Sunday, February 6, 2011

Needles, more needles, and blood. Oh, and fear.

Let me preface this by saying that I hate needles, to the point (pun!) where even though getting my blood taken doesn't hurt, I get nauseous at the mention of getting it done. And as far as blood, combined with needles, I once vomited because a nurse took my IV out and some blood came with it. Instantaneous reaction. I recently had a fainting spell when my cat was in the animal ER and the doctor told me that they had to extract her urine because there was blood in it. Literally. I don't even know how that happened, but I was faint for a good 30 minutes.

I've gotten that same reaction several other times in the doctor's office. Once when a doctor examined my very infected ear drum (they said that was normal though), and once when I was told about my endometriosis. Not sure if that was about the diagnosis, or the mention of using IVF by the time I turn 30. Regardless, I do have a bad track record for random fainting spells.

I am going to guess that at my next doctor's appointment, I will faint.

So, I reinjured my back on Monday. I saw my doctor on Wednesday and she gave me a referral to an orthopedist. I saw him Friday, and had a very interesting visit. First, he didn't like to let me finish my sentences before asking me another question (which is understandable, as I have a lot to say, but it is all VERY important!). Next, after an exam, he said it seemed like I didn't have any nerve damage, but probably had a disk injury. Oh, until he saw my MRI, which was clear. Hm. Puzzled? Not this guy. He says that the issue probably has something to do with my high school SI joint/hip injury and that I should have injections.

Ah, yes. An injection in my hip. My third worst medical fear (all of which have one thing in common, and it isn't needles). See, I love doctors. I love knowing what is wrong with me. My first instinct is to go to the doctor. And I don't mind diagnostic tests. I've had x-rays, bone scans, CTs, MRIs, ultrasounds, blood tests........but none of those hurt. This.....this will hurt. And probably more than the last thing I had done by a doctor that hurt. And he promised it would just be uncomfortable. Well, Dr. Curly Hair who works in the ER and was on Boston Medical, it DID hurt. You shoved a flu swab so far up my nose that the pain was unbearable and made me have a massive nose bleed.

I'm fine until things hurt. Then my fear level spikes so high I have panic attacks at the mention of the...whatever. And it isn't like I'm not used to pain. Back problems, kidney stones, cysts, endo...they all hurt. But those are all a force of nature that I don't agree to and which are totally unavoidable. When I have control over it, that seems to be when I can't handle it. Not sure why.....

Which is why agreeing to this injection is such a big step. I was told I could have injections in my hips when I was in high school, and I was way too scared back then, and reasoned away that it wasn't affecting my life enough (except that I had to give up dancing, which is a totally different, very long winded entry). My hip problems made me a much more reserved person. I don't dance, jump, ice skate or do any kind of winter activity. But that's fine. I don't need to do those things.

But I DO need to work. And now my back problems are affecting my ability to work. So....injections it is.

My acupuncturist agreed with me that the injection is only going to mask the pain that helps to alert us to a problem. Unfortunately, I need that pain to go away for a while. Acupuncture this weekend was....well, painful. So far is hasn't been a pleasant experience, but it never really hurt. This time, it did. The acupuncturist I got this time is also an MD, which made me feel better. She and the supervisor (because I use the students, since it isn't covered by my insurance) said that my right side was reacting to "something" and that the muscles clearly showed it. They also said I had a small spot of pooled blood in my back that indicated stagnation that needed to be released. Great.

So we began with the usual needles in my back, a couple in my feet and hands. Then, and this was the best part since she pantsed me to be able to do it, she stuck a needle in my butt cheek. And it HURT! It was like an electrical shock and went all over the area. This happens to be where my sciatica is, so either she hit the nerve or there really was a great stagnation of Qi. Either way, ouch! And that wasn't even the worst of it.

Next, she asked if I was ready...yeah, sure, why not?! Stab me in the back and bleed me! Which is exactly what she did. Three sharp needles stabs, the third of which really hurt, and then a little glass cup, like Jackie Chan uses in new Karate Kid, and a long suction devise (I would never know this, except that my boyfriend was there and told me...I never look at anything they do during acupuncture because I am so scared...I shook during my entire first appointment). It felt tingly, like putting your hand against the vacuum hose, and I guess they only took out like five drops of blood. Afterward I felt great, but a few hours later...oooooh boy.

I needed ice. I am now more sore where she took my blood out than I am where I pulled my muscle. And this is why I am now scared out of my wits to get the injection. All she did was prick my skin. The orthopedist is going to stick a great big needle all the way into my hip and inject a steroid and a pain medication into it. They may need to sedate me. For their own sake. I'm not kidding.

Good luck doctors, that's all I have to say.


  1. I can't stand needles! I'm so sorry. Good luck!

  2. Oh Kelsey I feel your pain. I have to give myself weekly injections of liquid B12 because of the type of anemia I have. I don't get quite as queasy as you do, but my boyfriend does...and seeing him get so worked up gets me worked up!

    I think you are the bravest person EVER for attempting accupuncture cause that is just too much for me!

    Thinking of you and sending healthy vibes your way!


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