anxiety, chronic illness, chronic pain, disabled, drugs, health, illness, medical marijuana, surgery

epidural steroid injection

on thursday i am going to have my sixth epidural  steroid injection. the injection helps control the pain from the problems in my back. i have spinal stenosis which is a narrowing of the spinal column which causes some if the discs to get squashed (like my technical term?) and pinch nerves.

i have problems at L4 and L5 as well as the sacroiliac joint. my pain doctor performs the procedure.

they say “procedure” but to me it seems a lot like surgery! i have to fast, stop taking NSAIDS several days before, etc.  i go to the surgery center and change into a hospital gown, a icky  papery shower cap sort of thing to gather up my hair. they give you cool socks with treads on the bottom. i love them. i’ve quite a collection now.

two nurses come in and put you under a blanket from a warmer, oh jeez that feels good. no matter how hot it outside, it’s freezing cold in the surgery center, plus it’s just reassuring to have a warm blanket over you. they put in an iv and ask me a million questions. even though i’ve done this many times, i still feel a little scared each time.

the nurses are so very very nice. when the doctor finishes her previous case she comes in and talks to me and then they roll me into the OR which is incredibly cold. i have to roll over onto the operating table and lay on my tummy. there is a head rest, like they use during massages. they start giving me fentynal and versed–conscious sedation. you are high as a kite, so it’s almost fun. lol

i hate laying there for 45 minutes with basically nothing on, my butt just hanging out, uncovered. joy. luckily the drugs make you not care too much because i find it extremely discomforting to be nude in a room full of people. there are lots of nurses. the doctor wears a lead apron because they use a giant x-ray  machine that is mounted  on the ceiling and tilts around as they need it to. that’s how they know exactly where  to inject the cortisone…pretty important since they’re putting it in my spine. the injections hurt some going in, but after that it’s not too bad.

when they’re done i get back on the gurney, more embarrassment because the hospital gown is totally open and practically flapping around as you move. then everybody gets to see everything!  i’m sure they don’t give a shit, seen it a million times. but i do! once you’re on the gurney they immediately drown you in warm blankets. the feeling is so good, like the drugs, it’s almost worth it just for that. lol

in the recovery room they put ice packs on your back, keep you awhile for making sure your vitals are good and you’re not going to have a bad reaction or flip out or whatever.

omg i have to pee once i get out of the operating room, so that’s a priority! another time i had this surgery, the surgeon was an hour an half late so i feel asleep. i woke up  and they were rolling me into the OR and i had to pee bad, i mean really really bad. but we were practically there so i couldn’t say anything. it was horrible!  i was pretty sure i would wet myself on the table. that’s not so good for a sterile environment. thank goodness the drugs made it so i didn’t feel like i had to pee. when i got out of surgery, i didn’t have to pee badly, go figure!

you don’t stay in the recovery long and your ride comes and takes you home. you have to have someone stay with you for 24 hours. then the back pain kicks in. it’s pretty unfun for a few days. i’ve got quite a bit of various medical marijuana edibles for that time.

after that, you wait. sometimes the injections work and sometimes they don’t. it’s a crap shoot. last one keep my pain low for about 9 months! most of the others did nothing. but i’ll try anything time after and after.  the pain is very motivating.

so now i get to worry about it until 8am on thursday. 😦

i’ll be ok though, i always am. 🙂

anxiety, art, bipolar, chronic illness, chronic pain, comics, depression, fatigue, fibromyalgia, illness, medical marijuana, medicine, mental illness, Movies, spinal stenosis, writing

the state of my mind this week 2

i think it’s been longer than a week since i wrote about the state of my mind. as usual, no one mood can last for long. bipolar is a bitch. if there’s a theme, like in this case, it was the procedure, i moaned and groaned , as you who read this blog will know..

i stayed up most of the night before the because i was so anxious. the middle of the night is the worst.

i woke peter up an hour before he had to take me to the doctor for the injections. i thought he should hang out with me because i was so worried. good grief! who wants to hang out with someone in that state! peter took good care of me the all through the aftermath.. he brought me everything i needed, cooked foods i love and often came down from where he was gaming, and later was sleeping, to it visit me on the couch.

for this set of injections i decided to use the newish Synvisk One. the reaction to injections is the kind of pain i’ve been going through. since it is too horrible to go through it 3 weeks (it takes quite a while to recover from one) i was so worried the pain would be the with 6ml, the whole dose from the small shots, at once. would it it be 3 worse? would the recover be 3x as badly. i couldn’t imagine that.

