Yes, plural...needles. 5 in total...if you can believe it. Two for numbing (I think) and three for the contrast and steroids. And strangely, I am ready to go back and get it done on the other side because my right side feels great, but now my left side still feels awful. So, shall I begin my tale?
The above link will give you all the nitty-gritty, and medically accurate, information about the procedure I had today. I will give you the more entertaining, and personally accurate, account of how mine went. I was so freaking terrified for it, but luckily I survived without even crying! I did, however, make the machines' alarms beep because of my ridiculously fast heart rate...and that was after an Adavan.
So I left work early and my boyfriend drove me over to the clinic, which, btw the way, was not nearly as clean, nor as friendly staffed, as my orthopedist's main office. Did not help my fears. Nor did the receptionist who answered personal calls, nor the nurses going in to look at a new x-ray machine and not knowing what the hell to do with it. Increased anxiety, ACTIVATE!
I was literally shaking at this point, but my pain this past week has been bad enough that I have been limping, not sleeping at night, and having horrible pain even after a night's sleep. I was ready for relief. It took a good 35 minutes to be called into my little room, where I was told to undress except for socks and a bra (which I find weird, since there's an x-ray machine, but whatever), and a johnny and robe. They took my vitals (pressure a little high, but my heart rate was about 115/minute....not good!). The nurse thankfully offered an adavan to cure the nerves (totally didn't take effect fast enough though), and waited to be called in for the procedure.
When the time came, a technician/nurse brought me into the room with a table and a big x-ray machine and had me lie on my stomach, bare-ass up. The orthopedist came in and disinfected me, at which point the other nurse started commenting on my heart rate and asked if I was nervous....um...yes!! So she gave me a stress ball. Thank goodness! That thing got used. I caught a glimpse of the computer with my hip bones displayed and quickly hid my face in my pillow. The doctor got right to work, giving me two "bee stings" (numbing shots, I assume, which felt like acupuncture and made my back spasm...perhaps some Qi escaping???) then "a big pinch." I got three of those "big pinches" which felt more like little burning knives (tried to think of it as acupuncture, the pain is only temporary). Unfortunately, unlike acupuncture, the pain did not subside. Three needles were inserted, then moved to the right place, then injected with the steroid, then taken out. Each of those felt like stinging, burning pressure, and I felt sorry for giving little shouts and yelps into my pillow....though I know I was totally warranted, but I still apologized. I squeezed my purple ball and hid my face and tried to breathe through the pain. And within three minutes...we were done. Apparently my back likes to bleed, so they had to put a lot of pressure on the spots (again, a little ouchie), and then covered my spots with band aids.
The doctor left immediately, and I didn't think of any questions to ask until after I left, but luckily I will see him again in two weeks to talk about how it went. I wish he had told me what each needle was doing and where it was going, but I think he also did the right thing by just getting through it as quickly as possible. Once it was all over, the nurses helped me sit up and get robed again, and led me back to my little room. As soon as I sat down I felt dizzy, then nauseous, then downright sick, so I laid down on the bed for a while until I felt well enough to eat my crackers and drink my juice. About 20 minutes of sitting, eating crackers, taking vitals (heart rate down to 99 by then, and pressure slightly lower too), the doctor came in to examine me and told me to see him in two weeks. Then I could leave. I couldn't feel much of a difference at first, but as I walked to the car, I could tell that my left hip was really painful, but my right hip only had very slight pain as I swung my leg forward. By now....uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh.
My left hip/leg is in a lot of pain, probably feeling worse because of the juxtaposition to my now-feeling-pretty-good right side. I have an ache going down my left leg on the back and the hip itself is killing me. I am definately getting the procedure done on that side eventually too. Even if it did really hurt. I'm getting a little achy in my lower back, where the injections entered, and here's the thing that weirds me out. What I felt were needles going into the right hand side of my lower back, where my pain originates, my tailbone, and the lower part of my spine. When I went to look for the band aids, they were all lined up down my spine near the curve of my back. I am SO glad I didn't see the size of the needles that were able to enter through my spine and reach my hip! YUCK!
Day one of recovery....I've had a glass of wine, a Cadbury egg, some Chinese food, and an ice pack. I imagine this is how my weekend will continue. No sewing this week. But hopefully I will be feeling up for it by next weekend. Hope everyone is staying busy with projects...while I'm sitting lame in bed, why not share what you are working on??