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!