Thursday, November 14, 2013

ProPatient: Shots in my Spine!

Recently I had steroids injected into my lower spine in order to combat pain and limited movement in my lumbar region. I have bulging disks, and one has gone so far as to tear and leak somewhat. This has been a problem for a few years, but recent MRI results showed that I know had arthritic and spinal stenosis changes in these lumbar beauties.

First, a picture of the beautiful fall colors in our yard to reward you for going on these jaunts with me:

A snapshot of beautifully brown, red, tan leaves right before the cold snap.
I planned on more pictures, then the cold snap happened.


Those changes in my spine triggered a different reaction this time, and the lab coats decided it was time to do something else. We had tried habit changes, exercises, physical therapy, and I was having some temporary luck with a TENS Unit. A new, longer lasting but still probably temporary effort was determined to be appropriate: epidural steroid injections.

It has been a little while, and so far, so good. I now have a spot on my back that does not experience chronic pain, and it is amazing. I am really happy with it so far and hope that the change hangs around for a while. Since I have a lot going on, I can not give a clean opinion on it like someone that only had this issue and then this procedure could produce. 

Prepping for the procedure  considered "outpatient surgery" by my medical system, was almost non-existent. If they offer sedation and you want it, you have to follow that non-eating/drinking thing. I have seen so many variations of that damned rule, and so many hospital staff breaking it that I have little respect for that blasted thing. I did take their twilight this time, but I want to learn more about how this is done and will probably avoid it the next time so I can share that with you.

The only things you need to bring are your patient bag, boredom toys, crafts, reading, and a driver. Plan on taking it easy for a day or few, depending on how this sort of thing usually alters your general well being and stay away from lifting heavy stuff  or having to sit in the same position for a few days.

The folks that worked on me did not even need jewelry removal, except if I had body piercings in the area that was slated for imaging. Everything was professional and quick. 

I had the procedure on a Friday, they called Monday to check up on me, and I see them in a month to review how it went and whatever we need to do next. I am very happy with it so far, and only if this is very short lived will I consider it not worth the effort. Right now I am irritated we did not do this sooner, and bugged that it is not a permanent solution - both only problems because I am happy with the result.