Thursday, March 5, 2009

Neck Update - Good News!



Well the Radiofrequency procedure was quite successful. I'm not 100% pain free as the procedure was on the lower cervical vertebrae and I'm still experiencing pain and headaches associated with the upper cervical vertebrae. However, the pain relief is enough that I've been able to get back on the bike and start doing other activities like weight lifting at the gym! Yay! Of course I'm still quite depressed about all the weight I gained while doing nothing for the past year and a half and it will be a while before I can whittle that away, but getting active again is a great first step.

The doctor wants to do the same procedure on my upper cervical vertebrae to relieve all of my pain. Unfortunately, my stupid insurance denied the procedure! I submitted an appeal and I'm waiting to hear back about that - my fingers are crossed!

Unfortunately, these procedures really are just bandaids to mask the pain. But if they allow me to be active again, hopefully I can rehabilitate my neck to the point that the pain never returns. Of course, that means I need to be diligent with my traction, which I haven't been (naughty!). But at least I've been lifting weights... that's important too.

Wow! It's been far too long!

Admittedly, I've been much better about posting on Facebook than on my blog - as evidenced by the fact that it's been 4 months since I've posted here. Sorry for the delay!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Election Day!

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Wassup, Yo?

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PFC Rickert, Robyn Sue

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fingers Crossed

Well the pain management doctor is finally confident that he's found the exact nerve in my neck that's causing my pain, so the next step is to "disable" that nerve so it cannot send pain signals to my brain. This procedure should hopefully provide me with close to a year of pain relief, during which time I will be working on strengthening and rehabilitating my neck in hopes of preventing the pain from returning.
Here is an article that explains the procedure:

I can't wait until I can ride my bike again!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

What a Pain in the Neck


It's now been nearly a year that I've been suffering from chronic neck pain w/ numbness, tingling, headaches & muscle spasms. I'm so sick of it!

I've been through the works:
  • 2 MRIs
  • countless X-rays
  • an EMG
  • blood testing...
Plus a handful of diagnostic surgical procedures under conscious sedation & live x-ray:
  • 2 sets of facet injections at 3/4/5 and 5/6/7
  • epidural at 5/6/7
  • bilateral medial branch block at 5/6/7
And of course I've tried just about every type of therapy under the sun:
  • Physical Therapy
  • Strength Training
  • IMS (Intra Muscular Stimulation)
  • Low Level Laser
  • Trigger Point Injections
  • Massage
  • 2 different types of Cervical Traction
  • Ultrasound
  • Sleeping on a Tempurpedic neck support pillow
  • Ergonomic adjustments to my desk/computer station and my driving position
  • TENS (Electrical Stimulation)
  • Chiropractic
  • Accupuncture
  • Vitamin & Mineral Supplements
  • Countless Medications & Pain Killers
At this point, I am able to do almost nothing. I can't ride my bike, work out at the gym, or do any exercise (even walking hurts). I can't lift anything even remotely heavy (even my parents' cat is too much to lift). Will it ever end?

I'm about ready to say "screw it" and get back on my bike. If I'm going to be in pain regardless, I might as well enjoy what I'm doing while I'm hurting, rather than just sitting around getting fat and feeling depressed.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Quote of the Day

In one of those countless forwarded chain emails, I stumbled across a quote that I like:

"The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Elf Yourself!

What better way to procrastinate and spread some holiday cheer than to elf yourself?

Here's my elf-self (and my family) putting on a show for you! Happy Holidays!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fall Colors

Saturday was one of those picture-perfect fall days! It was a balmy 70 degrees, sunny and crystal clear. The sky was a stunning deep blue, the mountains were snowcapped and the fall colors were spectacular! I could think of no better way to spend the day than riding my bike...

Here's just a sampling of the day's beauty:

Sunday morning was quite a different scene...
The first snow of the season!