks to try, and we can repeat this very one too.  There’s a chance the doctor missed the location by just a smidge.  Or maybe, the inflammation/aggravation is so intense, it’s going to take a LOT of blocks to get in there and hose out this fire.  I’m not sure.

hey! that's not a friendship bracelet!

Bad news: My face still hurts!

Good news: there are more things to try, hopefully a solution will be found and I’m still optimistic!

here's a photo of duggs taking care me after the procedure... oh wait. he's snoozing and the pooch is taking care of me! what a nice pooch.

here i am, one day afterwards and i can't get that permanent marker off! doh!

For the past couple days my neck has been kinda stiff and tender, especially where they poked me.  I woke up today feeling pretty much back to usual though, which is nice.

Yes, it’s back to the drawing board.  But I’m confident we’ll find something that will work soon.  It’s all a process of trial and error, and I’m okay with that.  Thanks for all the well wishes and support, I’ll post as things play out and as I find out more info myself!