Nerve block redux


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About 18 months ago, I had an intercostal nerve block, which I wrote about here. In short, an intercostal nerve block is a method of injecting a numbing agent and cortisone, under x-ray guidance, right into the nerve root between a particular rib with the hope of reducing pain and inflammation. The original block I had done was at the wrong rib, so, naturally, it didn’t work. The experience was awful and I was reluctant … Continue reading

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Cortisone Cowboy

Sometimes it takes reaching a low point to try a different tactic. The Twin Cities marathon was such a catalyst; not finishing the race due to ongoing rib pain and the continued pain in the days afterward spurred me into action. Last year I underwent a series of cortisone injections with minimal success. I decided, though, to visit my good friend the Cortisone Cowboy (the physical medicine doctor who administered the injections last year) and … Continue reading

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Kinesio tape and fairy dust

I have been dealing with my rib injury for nearly two years. I have come to view this injury as a chronic condition, not unlike my asthma. It is with me all the time. It must be managed on a daily basis. Most of the time, the injury lingers in the background, but then when I least expect it, the injury flares up with vigor and I have trouble breathing and the pain level soars. … Continue reading

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Dr. PainBeGone

In the past year I have seen five surgeons, two sports medicine doctors, and one physical medicine doctor. Nothing prepared me for Dr. PainBeGone. The thoracic surgeon insisted I visit the pain clinic for a nerve block, a procedure in which a local anesthetic is injected into the nerve to relieve pain, to better determine the source of my pain. He set up an appointment with Dr. PainBeGone, a pain specialist. Sitting in the waiting … Continue reading

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A diagnosis

I am a scientist. As a scientist, I thrive on answers to problems, and when one is not available, I am uncomfortable until one is found. I learned that when it comes to chronic pain, getting a diagnosis is hard. My injuries in November were numerous, but the clavicle fracture received top billing since surgical intervention was required. The healing from that was seamless. The true issue at that time, the one that has lingered, … Continue reading

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Pain is subjective

Pain is a nebulous concept; it differs from person to person, can last an hour or years, and it is so hard to quantify. In December, I wrote about my experience with pain directly following the crash. What I did not anticipate was the transformation from an acute pain to chronic pain. My decision to race Galveston was questioned by many (including my very concerned mother who thinks I need a lobotomy). In my defense, … Continue reading

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