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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On the Aches and Pains of the Ancient One

It's gone!

All the pain in my hip and radiating pain down my left leg . . . is gone!

Monday, I had an epidural injection of Prednisone/Cortisone into my spine between the L4 and L5 vertebrates. Prednisone/Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory and it essentially causes the sciatic nerve to shrink back to a normal size, thus no longer presses against bony structures. My doc said it'd take 24 hours. It took about 12.

Last night, I had a full night's sleep of about seven magnificent hours for the first time in about a month. Hope this is a permanent fix.

Y'know, it's common for folks to put down the medical community, HMO's, but I'm here to tell you I am delighted with Kaiser Permanente. Over the 20+ years I've been with them I've had two problems. One, a smart-ass doctor, and one with a snotty nurse. We resolved the nurse issue and wound up being fairly good friends. The doctor, I'm sure, is still a smart-ass.

But, think about it. Twenty plus years with the same HMO and I'm still happy with them? Absolutely great doctors, great nursing staff, great Physician Assistants. The Pharmacy and Lab folks are a delight to work with. Out of several thousand medical employees you are bound to stumble across the occasional snotty person . . . but, on balance, I find the Kaiser Permanente folks to be outstanding.

And the progress medicine has made! Years ago I'd have been pushing up posies a long time ago, due to my Type II diabetes. Today, I just watch my diet (with mean ol' evelyn looking over my shoulder) take medication, and the diabetes is not only fairly well under control but, as far as I know, I'm still breathing.

I learned yesterday that my youngest son, Kenny, had a similar injection in his upper back/neck area, several years ago. He had lost all feeling in his left arm and after the prednisone injection, he's back to normal, surfing, installing audio/visual systems . . . . and wowing the ladies of North County.

75-100 years ago, we'd probably both be cripples.

What's coming in the future for medicine? It appears a cancer cure is close . . . we're beginning to make inroads into Alzheimer's treatment and possible prevention.

As sophisticated as our medicine appears to be today, in 50 years we'll look back on today's era as being "quaint," and "antiquated."

Hell, with the progress medicine is making, and the quality of fine doctors the profession is delivering to the community, I may just still be around 50 years from now, sending out emails, night and day.

Just think what you have to look forward to.



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