I finally had my first steroid injections yesterday at Orsett Hospital after what felt like an extremely long wait. In the end my consultant decided to give me a Lumbar epidural steroid injection, Left L5, S1 Dorsal root ganglia and Right S1, S2, S3 lateral branch diagnostic blocks.
I was so nervous but somehow managed to keep fairly calm on the surface. I arrived at 9am where I was shown to a bed and given a gown and the most stunning see through granny knickers going (haha!) to change into. I had my blood pressure taken once the nurse finally found a small enough arm wrap for me & she checked my temperature before I signed some forms and was given my hospital bands and told someone would come and see me soon. I sat and skimmed the book I took along with me whilst trying to stop myself thinking of anything and working myself up. Then the lady next to me was called in after a while and I was told I would be next and someone would collect me in about 20 minutes.
I felt ridiculously nervous and mentioned on the way to the operating theatre that I had a bit of a needle phobia and was trying my best to ignore it. I had to be propped up with 2 pillows under my stomach as I am slim. They cracked a few jokes about but by then I had already began to panic and was trying to focus on not jumping off the table but my consultant Dr. Thompson noticed my heart rate and asked for me to be sedated and I felt calm almost instantly and although I kind of felt something was happening it didn’t hurt and I wasn’t really aware of what was happening. I remember rolling onto my bed to be taken to recovery and slowly coming round fully a little while later.
Apart from a few tingles I felt very little to begin with, in fact I was amazed I had no pain! After I had been back on the ward a little while I was given tea and toast before attempting to stand. Surprisingly I felt fine standing and walking just a little stiff so the nurse let me change and called our friend Steve to come and collect me.
I felt a little stiff walking to the car and struggled to get comfy but didn’t feel too bad until I was almost home. Luckily Steve stopped and popped into a shop just in time for me to throw up. We managed to get home before I was sick again and I had a rest on the sofa. I tried to make sure I got up regularly and moved about to ease the stiffness although the pain gradually crept back over the afternoon.
Over the next few hours my hips, back and legs felt like they were stiffening more and more and bolts of pain were taking my breath away and making me feel nauseous. By the evening I was in so much pain I felt so sick with each bolt of pain and struggled to eat. I spent most of the day on the sofa cuddled up with my pillow and wheat bag feeling exhausted and sorry for myself.
Before bed the Mr ran me a nice warm bath so I could de-tango myself and try to ease the pain a little in the hope I could get some sleep. I dosed myself up and although I did wake several times I had a fairly OK night but woke up very stiff again. Unfortunately I was sick a few more times when I got up due to bolts of pain and felt exhausted still but I tried to move around gently across the morning having a few rest periods on the sofa.
I decided to look Dr Thomson up on-line to see if there had been any feedback from his other patients and was surprised and pleased to find out just how successful he is in his field. When I came across this page I really was impressed reading about Dr Thomson’s work and the 5th paragraph reminded me how it amazed me when he actually listened to me at my first pain management appointment and I had a feeling he really knew what he was talking about.
Having read this I am so glad I am under such a great team and although I am struggling with the pain I am confident that whether the injections work or not I am under a great consultant who will continue to help me. From the very few people who were able to share their experiences with me it seems I have been very lucky so far and hopefully the pain will ease up soon and the injections work even if its just a few day’s of relief! I will be sent another appointment in the next 13-18 weeks so I guess for now its just a case of resting and seeing how things go. I think I’m going to set up the Catch My Pain app to remind me to track my pain levels again now I have the G4 back so I can monitor everything until my next appointment.