Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Trying something a bit more aggressive

Thought I would take a moment to mention the current excitment with my leg - after an unsuccessful bout with both an anti-inflammatory and a nerve pain medication, plus a very healthy looking MRI, my new doctor suggested we try an epidural. Before this, I was really only aware of epidurals being used for giving birth, but apparently, this is a common diagnostic/treatment for leg and back pain. The idea was that if the epidural works (targeting the nerves that go down my left leg), then it will be doubly good - we'll have pinpointed where the pain is emanating from and I'll also hopefully have relief from the pain.

So, this morning, I took the day off work, and Ed drove me up to the surgicenter for my 6:30 am appointment. They were very insistent about not putting anything in your mouth after midnight, the night before the procedure - no food or drink, but also no brushing your teeth, gum, mints, etc. I was worried I would forget in my tired morning state, and found it very hard to leave the house with unpleasant morning breath and no hope of a remedy. At least all the other patients there were in the same boat :P.

Just after 6:30 I headed back to my prep room, where I got changed into the oh so attractive booties, gown and cap, and got an IV put in to keep me hydrated. Apparently I was thirsty, as my body was quickly downing my IV bag. Ed got to hang out with me until it was time for the main event, while I lounged in my "hospital bed" (though, apparently, this is a misnomer here, since this wasn't a hospital. In any event, it looked like the ones on tv :)).

Around 7:30, a new nurse wheeled me back to the procedure room, where I was laid on a metal table and hooked up to some new machines. They gave me a mild sedative "cocktail" which, honestly, didn't seem to do a whole lot. I still felt pretty coherent during the whole process. What was pretty cool about the procedure was that they were doing a live x-ray during it, to make sure the needle went into the right places in my spine, so I could see it as it was happening. It hurt  a bit, but I was expecting much worse - it was over before I knew it!

Afterwards, I got wheeled to recovery, where I had to sit for 30 minutes. And, that was that. Now my back and leg are hurting a decent amount, which is to be expected. I'm told it will be 2-7 days until I feel the positive effects, if it worked. Since the extra pain today is in the normal area, I'm feeling hopeful.

In an ironic coincidence, my mom was also donning a surgical gown today for a hip replacement, including also getting an epidural. I got to chat with her before she went in for her procedure and tell her about mine. Hopefully hers will be just as easy going!


Sarah said...

Fingers crossed that you feel some positive effects soon! Don't give up hope! : )

Christine said...

Wow, that sounds exciting. Any progress?

Christine said...

Wow that's exciting, how do you feel now?