Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Priorities & A short reflection on change in sexual symptoms

My PM has asked me my "priorities" of pain when approaching my problem so I have decided to reflect that on my blog and my reasoning why.
1. Sexual Dysfunction: It has been shown that this is simply not transient and that it is worsening, urological tests have shown that it is not related to the genitals or leakage, my history and the way the dysfunction occurs have shown that it is incredibly unlikely that it is mentally related, and blood work and vascular tests have shown that I have no testosterone/vitamin deficiencies, or known vascular issues.  As a 24 year-old male my sexual health is paramount to me as it is to anyone else, though it is not as physically "painful" per se like my leg, back, neck or arm, it is tormenting, life-changing, and I believe reversible since it has just onset in the past year. It affects every part of my life including my confidence, mental, sexual [obviously], and even spiritual health.  I can live with pain, in my back, my leg, my arm, my neck.  I can live without running, without walking normally, without sitting comfortably, without lifting, without swimming, but I cannot live without sexual function.
2. Right Leg Pain:  This is the second most important as it is the most painful, obviously likely from using my feet to stand and walk the most, as well as my passion for running, and desire to be able to give a full presentation without having to sit in a chair half way through.
3.  Right Arm/Neck/Face Pain: When just my tailbone and leg hurt I could still lift, swim, I could still write and type without discomfort, obviously just getting this back would be a huge buoy to my life physically and emotionally but isnt AS painful as my right leg, though it is quite painful and my right hand experiences a minor loss in sensation as well as numbness and shooting pain the more I use it/my neck.  Plus if my neck and sexual dysfunction there's a possibility of a win/win there.  Perhaps the minor slip that Dr. Schwetenschenau saw and the tightening of the muscles around the neck are to blame for this?
4.  Lumbar/Thorasic Pain: Though my back is in agony, and my once excellent posture is completely destroyed, the pain in my back is nothing compared to the pain in my leg and arm/neck, I could definitely live with this pain the rest of my life, but the others, I find it hard to believe I can keep up the fight against.  I've noticed the lumbar pain grow into a little shot into my buttocks, but I also felt like it may or may not have gotten a bit better, though again, this is probably from not working out for months and reducing my sitting time while increasing my laying down time.

This evening I recalled last Spring, when I tried my best not to get an erection in the shower in the morning so that I didn't have to walk past my roommate to my room with one.  I also remember being most sexually active after I exercise, with my flaccid state being at its fullest.  This evening I noticed, after a short walk/jog (I can do about a minute of running and a minute of walking on and off in increasing pain for about 20 minutes before my leg gives out entirely) that I was very, very small.  This hasn't been unusual in the past 6 months, but was disturbingly so this evening, I mean, I didn't know it was possible to get this small, though, it was like it wasn't getting blood at all and it had definitely even further decreased in sensation.  Later in the shower, I realized that last summer, with work I was able to achieve a partial erection with focused thinking and almost no physical stimulation, I've noticed recently that an erection, with Cialis, focused thinking, and physical stimulation produces nothing.  My only chance at a partial erection (I use the term erection liberally here) is only possible while laying down, with serious focus and Cialis.

Current attitude:  Perhaps my lower back isn't necessarily to blame for my sexual dysfunction?  Though I've been told that the S1/S2 area (where much of my degeneration is)  I've also been told that both thorasic and cervical areas can be responsible as well and that sexual symptoms can definitely arise slowly like mine have from a back injury, especially from the thorasic.  Maybe if I examine my cervical more closely, and the thorasic MRI this morning shows something, I will have a better idea.  Though it is just too much of a coincidence to me that I had severe tailbone pain while sitting and then it suddenly disappeared into a light numbness at about the same time sexual dysfunction/numbness appeared. Also, I do feel like my leg pain and lower back pain MAY have gotten slightly better, though this could be because I have stopped working out, again this is only my perception.

I like to add a visual supplement to each post to break up the walls of text, so I'm sorry that this image is also text but it is an interesting excerpt from one of the Neurology books I've been perusing called Atlas of neurosurgical techniques: spine and peripheral nerves By Richard Fessler

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