As mentioned previously, I'm now in physical therapy. The best part of it is, after my fifteen minutes of exercises that would bore and insult the strength of a five-year-old, but left me needing a shot of Demerol on Wednesday, I get to lay down on a comfy table with a comfy pillow under my head and have four electrodes placed on my person.
Four of these were used Wednesday to form a rough square in the middle of my back on Wednesday, then the juice was gradually turned up, click by click. (I couldn't hear clicks, but knew the system must be a click-dial or a push-button by the way the intensity stepped up.)
"Let me know when you begin to feel it."
In a few seconds my muscles began to... hum beneath the electrodes -- contracting and releasing with increasing frequency as the dial or whatever was turned up.
"Yeah, there it is. That's funny."
"OK. We want to get to the point where the muscles are almost going to spasm, but not quite."
So the dial went up for a while. The sensation was pretty cool... Like a massage from an android with ten thousand fingers, each 10,000th of an inch in diameter.
When we found the right point, a cooling blanket (I chose cold over hot) was laid over my entire back and I was left to chillax. (Yep. Wrote "chillax." There's no one here to reign in my obnoxiousness.) Every five minutes Vincent van Gogh (not his real name) came in to turn up the stim a little, since I could take more as I adjusted to the cold.
So Thursday I was completely wrecked from my toddler's workout. Absolutely every part of my body hurt and hurt bad bad bad bad badly.
Well, maybe there really are no absolutes... Because the ten-inch square the e-stim had worked it's magic on was pain-free.
Today I woke with a 12/10 migraine and my backs' trigger points ' keeping the migraine company at such great heights.
But, after what is for me fifteen minutes of agony, next-day-delivery, I received e-stim treatment on my upper and lower back.
I cautiously say that my back pain could be reduced to a satisfying degree tomorrow. And it's strange to say that I look forward to getting up in the morning.
Which is sad.
Which is to say, it's depressing that I'm so obviously depressed.
...Pushing right along, my physical therapist Mary Cassatt says that in a month or so, when it is proven to my insurance provider (thievery corporation) that the e-stim is a great benefit to me, I will be able to get a unit to use at home. I will be one step closer to being free from doctors' whims.
I no longer will need trigger point injections. E-stim will supplant them -- relaxing the muscles in the same way, and able to do so just as well and everywhere injections can be given, including the TMJ, which I was sure to ask about today.
Then all I will need is a doctor to write periodic scripts for COAT (chronic opioid analgesic therapy). (I can take care of physical therapy at a gym.)
And that's it. That's all there is to it. I live happily ever after.
The hard part is now: being so close.
[Pain, overall: 7/10.
And my god did I pack in a lot of references into this post...]
08 February, 2008