Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Why I had an epidural

Yesterday Kristi sent an e-mail that said I was doing fine after my epidural shot. Many people wrote back with some thing like "huh? what? we didn't even know he was expecting!"

I've been having a bit of back trouble this summer, and it turns out that I've got a herniated disc. It's not bad enough that I need surgery. The specialist said that with physical therapy and some medication, I should be okay. But a part of the treatment included an epidural steroid shot around the cartilage of the bulged disc. So that's what I had done yesterday.

As many of you know, I'm quite a baby when it comes to needles. I routinely pass out when I try to give blood or have to take blood tests. That's a side effect of a really bad experience I had when I was a teenager. So I had been dreading this day ever since they told me what needed to be done.

I thought they were going to give me a pill or something like valium that would take the stress off for them to get the procedure done. So imagine my surprise when they started talking about my IV. "IV???" I had never had an IV before.

But much to my surprise, the IV didn't hurt, or make me pass out (thanks to Kristi holding my hand and making me talk while the nurse was putting it in so I didn't have to think about it). After they gave me the IV, I walked into the operating room where there was a table, set up so that when I lay on it, my butt was in the air. I told the doctor that if they screwed up and gave me a colonoscopy instead that I was going to be really ticked off. They all laughed. Then they put an oxygen tube in my nose, and that's all I remember.

The next thing I knew, I was sitting in a recliner with all my clothes on again. I have no idea how I got dressed or how I got into the chair. The photo that Kristi sent yesterday was while I was still functionally sedated. Apparently I was reading a magazine and kept talking about steak and rum - two things that I love, but seldom partake in.

So Kristi took me to eat afterward at Panera. I ... sort of ... remember eating lunch. Then we went to Target. I remember bits and pieces of Target, but not much. And then I crashed and fell asleep pretty much the rest of the way home. But by the time we got back to Brenham, I was conscious again. I remember everything after that, and we had pretty good evening.

I feel a lot better today than I have been. At my PT this morning, I had almost no pain at all, and even sitting here at my desk working doesn't hurt like it usually does. The doctor told me that I might be pretty sore today, but so far I'm okay. The steroid injection is supposed to really kick in tomorrow, so that will be cool.

I'm just looking forward to hopefully getting back to a normal routine.

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