Monday morning I get to have my fun and games (and giant needle) adventures so I thought it would be prudent to read the paperwork they gave me before then. I actually glanced at it before but it didn't really sink in. I mean there are the details they gave in the fine print that say things like: "An ESI (epidural Steroid injection) is the injection of a steroid medication mixed with saline into the epidural space in your spine (neck or back). The epidural space is located in the spine just outside the sac containing your spinal fluid."
Or "the area of injection is cleaned with a cleaning solution (Iodine), draped and the doctor will numb the skin and underlying tissue with a local anesthetic injection. This will sting a little for a few seconds. A needle is then advanced into the epidural space."
Or "The steroid usually takes 48 hours to take effect. some people actually have an increase in their pain level temporarily. Local soreness from the needle is also expected. You may take your usual pain medications for this. Also, using an ice pack at the site of injection may help as well. There is a chance that the injection provides no relief."
I like the parts about 'sting a little for a few seconds' and the chance it might not work. Actually I was told it works for about 60% of the people who get them. And if it works, it only lasts for six months. They can give you up to three six weeks apart every six months. So if it does work, I can go through it again, and again, and again, and again.
I was so overjoyed with these tidbits of information, I went on to read the next sheet:
1. You must have a driver home post procedure. (I do and I have a back up driver if needed.)
2. You may eat and drink prior to your procedure, we recommend that you have a light meal. (Hmmm... if I am stressed, I may not want to eat.)
3. No aspirin for 7 days prior to the procedure. (I don't take aspirin.)
4. About blood thinners and was crossed off.
5. No anti-inflammatories for 2 days prior to the procedure (ibuprofen, motrin, advil, aleve, lodine, naprosyn, relafen, etc. And the nurse wrote in etodolac and robaxim which are my anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant. (So what do I get to take all weekend? I can just be in pain so I can get my pain relief shot that may or may not work?)
The list goes on and I have more pages but I am done reading. I don't want to know any more. The dots are now connected. I will be in pain for the next four days - 2 days with no drugs before and 2 days after with pain from the injection. Can anything be more fun than that?
Anyway, in the meantime, today I am going to work and then for a walk with a friend and then a manicure. For dinner, we are cooking on the grill for the first time of the season. Its finally going to be nice this weekend and we hope to make the most of it.