4 Month Update: Post-Piriformis Revision w/Sciatic, Pudendal, Obturator and Gluteal Nerve Rearrangement

Posted: November 15, 2011 in Pain, Uncategorized
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It has been 4 months since my landmark surgery by Dr. Aaron Filler in LA, CA. Was it worth it? Yes. A thousand times, yes. I should have followed my instincts to see Dr. Filler years ago, when I first found him on the internet. Proving that I was right about my body all along, and that my numerous orthopedic, neurological and psychological consults were wrong-wrong-wrong about the source of my pain.
Am I cured? No, not 100%. But the again, I won’t know for about a year post-surgery. I am about 50% better. People tell me I look better, stand straighter, and don’t look as if I am in pain all of the time. How is it that my physical, facial appearance was affected by 4 entangled nerves under my right butt cheek?
I can do more, with less pain. I can go pee without excruciating pain caused by the injured pudendal nerve.I still have pain, but its pervasiveness and intensity is much less than pre-surgery. Since this surgery corrected the placement of 4 manor nerves that control vital movements and organs, I must be careful not to over-stretch them, as I had been doing before surgery to obtain pain relief. Instead, I have to listen closer to the twinges from these nerves. Overstretching them could induce adhesions one again, a step leading to re-entanglement – a step I don’t want to take ever again.
To the casual observer rading this, it may seem that I went through a huge, delicate and expensive surgery for a smidgen of improvement.
Not so.
It is hard to articulate the changes, except as follows:
I can urinate somewhat normally, sans the searing pain I used to experience every time I tried to “tell myself” to go.
I can sleep on my right side again – something I had not been able to do for 14 years.
The remaining pain has reduced in intensity by approximately 50% – enough so I am able to fall asleep and stay asleep for a normal amount of time – sometimes without taking any pharmaceuticals!
I can focus on tasks for longer periods of time – a few hours now, versus several minutes pre-surgery. I still MUST rest often when I am in “active mode” – the ratio is about 1hour of rest for 2 hours of activity. The rest I need is a non-negotiable fact. The ratio becomes smaller as my activity level increases. The day following activity, I usually must “recover” by sleeping – my body doesn’t give me a choice.
Can I go back to work? Ahhh…the big question. I have tested those waters, by teaching night school classes – 3 class groupings of one 2.5 hour class per week for 3 weeks. After the one hour drive to the school, the half hour set-up, the 2.5 hour active class session, rarely sitting down – helping students with designs and techniques in polymer clay art, and then the one hour drive back home–I am in a considerable about of spasm and pain (which starts on the drive home).  The following day – I am still in spasm – but after sleeping most of the day, I am able to attend a gentle yoga class that following evening. The pain I experience is reduced by about 50% from pre-surgery. Which overall, is a GOOD thing. I am hoping that over time, I will be able to teach a class, or work part-time on a regular basis for 4 hours, 3-4 days a week, without having the “recovery” downtime on the days after I work.
My next challenge is to wean down from the pain medicine that has been my constant companion since 2004. I wonder how little pain medicine I actually need right now – but it is difficult to wean off of this medication and be able to make an objective decision about dosages. The mere act of weaning down off of the medication actually causes additional pain, and it can take 4-6 months to know how much your body can tolerate (both pain and medication). Actual DNA changes in my pain receptors have taken place over the 8 yrs I have been on the medication. These extent of these changes are not known and will not be known, until I am in a situation where I can safely challenge them.
Finding a way to do that is my next challenge. I welcome any ideas as to how I safely and realistically enter this next phase.


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