My nerve block is scheduled for this Wednesday, March 6. I didn't expect it to be so soon! It's only a little over a week since I saw Dr. Howard.
This is the first time in my six years with vulvodynia -- pudendal neuralgia, I should say -- that I've felt medically illiterate. Here's what I think will happen.
Dr. Westesson will do the procedure. He will use a CT scan to identify the Alcock's canal -- and I think something else too? -- where he will first inject a numbing agent as a test to see if my pain is coming from there. If he is certain that the injection site is the source of my pain, he will then inject a steroid.
The steroid is the actual "nerve block." It's supposed to reduce the swelling in the surrounding area. That swelling is, theoretically, what's causing the nerve entrapment.
The numbing agent is like Novocaine. I will have a numb pelvis for a while after the procedure. The steroid will take several days to work, and my pain may get worse during that time. But after a week or two, if all of this postulating is correct, the steroid will kick in and my pain will go down.
My pain might go down!
For the past few days I've been really nervous about the nerve block. I haven't been thinking about it specifically -- I'm just more anxious in general. But today I am a teeny bit excited to see what happens. It's an experiment after all. I love experiments.
If the experiment fails, the docs will do a nerve block on my genitofemoral nerve, which is in the abdomen. At least I think that's what they will do. It is Dr. Howard's second theory about where my pain is coming from. I think it might be involved given the pain in my bladder and clit. But the pudendal nerve can be involved in that area too.
And then if that doesn't work... I'll just be back here trying to figure things out. But now I have Dr. Howard to work with, and he is an expert-expert expert on pelvic pain. I haven't ever had a doctor to work with. They've all been specialists insulated from each other, unable even to refer me to another department. So, I am finally in the proper hands, and I am trying to trust them.