Update: This past Friday, I had my second stellate ganglion block at the OHSU CPC. And to my disappointment, the procedure supposedly didn’t “block” again. My doctor thought maybe the stellate ganglion nerve bundle is lower than normal which is why they can’t get effective blocks… But here’s some good news! 🙂 I actually had a delayed reaction to it! On Sunday, I noticed that my left hand, normally very cold, was really warm. I even had sweat on my fingertips! Also, the numbness and extreme sensitivity wasn’t as bad! So it looks like I responded well to the block this time! 🙂 Not sure yet if he’ll want to do more of these again. Right now, I’m testing this ketamine/amitriptyline topical gel that he prescribed to see if it will help the pain…
As I write this, I’m charging my IPG (implantable pulse generator). 🙂 About every other day, my battery gets really low, so I HAVE to charge it. So I strap on my St. Jude Medical belt around my waist and position the charger “wand” right against the battery in my back! Charging takes about an hour and a half, so during this time, my stimulator’s off which means I can’t walk very fast. 😉 Interesting, huh? You see, when my stim’s on, I don’t notice the pain as much. So when it’s off, the CRPS pain is far more noticeable. To be honest, I don’t exactly like charging because I can’t move around quickly and the pain’s definitely worse. But as I think about this, having to charge is good for me. I have to learn to be patient and “slow down” in this fast-paced world. And, charging the IPG reminds me that I need to charge my other “battery”—spend time in God’s Word on a daily basis. Many times, I’d rather do something else, but I also want His Word to be “sweeter than honey to my mouth” (Psalm 119:103). So as I thought about it, how can that desire grow? By sitting at Jesus’ feet. From all that has happened, I know God is developing perseverance in me! I still fall short many times, am still a work in progress, but from this trial, by God’s grace I now realize this:
“Before this happened, I thought I had a strong relationship with God, but I was only in the meadow near the Cross. After it happened, I went to the foot of the Cross and stayed there.” -from the autobiography I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp
“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees” (Psalm 119:71).