It’s Black Friday. It was nine months yesterday that I had surgery, and fair dinkum, I’m having so much fun at present. It’s a laugh a minute. Nobody should be able to have this much fun. It should be shared around.
At least Black Friday got off to a good start. I had something resembling a decent sleep and as I was having today off work, I went to Manly pool and did 30 laps in bright sunshine with snorkel and flippers and nobody laughed (I don’t think). Very relaxing but the day, kind of, went downhill after that.
At 1pm, I was once more at Royal North Shore Private Hospital, in the nuclear medicine and radiology clinic, for a nerve root injection. Dr Farey had recommended this as a possible remedy for the pain in my neck and arm. Less invasive than chopping me into small pieces. I’m always happy to try that. Beware of surgeons recommending you have large expensive operations. They are small businessmen, after all, and they have a family to feed and school fees to pay as well as golf club dues.
Anyway a Transforaminal Epidural or Selective Nerve Root Block, involves sticking a needle down into your spinal vertebrae just where the nerve exits on its journey down your arm. This involves CAT scans, local anaesthetic, placing the needle in the right position and then pumping cortisone in there. I’m assured that this works, as cortisone reduces the inflammation in the nerve root, and thus reduces the pain. The worrying thing, is that nobody can explain how it works. It’s amazing that when you look under the bonnet of modern medicine, there is so much voodoo science practised there. Doctors do things which get a result but they can’t explain how or why.
Do I care? Not really. I tried an experimental, voodoo procedure to get rid of my gut bugs and it worked. Nobody knows how it worked, except possibly the gut bugs. But hey, if you can cure pain as well as gut bugs, with voodoo science, then you get that witch-doctor in here and be quick about it.
I survived, but it’s quite confronting to look at a CAT scan image near your head with the long needle going right down between the vertebrae. You pray that the radiologist hasn’t been out all night on the drink. Actually it wasn’t too bad. Only took about 20 minutes. Still the thought of sticking something sharp close to my spine gives me the horrors.
I hope it works. God, it’s expensive. $750 for one small needle in the neck. No wonder the country is broke. Free healthcare like this is just ridiculous. We are handing our children debts that they will never be able to pay. Since I am recovering this evening, Roz Skinner and John Attwater are cooking me dinner in my apartment. Apparently it’s one of Roz’s Thai curries and will no doubt be another masterpiece. You can stick needles in me everywhere if I get a feed out of Roz afterwards. I’m so tired of cooking for myself.