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My Tarlov Cyst recovery V

My last Tarlov cyst recovery post was made on February 14, 2010. I am now nine months into recovery.

So here’s what’s happening. I can walk PAINFREE, but I can’t run down the street.

I walked as fast as I could when Jim called me out of our bedroom when the 7.2 earthquake hit Mexicali. I reckon for living in an earthquake zone, I am doing pretty well.

I am now writing this, sitting in an office chair, no longer having to limit myself to my reclining armchair. There is no longer any pain in my tailbone area now – no more using the seat cushion!

Jim and I take turns preparing meals. Before it was only Jim.  Matthew looked after our pets.

I used to have a bar stool to sit on while stirring the pot over the stove. No need for that anymore! Now, I can stand and prepare meals, just like I used to.

What I can’t do, are work-outs or exercises. So I don’t really work up a sweat the way I like to.

But we’ll will wait and see. I can even fix up my hair, and put on my make-up.

(At Sinapsis Cafe, the girls were really sweet, and loved my eye-make up!  Most Mexican women wear makeup all the time, and they are all just beautiful. I guess that’s the Latin way.)

Sinapsis Cafe

I am still watching my recovery from my Tarlov cyst surgery very closely. I can sit anywhere now. I even rolled over in our bed to give Jim a hug about a month ago, but that showed me that I was still in recovery.

I could feel the healing area around the operation site getting smaller, like a shrinking circle! As each month goes by, the circle gets smaller.

After the operation Dr. Carlos Maya gave me a prescription for three antibiotic shots.

Several months later, the area around and under the incision still didn’t feel right.

I told Jim who said, “‘MaryAnn, you probably have a staph infection?”

“How do you know about staph infections?” I asked.

“Must’a read it somewheres,” said Jim. “Look MaryAnn, staph infections are all around, and you still have that inflamed nerve,” Jim said firmly.

Inside La Farmacia Mas Barrata

He continued, “Here’s what we’re gonna do. I have the name of an antibiotic; it’s real strong, so let’s giddyup down to Mas Barata, and get it.”

“OK. Is it pills I should be taking?”

“Nope, shots” said Jim.

We took off to La Farmacia Mas Barata immediately. I sat in the truck, while Jim, who speaks Spanish, went in and talked to a smart looking lady behind the counter. They checked over a medical book, and, in no time, Jim came out with a bagful of stuff and said, “Right, here’s what we need to clear up any darn staph infection, Maryann. They call it Trixona, here in Mexico.”

Sanatorio Santa Monica

Sanatorio Santa Monica

“Just in case Hon; we wanna make sure that every base is covered,” said Jim as we headed to the Sanatorio Santa Monica, a small hospital in our neighborhood.

There, the nurse will give you a shot for only 30 pesos ($2.50).

In Mexicali, an ampule for a one gram shot of Trixona (ceftriaxone), the antibiotic Jim decided on, costs 120 pesos ($9.60).


Trixona is what we bought

For the first seven days, Jim decided on one gram each day. For the second week, it was two grams, each day.

This was a big shot and was given with a large syringe. For the 14 day treatment, I changed sides on my buttocks for each jab.

The cost of the entire treatment came to a total of $201.60 for the antibiotics. Combined with $35 for the hospital shots brought the total to $236.60. And no doctor fees!

In the US, such a treatment for a staph infection would cost a fortune!

From the first shot, I could feel something going on; some of the pain and inflammation from the incision site was going away. It just got better with each shot, and by the end of Jim’s treatment, I felt a huge improvement.

“Hon, as I suspected, you probably had a staph infection,” said Jim.

“Jim, I think you were right – I feel so much better now,” I said. “How did you figure that out, and how did you decide on ceftriaxone?” I asked.

“Twarant nothin, just a little research with Dr. Internet,” answered Jim. “Look,” he continued, “all a doctor can do is either slice you up with an operation or give you a prescription – in Mexico, you can do your own prescriptions – no doctor needed.”

My Jim can be so brilliant!

I put myself back on Lyrica and Soma.

My decision. I don’t need a doctor or his prescription to tell me what to do, at this point in the game.

Lyrica helps with the nerve recovery and the Soma helps to relax the muscles.

Of course I pace myself. When I overdo errands, I do get very tired and find I have to rest up for one full day.

It takes us one and half hours to cross over to the US town of Calexico because of the line going through US Customs and Border Patrol.

In Calexico, we usually check our mail, and then go off to Denny’s for a great breakfast. Jim and Matthew always order the Grand Slam breakfast, and I make it a point to eat more proteins, and less carbs. So I order a double bacon and cheese burger, with french fries a dill pickle, followed by a large chocolate milkshake! A treat for me!

The less weight I carry, the less pressure on my spine. I had really taken my spine for granted during the last 40 years of my life, lifting, running, falling down. At one point, I started to wonder what might have caused my Tarlov cyst. I recalled that some years ago, I had knocked the back of my head really hard. At the time, I thought to myself, “Oops, I hope I’m OK!”‘ Well, I think that may have been part of the cause of my getting two Tarlov cysts.

I do get into a funk, of course!  Many times, when I wake up, I think I can just run up to the bathroom, run out and do errands so quickly, and now, after the Tarlov cyst surgery, I can’t do that.  That gets me very down. I can’t hike, play tennis or tango right now. I hope I can get to the point where I can move fast enough to play some tennis with Jim.

That’s the frustrating issue I face everyday as a Tarlov cyst survivor. However, I am pleased with my 9 month recovery, and Jim says he can see almost daily improvements in the way I walk.

When we last went to Denny’s, Jim and Matthew were very surprised to see me slide out of the truck and walk, with no signs of a limp. “You’re walkin like normal, MaryAnn! I’m impressed!” said Jim. So there is good news for all Tarlovians who are angry and frustrated.

Give the healing time! Be patient (and watch out for post-op infections).

Yes, thank the Lord, I am doing very well – no pain medications needed.  I will continue to keep all my Internet friends posted on my recovery.

1 comment to My Tarlov Cyst recovery V

  • Earl

    I’m reading your nerve recovery, and I was thinking about Peyton Manning’s 3 neck surgeries!!! for his nerve repair…man, that’s the END of his career. that’s a real bummer for the Colts, n me, I’m a huge fan of peyton M!

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