Members may already know from my other "Pain" posts that I had an appointment for a procedure called "Pulsed Radio-frequency De-nervation" - an attempt to control or eliminate my rather high-level Sciatic pain of the last 12 months. This follows on from a Facet Joint pain killing injection done about 5 months back, the effects of which gave me around 3 months relatively pain free.
So yesterday, April 21 (my 43rd. wedding anniversary !) I attended at my local Hospital's surgical "Day Centre" for the PRD under the UK's NHS (National Health Service), free of cost at the point of delivery.
Members of a sensitive disposition should stop reading now.
I had to lie face down on the operating table, fully conscious, as during the procedure I had to be able to give verbal responses, presumably during the insertion, aligning, and use, of whatever probe delivers the electrical pulses.
These pulses, as I understand it, tell the pain-transmitting nerves to stop doing so. But the operating doctor must not affect any motor nerves - or no walkies for Dan for a while !
On a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 is my highest imaginable pain level, I'd put parts of the procedure at near 8. I was shouting in pain a few times during the procedure, and shivering at the end of it. Alas I am 73 thus my age probably contributed to this painful aspect of the procedure.
Afterwards I was put in the day-surgery's recovery room and given sandwiches and coffee which helped calm me down, but it was some time before I felt able to leave for home in a taxi, (no driving they said). A briefing before leaving told me to take things easy for a few days. However I should not sit around the house or lie in bed all day, but try some gentle walking. Happily I can attend my regular Buddhist meditation tomorrow, Saturday.
Today after having slept well and painlessly I now feel encouraged to share my experience with you all and invite comments or comparisons especially from any member who has had the same procedure.
Outcome ? - very positive; it has been a long time since I was as free as I am now of chronic pain. I am told the effect can last from 6 months to possibly as much as a year - after that the final medical intervention seems to be that of a "Spinal De-compression"