My 4th Epidural Injection…Glutton For Punishment!

I’m sure you all have heard of this pain management method…and therefore can relate to it. But I decided to write about my experience today since apparently I drew the lucky number for the ‘best nurse’ to take care of me. If you didn’t feel the sarcasm in that, I’m sorry…meant it in the most sarcastic way! Don’t get me wrong, I do like nurses, but some of them are meant to be (and I’m extremely happy when I get a good nurse) and some, well are just meant to take vitals…and thats it!

As my name is called, unknown Dr. comes out to greet me, gives me the run down on procedure, and has me sign consent. (There are some risks to this…I guess minimal but nonetheless they are risks…and remember all it takes is to draw that lucky number!

He’s done….sends me back to waiting room to await the dreadful moment. Bubbly Nurse 1 comes out…I get it, they are just doing their job…but I can’t help it…I’m not looking forward to this and therefore (although I did have coffee in my system) I’m not sociable and not smiling! So, because its my 1st time having this done at Syracuse VA Hosp, regardless of it being my 4th experience, they need to prepare me with an IV in the event that something goes wrong in there and its needed. I get it…I didn’t dread it, I’m not afraid of small needles…lol So I watch her prepare everything, she’s is talking and talking. I’m getting this non trustful weird feeling…and all of a sudden she pricks me right hand…makes comment of how small my veins are…she hits the vein and somehow she looses it…proceeds to wiggle…wiggle…back and forth…up and down with no luck.  Mind you, I’ve never had this ‘luck’…usually they prick, its in, I’m done…but no, not this time. Proceeds to pull…blood starts going ALL over, and grabs my left hand and says that I have a better vein there, she gonna try it there. You know I’m truly annoyed at this point, really want her to shut up…but she continues the endless conversation. We literally switch seats because “it would be more comfortable”. Prepares everything, 2nd prick…I see blood in the line and all of a sudden she’s moving needle and guess what? She ‘looses’ the vein again. I’m breathing deep, its taking a lot from me, I remember its Lent Season and I should calm myself and be good. Nurse #2 comes along, and asks what is taking so long…unknown Dr. also peeks in asking if IV is done. We’ve already been at it for about 15 min, N1 tells N2 how she is loosing the vein…and I’m thinking its not the vein missy…its you! N2 says, let me do it…I’m thinking, It can’t go worse, so with a thank God sigh, I straighten up my back on chair and think let’s do this. N2 takes my left arm and says, “good vein”…I say, “right”. Prepares everything, pulls out needle from packaging…shoves it right in (it hurt but i was happy) and next thing you know she’s taping it all down.

Impatient unknown Dr. peeks in again and is ready to take me in. They lay me down, finally I see my Dr. who comes in greeting me and explaining things. Tells me she be putting some numbing stuff there but to be aware it burns. She say so you rather have burning or sharp…I said of burn of course. She also lets me know that because of the rod in L4L5 she might have try injection in L5S1 as well…I think what the heck consent is signed already. I forgot that prick #4 comes along with lovely burning…but thats ok…I think a this point just get this done, I wanna go home! Prick #4 was worse than 1, 2 & 3 combined…awkward, vulnerable, unexpected and I can’t see it!!! Oh and that initially welcomed Mr. Burn…was mean to me…he did burn…not only within site but all down my left leg. At this point, after a non voluntary movement from the prickling and mr. burn…I try to relax and think, we’re almost done…the tone in my Dr’s voice and very calming and she is directing x-ray crew along, unknown dr. is doing as told when guess what I feel: its prick 5…nothing but a pinch…but foreign steroid gunk goes in pushing and making its way into nerve with no ifs or buts…and I feel it ALL the way down in my toes!

Needle is out torture is over!

Bad news is, I’m scheduled for ‘take 2…actually 5’ in two months. By the way did I mention that the first 3 times I did this, they didn’t work. At the moment I sat in chair after getting up pain went from 7 to 2. Although the shooting pain down let was definitely not a 2…tonight at home back pain is somewhat at its norm again. Hopefully, its better in the morning.




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