October 11, 2016
Den was diagnosed quite a few years ago with herniated disks in his neck. They cause severe pain that radiates all the way to his hands and can make it hard for him to hold even a pen. He had several procedures to reduce the pain and inflammation caused by the bad disks. The last time the pain management doctor did what is called a radio-frequency burning of the tissue around the nerves. This worked for a long time, but the pain is getting worse by the day. This morning Den is going for his first appointment at the U of C Pain Clinic. We got a referral from the LVAD Team, since his old pain management doctor can’t do anything for him since the LVAD was implanted. So we will see how this goes.
Dr. Lee and Dr. Patel checked Den over and we talked about Den’s history with the herniated disks. They said that the RF burning was out of the question because of the blood thinners that Den is currently taking. So they want to start with some stretching exercise, heat therapy and some lidocane ointment for when it is really bad. They said that if these didn’t help, we could move on to trigger point injections in the surrounding muscles to help relieve the pain, especially in his hands and arms.
We made our follow up appointment for 4 weeks and headed home with some hope restored.
October 12, 2016
The only thing I know about this day is that Den said that he slept better last night than he has in months!
October 13-14, 2016
Den has had 3 good night’s sleep in a row! I think that is a new record for him. Let’s hope it keeps going.