Friday, June 11, 2010

Exiting the fog (again)

Well, I'm starting to feel a wee bit better (emphasis on "wee" please).
Last night was the second night on which I resorted to taking that damned sleep aid.
Yesterday was a lost day because the sleep aid hadn't done much for me the night before.
And if I don't sleep it off, I end up just dragging bottom all day -- which is precisely what I did.
However, I know from past experience that with continued use, I will get some benefit from using the sleep aid.
So, last night I took it again.  As I will do tonight and tomorrow night.
But having taken it didn't prevent me from waking repeatedly -- right on cue, every two, two and a half hours all night long.  At the 2:00am wake-up, I even toyed with staying up for a while.  Normally, when I've taken the sleep aid, I'm really groggy and only want to go right back to sleep, but this time it doesn't seem to be having that effect on me (my body needs more of it for the same effect?).
I didn't stay up though and woke an hour and a quarter later -- I had to roll over again!  The pain in my hips is becoming excruciating.
Then I managed to go back to sleep until just before 6:00am.
While I feel slightly more rested than I did yesterday, I'm still not "recovered" -- but at least I'm not dragging bottom today.
I'm scheduled to go for a cortisone injection in my left hip joint next Friday (June 18th).  My doctor seems to think that I should get considerable relief from this attempt.  It's being done with imaging at the hospital.  The MRI that was done back in February indicated that my left hip joint could benefit from this approach, so we'll try it.
Many years ago, after two failed attempts by my doctor to give me injections in the bursa of my right hip, we tried injection with imaging, in the bursa (because my right hip's problem was/is bursitis).  It didn't work!
Last year, the rheumatologist gave me an injection in the bursa of each hip (at that time, the diagnosis for both hips was bursitis).  The injections didn't work!
Now, we'll try injection with imaging in the left hip, but in the hip joint (because while I do have bursitis in my left hip, there is now diagnostic evidence of arthritis in that joint -- hence, go for the joint).  If it works, I should at least be able to sleep on my left side again, and that should help me get some restful sleep.  If it works.
When I reminded my doctor that cortisone injections have not worked for me in the past, he commented that we've always injected the bursa in the past.  This time we're going for the joint.  I hope he's right.
I do know that the one and only time I had to take a cortisone injection directly in a joint (my wrist), it did work.  Perhaps this will too.
(As an aside, it's interesting that cortisone has worked when injected into my wrist joint, and it is effective to control my allergies, but it clearly does not work when injected into the bursa.  Curious that!)
The other day, my dentist inquired about my hips and how we're progressing with my treatment.  When I told him of the appointment for this cortisone shot, he winced at the thought, saying that he's always heard that they are really painful (they are).
As I recall my experience with the wrist injection, I enjoyed immediate absolute relief after getting the shot because the pain had been so disabling (and I've never had a recurrence of the problem).
And as I explained to my dentist, while the shot itself might be painful to endure (it is, but the area is frozen), the pain of getting the shot is nothing compared to the pain I endure every day, with every step I take.
So if I get relief from the shot,  it's worth it!  And if I come out of it being able to sleep at night, it's even more than worth it.
What's the saying?  Short term pain, for long term gain.

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