Well today I endured probably the most painful thing in my life... I think even more painful than when I broke my back. I went into the hospital this morning for a Discogram, and for those of you who may not know what this is I'll tell you my experience.
I was warned before I went in that this procedure/test was excruciatingly painful but of course after 2 years of back problems I am ready to get this figured out and this test is the one test I need to do that. So I arrived at the hospital not having been able to eat or drink, which struck me as odd because this procedure they do with no anesthesia... So I do all of my H&P paperwork, then they take blood as they need to make sure I have no type of infection or illness because then they can't do it due to the risk of infection getting into the spine... So I was A-OK and they sent me on down to Radiology because this procedure is XRAY guided then followed by a CT scan.
Upon getting down there the Dr comes in to speak with us about the procedure and he explains that what they will be doing is very painful *ahh*. They will first insert a needle to numb the skin and then push down through another level to numb (but this is all just skin level) then they will insert the larger needle that will go into the disc itself. Now there are problems that occur in this procedure, the main one being that because the nerves are so close it is very easy to hit the nerve. If that happens you will get shooting lightening pain through the hip and down the leg *again ahh*. So after all of the needles are in place they will inject the disc's with dye, the purpose of this is to aggravate the pain you have so they can pin point which disc is damaged. So first you feel pressure in that area and then if the disc is bad then you will feel intense pain. After all of the dye has been placed then they remove the needles and send you to CT for a scan that will show with the dye any degeneration of the disc's any tears, breaks, etc... Then you go to recovery for 2 hours before you are released home. Oh and I forgot to mention they do not give you pain medicine until the procedure is DONE!!!
So after the Dr tells us everything I ask him "well will I at least get something to calm me down so that I don't jump off the table"? He says NO!!! So I told him that it isn't likely that I will be able to lay there while they do this without anything because this area of my back is a no no zone on a regular day and having someone touch it let alone putting needles in I will come unglued!!!! So he says "sorry", and walks out. I look at my Hubby and I immediately start crying because the fear is so great. And I prayed and while praying the Dr comes back in and says OK I will give you a small dose of Valium to help calm your nerves, Praise God!!!
So they take me in and get me prepped, you know the drill sterilize me and everything around me (thank you Dr's). They inject the Valium into my I.V. line and then continue to prep. So it's time to start now and by this time their small dose of Valium is wearing off...GREAT!!! So the Dr tells me you will feel a prick and then sting....now deeper and sting....then insert the other needle and into the disc. OK just that part there I was about to throw up the pain was so bad and they continue on and again prick and sting...now deeper....AHHHH you hit a nerve!!!!!!!!!!! I literally about came off of the table, the pain that shot through my back, hip, and leg was unreal...Throw up feeling goes away as it is now taken over by pain!!! So after they hit a nerve it is a race to move the needle and find a spot that isn't through the nerve...again not fun, not fun at all... I was laying there just sobbing because the pain was so horrific, then my nose starts running and so I ask can I have a tissue and the nurse goes and grabs one of those boxes with tissues the size of a toilet paper square and sets the box by my head, doesn't even get one out for me. So here I am with (oh yes I forgot to mention this part) the blood pressure cuff on my same arm with the I.V. and it is going off every minute and I'm trying to fish out a tissue without moving...I did it but I was so upset, I mean just something so simple like that was really hard to do. So all in all I think they hit nerves 7 or more times and after they hit them my leg would go from pain to numb to weak and numb...Very scary...
I made it through and the Dr's said I did a great job, and I said well I didn't feel as though I did good...And they told me that 2 weeks ago they had a grown man in there screaming bloody murder, and they actually had to ask him to quiet down because he wasn't focusing on what he was supposed to be doing and that is verifying the pain. Well I didn't think it was nice to make fun of this man but I did feel better knowing they thought I did good. They then gave me my dose of pain med and sent me to the CT department. So I went in there and completed the CT and was returned to a recovery room. I asked the nurse when I got to recovery what pain med they gave me because I had forgotten that Demerol makes me sick and I hadn't gotten any relief yet. I was starting to wonder if they injected me with water or something!! So she checked and said it was Morphine and I told her it wasn't working so they gave me a Loritab too, still didn't work :(
So I have had a very pain filled day, and also alot of pain from them getting the nerves. This kind of scares me because my leg keeps going numb or weak and then I will get throbbing pain there... I am having alot of pain in my back as well so I'm hoping tomorrow is better. Oh I hope no one I know ever has to go through that, it is unbelievable. I think the total amount of times I was stuck was 20, but I took a picture to share with you all so you can see how this looks...
The Dr's did get a good look at my Longhorn LOL!! Please excuse the ugly moles that have popped up, it sucks getting older :~)