Oh TENS, Let Me Count the Ways You Are Awesome
Later this week, I see the neurosurgeon about it. I was passed off by the neurologist, who warned me that the NS may prefer to do the Chiari procedure. Then, when I met with the scheduler, he explained that the NS reviews my chart and may say there is no reason to see me. He wants to see me, ergo, there's a problem.
There was a problem in that this had reached pain levels of 8's and up on a regular basis, and I forgot to ask about muscle relaxers or pain medications. (A friend with the exact same diagnosis is on a cocktail of 4 meds right now. Yikes.) So, I turned to the only thing that brought me relief when I was in physical therapy last time the pain was severe: a TENS unit.
The TENS has made the muscle pain manageable. Yes, I have had to take medication for it, but now, the pain is about a 5 or a 6. Uncomfortable, yes, but not excruciating.
The relief of the acute muscular issues from using the TENS also made it clear how the range of motion issues in my neck are not from the bulging disc. It is probably the DDD coming into play.
On the worst days, the TENS stays on all day long. Heck, last night, I slept with the TENS going, because I was uncomfortable until I put those contacts on my shoulder. I hesitate to think what the past month would have been like without this option for pain management.
So, while I am in pain, the fact that I'm not completely miserable can definitely be attributed to a little device that sends shocks to the offending muscles. You'd think it would hurt, but instead, it's helping.
While I wait to see what the NS thinks of my MRI, I'll just be over here with my little zapper...