Saturday, 23 November 2013

Occipital Nerve Pulsed Radio Frequency Ablation and Suboccipital LocalAnaesthetic Nerve Entrapment Release

So.....I finally get a chance to say how this repeat procedure went!
To be honest, I kind of expected it to be the same as last time (back in June) and so I had no worries or concerns, apart from knowing that yet again this is a temporary solution!

On the day (8th Nov), as usual, I am taken down I theatre. I am the first procedure of the day and so there was no hanging around. I am given diazepam through the cannula in my hand to relax and then wheeled through into theatre. 
In there, I am scooted onto my front on the bed and the theatre nurses and Mr Patel all set about attaching me to machines and earthing me with a sticky pad on my thigh. I am asked to point out the point on my head where if pressed it causes the pain, I am then given some Propofol as sedation and quickly begin to feel woosy!
All I can remember is the needle being inserted for the PRFA part of the procedure and feeling the usual pressure but no really much more. I'm not sure if even remember the next part of the procedure, where they went through the muscle to inject local anaesthetic. 
I next remember being shifted into the trolley bed again and wheeled out to recovery! In there I felt fairly awake and without being asked was given IV paracetamol, which usually helps a lot. I didn't feel pain just uncomfortable and although my head was completely numb from the anaesthetic, it felt like it was swollen and delicate! 
After going back upstairs, I felt ok, just tired. I had a decent amount of rest before being allowed to eat!
Then went home more or less as soon as I was allowed, sometime in mid afternoon.

My recovery was as expected...the ON pain was mainly gone and I was dealing with the achey stiffness from the actual procedure itself! Paracetamol and ibuprofen was ok in helping my stay comfortable. 
After a few days this acheyness eased but I was unable to list heavy things or sit at odd angles without feeling sharp pains in my neck.
This eased after just over a week and so now I am feeling pretty good!

It is now 2 weeks after the procedure and my ON pain is at a constant low of about a 2 on the pain scale. This means I only occasionally feel some minor stabbing pain on the right side of my head or at the back. I think I could live with this, as I can get on with things without thinking that I will be affected by certain activities.

I now hope that this lasts at least as long as the last time...which was 3 months!
That will get me through Christmas and beyond! 
My only thought is that this time I will be at work for much more of the first 3 months following the procedure, as I'm returning full time on Thursday (just under 3 weeks post procedure). Then with 2 weeks off for Christmas holidays that means I will be really put to the test in the New Year! 

Guess no one can tell how things will go and only time will tell!!!!
In a way, I'd prefer this to wear off early in the New Year, as long as the funding has been found for the stimulator, as if just want an end to this now! 
I'm putting things off and unable to plan without knowing what I may need next and when that may be! 

Next time I post, I'm guessing it will be to update you all because I'll be feeling ON pain more again! 
So Merry Christmas to you all and see you in 2014!!
(It's an even that's got to be a good sign!) 

UPDATE: 26th November
Uh oh!!!! Knew I was tempting fate. NEVER expect positive things...I should know better.
The last time I had this procedure I was down on my life and not expecting good things from the procedure. He only difference this time was that I was positive and hopeful and expected to be back to work in no time!!!

Been in much worse pain yesterday and today :(
Gone from pain level of 2 right up to 5! It wasn't like I did a lot yesterday....well, nothing any harder or stressful than work anyway! Only did a bit of shopping and made the Christmas cake!!

The past few days the muscle on the right hand side at the back of my neck has felt really tight but it suddenly got much tighter and nothing seems to be relieving it! It is only because if this that I can see why the pain has got so much worse! I have been pressing my head at the usual area for a trigger point for my ON and I think it is back. This is always the sign that my consultant asks about when I go and see him. If there is a trigger point he always seems happy to go ahead with another procedure!

I think I'm going to have to see how I go over the next few days. Not going to see my consultant for the follow up appointment until 13th December!


  1. Have you ever had your neck checked by a chiropractor? I'm due to have the PRF procedure soon for my occipital neuralgia.

    1. Hi! As I said on the UK Facebook group, I daren't let a chiropractor loose on my head/neck, I'm worried it will be too manipulative for me and just cause more damage.
      I've tried too many so called 'professionals' that pretend they understand ON and really they have no idea whatsoever!!!
      All the best with the PFR!! :)

  2. Just read a bit further into your blog and realised we are seeing the same surgeon in Bristol! If you would like to be in contact my email is :)

    1. That is weird.....small world! I've heard of lots of people who have seen him but then got passed into someone else to get treatment. He is amazing and I totally trust him.....I just can't believe there isn't a better solution to ON!! I know I'm getting the best if the procedures out there, but it's just ridiculous that nothing works well enough.
      I will email you when I can so we can swap stories! Thanks for getting in contact, :)

  3. That has got to be the longest blog title ever! x

    1. I know!!!!! But that's what was written on my hospital notes!!

  4. Nice blog, thanks for sharing the information. I will come to look for update. Keep up the good work.if you want more information something like visit pain clinic san antonio get more details.

  5. Thank you. Glad you find it interesting.
    I began this blog to help people understand the condition but also because here in the UK we don't have the options available to those in other countries, such as the US. We are far more limited in choice here. Thanks anyway.