Occipital Nerve Block

Well the headache relief saga continues. If you remember, last November I had Radio Frequency Ablation done on the nerves in my neck. As a brief explanation, this procedure burns the nerve endings to break the pain cycle. But my headaches seem to originate in the Occipital nerve on the back of my head. Here is a diagram of the location of the Occipital nerve.

The treatment for headaches from that specific location is an Occipital Nerve Block. So I had that procedure done today. Here is a 3 minute you tube video of what my doctor did today. This video is showing it done on only one side. I had it done on both sides. (If needles make you squimish you might not want to watch the video)

So now we wait. My entire head was numb for most of the afternoon. Imagine how your mouth feels after you finish at the dentist. That’s how my entire head felt.

I’m not sure what is next if this doesn’t work. I’ve had nerve blocks done before (many times). Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. Two years ago when I had the RFA procedure done I got great results. This time the results haven’t been as successful. I’m hoping the combination of the RFA and the nerve block will do the trick.

My Fibromyalgia manifests itself mostly in my upper back, neck and shoulders. My headaches are the result. A daily headache gets old after a while. I can live with it. I’ve lived with a daily headache most of the last 20 years. But I love that my doctor is not satisfied to accept that. He has hope for both of us – which is a good thing because I’ve pretty much accepted that it’s not gonna get better. I’m not trying to be a Debbie-Downer but that is the reality of my feelings.

At any rate, that’s been my day and my newest treatment procedure. I’ll keep you posted on the results. Who knows – maybe this time will be the time it works.


Childhood Athletics and a Healthier Life

What a week! This time last weekend I was dreading this week because I knew I was having my RFA procedure again (explain that in a minute), had soccer games to go to and Ron was gonna be out of town. But some how I survived it and I didn’t even get stressed out. THAT is a God thing for sure!

Lauren’s final high school soccer season ended Thursday. They are playing in the District Tournament on Monday this coming week. But until she picks a college and we get her there she is done with organized soccer. I feel very good about it. Putting a child into an organized sport is so good for them. They learn so many skills – not just athletically but also a lot of character building skills. Our kids have played sports their entire childhood. I know that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. They learn responsibility, how to work as part of a team, self-control, anger management (wait that was MY lesson), how to live a healthy active lifestyle. All of are skills they will use in every area of their life for the rest of their lives. And I have no doubt we have set a standard for future generations in our family line.

Lady Eagles Soccer Seniors of 2012

Last fall I had a series of medical procedures done to help treat my daily headaches. It’s no surprise to any of you here that I suffer with chronic pain daily. If you’ve even stopped by my blog once you’ve probably picked up on that. The procedure I had done is called Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA). I went to my previous blog entry from last year where I talked about the process. I could pretty much write the exact same words to explain the procedure itself and my reactions during/after it to a degree. However there was one significant difference. Last year both procedures (one on each side of the neck) threw me into a major Fibromyalgia flare up for at least a week afterwards. This time for this first round it really only put me out of commission for 1 1/2 days. I even had a different doctor do it this time (not my choice) and there was MUCH more pain involved. What’s different about this time? The only thing I’m doing different this time is using the AdvoCare. For the last 5 1/2 months I have been drinking at least one Spark a day, taking daily doses of CorePlex and using the BioTools product daily. In some obvious ways, I can tell a big difference since I began using AdvoCare. And at times like this, when I would normally be in a flare, my health has improved dramatically.

Well, this coming week is Fall Break. That may mean a break from school for the kids. But I think that means the opposite for the parents. So, I’ll see ya when I see ya!

A Chance At Hope

I thought I would write an update on my RFA procedure process.  Just as way of reminder.  In October I had 7 nerves burned on the right side of my neck.  Last week I had 7 burned on the left side of my neck.  This process was done in order to control some of my Fibro pain.  I have chronic headaches.  The hope is to block the pain signal from my neck/upper back Continue reading

RFA Round One Complete

Well, I want to thank all of you who prayed for me today.  I received nerve ablation (burning) on the right side of my neck at C2, C3, C4, C5 and C6.  C2 was by far the most painful.  The farther to the top of the spine you go the tougher the skin is.  While my amazing pain management doctor, Dr. John Nwofia, did a great job of numbing the entire area from top all the way to the nerve the pressure was very uncomfortable.  Continue reading

Such A Pain In The Neck (RFA Procedure)

Tomorrow I go for my first Radiofrequency Ablation procedure on one side of my neck.  Radiofrequency Ablation (or RFA) is a procedure used to reduce pain. An electrical current produced by a radio wave is used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue, thereby decreasing pain signals from that specific area.    Basically it is burning the nerve ending to block the pain signal.  I have had initial nerve blocks in the locations where the greatest amount of pain radiated from.  Those points have been located and now it is time to bring out the big guns.  I am sooooooooo ready. 

My Fibromyalgia has taken a turn for the worst in the last 5 months.  I enjoyed over a year of a remission of some kind.  But when it comes back – it does so with a vengeance.  I know that so many of my family and friends don’t and can’t understand exactly how discouraging and painful it is.  When you experience relief for so long and then relief is the suddenly the last thing you think you will ever experience again it is very overwhelming.  I can feel my depression rising to the surface.  When all you do is sit around all day thinking (because moving is too painful) eventually you are gonna remember the days BEFORE your illness hit you upside the head like a brick.  That’s where I am right now.

I don’t know what to expect from the RFA.  Honestly I gave up on any sort of expectations of relief from any procedures a long time ago.  This is the first time I’ve gone this far into any kind of “surgical” relief.  I’m somewhat hopeful but not expecting much.  I think I’m kind of where my dad was with all of his different procedures on his voice box – just not expecting much.  You can’t get someone’s hope up so many times and continue to expect them to remain hopeful. 

So, all of that said to say this – tomorrow I’m having a procedure done that I’ve never had done before.  I will have pain going in and there is a high probability that I will have the same exact pain coming out.  If not then I will be glad.  If so then I won’t be surprised.