Never Give Up Hope

Some of you know that I’ve been dealing with severe shoulder pain, under my left shoulder blade. This has been happening since July 2021. It came out of nowhere. I have had ruptured disks in my neck requiring three surgeries thus far, the first being 38 years ago this month. So when this happened I was certain it was another disk that was going to require attention, as it was a similar feeling that I’ve experienced other times. I am probably guilty of leading my spine surgeon to look at that area.

Nerve related issues can be very hard to pin down. Those feelings can migrate from place to place. Nothing was really standing out in the X-rays and MRI’s. I started out getting steroid injections in my neck by a pain specialist in San Antonio. I went there because he was an associate of the spine surgeon that has operated on me the last two times, in 2005 and 2010 at the South Texas Spine Surgical Clinic in San Antonio. I felt a great deal of confidence in that team of doctors.

After six or eight months of treatments, I didn’t seem to be improving. Pain medications, muscle relaxers and nerve pills were the only thing that brought relief. Feeling like I couldn’t continue to take pills the rest of my life, I continued to hold out hope that some nerve treatment would eventually work.

Around the beginning of 2022 I started building a time line of events to see if perhaps something besides my same old neck issues were at work here. Pulling together my medical records, I discovered that in July 2021 I received my first Pfizer Covid Vaccination and 2 days later I was in the emergency room at the South Texas Spine Hospital in San Antonio. I had never suspected a connection between the covid shot and my shoulder pain. All during that time it was so taboo to even suggest that the vaccine could do anything other than protect us from the dreaded disease.

I went back to the pain specialist to have another steroid injection. When I surmised that the covid shots I had taken may be the cause of my pain, it was mostly dismissed. He said if the shot was improperly administered, a nerve may have been nicked, but it would most certainly have repairs itself by now.

Tiring of making those trips to San Antonio, I decided to seek help from a pain specialist that was closer. I selected one in Round Rock. I have been pleased with the change. This doctor has tried several things to treat this. He even felt like he had isolated which nerve was my problem and burned that nerve with radiofrequency ablation. That procedure isn’t designed to last forever, but a few months or a year without taking drugs would be great, I thought.

That didn’t work. After a few days I was once again taking pills. I went in back in November for a consultation. From where I was describing my pain he thought that it may not be originating in my neck and it could be a scapula nerve. So just before Thanksgiving he did an ablation of that nerve. I saw some short term improvement but within a couple of days then pain returned as did the pill taking.

Feeling completely disheartened I decided to just wait until I got the holidays behind me, then I would figure out what was next.

I got an appointment and went in yesterday 1/16/2023. I told him that the latest nerve burn didn’t do any good. A bit puzzled, as he looked my chart he said “what nerve burn?” Then he discovered that the procedure I got in November was only a temporary nerve block, that is designed to identify if we are working with the correct nerve, so they don’t kill off a nerve that shouldn’t be. It’s all part of the protocol. Then I remembered that those steps were taken before burning a nerve up in my spine earlier last year.

It seems like everyone forgot where we were in this process.

So once again I have hope that we may be getting closer to the root cause of this year and a half long odyssey. Hopefully I’ll get this next procedure setup shortly.

At least now it appears that our Government, the CDC and Health Professionals are coming around to at least being honest and open about the possibilities that the COVID vaccine may not have been everything that it was advertised to be. Too many people have suffered far worse fates than I have.

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