the shots were bad, though not 3x as bad! the needle getting to the joint with the needle was the same, really effing bad. the difference was that there was so much medicine and it was so thick she had to push it slowly into the center of the joint. she got me talking about me losing a lot of weight which is a great way to distract me. i did a lot of deep breathing while i was waiting because there were two giant needles full of something that looked solid.

long story short, all of that went ok. huzzy took me home and i ate a 200mg THC medical marijuana edible. it did exactly what i wanted to happen. i was asleep all day, until the huz woke me up for dinner, but i didn’t eat (unless you call eating another pot snack) and was in and out til bedtime. i slept on the couch for two days because getting upstairs to the bedroom was impossible.and i needed to be able to be near music and tv , art supplies and comic books and medical marijuana thing i could possibly want, down stairs!

i continued with the edibles. the pain was so powerful that i never got remotely high. i took some cannabis oil, a oral dose, and then i smoked a joint. i got through it without screaming or going to the hospital or making my husband want to divorce me! i took more edibles and then some capsules that act like an edible. that’s pretty amazing! the large doses of edibles, etc, kept the pain low enough to avoid the fentenyl and dilaudid i got at the hospital. the last three times scared badly. this time when the pain was at it’s worst i cried out loud and held my husbands hand hard.

i got these shots for years and never had much pain, some, but nothing like
this time. the last 2 times the terrible pain happened again but i had no idea why. later i asked the surgeon and she was very cavalier about it, and said different people had them like i was before the medicine started making me want to die during the recovery period.

before i scheduled these injections, one in each knee, i wanted to find out more, like if i got something nobody else got, or is there a quickfix?
i checked out a couple of arthritis forums. when i looked for “Synvisk side effects” bingo! there were pages of people saying they got my same horrible reactions i did. many of the people who posted said a few days of helll, then no arthris pain for a year.

i think i’m doing pretty well today, because…..!!!!!!

!!!!!!!…….because i got to see Wonder Woman. i’ve been waiting and waiting. it kicked ass! the heroine was fantastic. so were the other actors and actresses. this one was well done enough that it was easy to lose all track of reality. it depends entirely on the director to make this work. they did it right this time. diana is the kind of warrior who cares so much so that ….oops i almost gave something away! better stop there!

i’ve been very into painting with watercolors. i paint a couple times a day and a doodle all the time. i’m wearing gloves to preserve my manicure. vanity!
of a gel medicine that acts as a cushion between the bones where cartilage used to be (it’s gone or part way gone when you have pain).

for this set of injections i decided to use the newish Synvisk One. the reaction to it is too horrible to go through it 3 weeks (it takes quite a while to recover from one) i was so worried the pain would be the with 6ml, the whole dose from the small shots, at once. would it it be 3 worse? would the recover be 3x as badly. i couldn’t imagine that. the shot

the shots were bad, though not 3x as bad! the needle getting to the joint with the needle was the same, really effing bad. the difference was that there was so much medicine and it was so thick she had to push it slowly into the center of the joint. she got me talking about me losing a lot of weight which is a great way to distract me. i did a lot of deep breathing while i was waiting because there were two giant needles full of something that looked solid.

long story short, all of that went ok. huzzy took me home and i ate a 200mg mmj edible. it did exactly what i wanted to happen. i was asleep all day, until the huz woke me up for dinner, but i didn’t eat (unless you call eating another pot snack and was in and out til bedtime. i slept on the couch for two days because getting upstairs to the bedroom was impossible. needed to be able to be near music and tv , art supplies and comic books and medical marijuana thing i could possibly want.

i continued with the edibles. the pain was so powerful that i never got remotely high. i took some cannabis oil, a oral dose, and then i smoked a joint. i got through it without screaming or going to the hospital or making my husband want to divorce me! i took more edibles and then some capsules that act like an edible. that’s pretty amazingz! the large doses of edibles, etc, kept the pain low enough to avoid the fentenyl and dilaudid the hospital. but i really needed it, i was scared.

i got these shots for years and never had much pain, some, but nothing like this, the last 2 times it happened i had no idea why. later i asked the surgeon and she was very cavalier about it, and said different people had them like i was before the medicine started making me want to die during the recovery period. i think i’m doing pretty well today, because…..!!!!!!

!!!!!!!…….because i got to see Wonder Woman. i’ve been waiting and waiting. it kicked ass! the heroine was fantastic. so were the other actors and actresses. this one was well done enough that it was easy to lose all track of reality. that’s one of my personally are movies and tv that are unreal, meant to be unreal, but everything else is realistic. it depends entirely on the director to make this work. they did it right this time. diana is the kind of warrior who cares so much so that ….oops i almost gave something away! better stop there!