Friday, March 8, 2013

Roch Crotch Doc Nerve Block

Here's a little summary of the nerve block I had in Rochester on Wednesday:

The procedure was performed by Dr. Per-Lennart Westesson.  He is a really nice, patient guy.  He interviewed me before the block, a few questions about my pain.  I told him my pain is symmetrical, so he decided to try nerve blocks on both sides even though Dr. Howard thought the entrapment might only be on the right.

The procedure itself was very quick.  I lay face-down in the CT machine.  They got an image of my pelvis, then they numbed my cheeks up and injected an anesthetic and a steroid at the site.

The site is the ischial spine.  If the anesthetic took my pain away, it would indicate that the pudendal nerve is involved.  If they steroids work, they will take 1-2 weeks to kick in.

The anesthetic took away about 90% of my pain.  The remaining pain seemed to come on as my bladder filled.  Dr. Howard told me that pain in the urethra and bladder usually point to interstitial cystitis.  After observing my bladder pain while numb everywhere else, I think it's a good guess that I have IC.

But anyway, yay, 90% of my pain gone!  That was fun.  In fact, I was able to poke at my very low abdomen -- where my bladder is -- over and over.  If I pressed hard enough, I could feel some pain in my clit/urethra.  But I had to press.  At my appointment with Dr. Howard, just the light scrape of the wooden end of a Q-tip over my lower abdomen made my clit/urethra hurt.  Ridiculous!

Having a numb everything down there is strange.  It was like novocaine: you don't feel nothing; you feel an area that you can't feel.  My balance was different.  Then as the pain crept back, I realized how much the anesthetic had reduced my pain.

I go back for 2 more nerve blocks and then see Dr. Howard.  If these blocks don't help, it could be that a nerve block in my genitofemoral nerve would help.  That would be in the abdomen.  Given my super-sensitive abdomen, maybe that nerve is involved as well.

Super-sensitive abdomen, by the way, means flashes of extra pain when I cough, sneeze, laugh, jump, twist, fart, etc.  This has been a fun 6 years.  Ha ha :)

The Pudendal Hope site lists positive coping mechanisms for people with chronic illness.  Here is one:
Spirituality: You can be spiritual without being religous. Spitituality means worldliness. If a person is able to have some spirituality and/or faith/religion, studies have shown that this can improve a persons well being, attitude and good overall outcome.
This is the hardest coping mechanism for me to hold onto right now.  My spirituality has crumbled.  I don't trust anything.  Why should I?  I've been in pain for six years and my anxiety is astronomical.  Literally.  I'm worried about the stars.

I know a reduction in my pain will not make me stop worrying about the stars.  But I could use some damn relief just for the brain space.


  1. I'm glad you're getting some answers, and I hope they find solutions for you.

    I totally know what you mean about spirituality. I'm more spiritual than religious, but yeah, I'm still having a tough time accepting my illnesses, but mainly their consequences.

    Wishing you well!

    1. Bee -- that is exactly where I am -- tough time accepting the consequences of my illnesses. As I get older, I am seeing what it means for the consequences to come into play.

      Thank you!

  2. It's hard to have faith in a greater power who *religiously* lets you down. And it's hard to find the faith again.'ve begun your journey to health! It's a really good start. :)

  3. I know what you mean about faith and spirituality. I feel pretty let down, so it is hard to have faith.

    I wasn't religious to begin with and these issues did not get me closer to embrace faith. However, I have am trying to get into stress reduction through meditation. My psychologist talked to me at length about studies relating a positive correlation between pain reduction and meditation.

    I have recently started a meditation based-stress reduction program. It has been developed by John Kabat-Zinn, described in his book Full Catastrophe Living. It is based on a method called the body scan and gentle yoga. It is an 8-week course (he offers a course in a hospital but CDs guide through the meditations.) I hope it will give my body a better chance of healing.