|Not Me: Sadly I Didn't Come Out Of The Procedure As A Super Soldier...|
For those who missed it on Facebook, yesterday I went into Maidstone Hospital for a scheduled procedure to - hopefully - ease my back pain (and other chest, neck, head pains which may be associated with it).
This came about - very quickly - following my meet with with the consultant at the Pain Clinic last month (yayyy for our amazing NHS!)
I was to have a half-dozen "facet joint injections" into my lower back; three down each side, steroids to help fend off the pain - at least for a time - and allow me to be more limber, and therefore exercise better.
Because of my dieting - and desire to reduce my sugar levels - I was concerned about the injections boosting my sugar levels but was assured, several times, by different medical people, that this elevation was only temporary.
Rachel and I got to the hospital at 8am on Friday, having left Alice with Rachel's parents, and were shown to a private room, where we were told to wait.
There were a number of other people scheduled for the procedure in this "slot", and we were each taken in in turn.
While waiting, we were visited by a number of attentive, chatty, and informative members of staff - including the ebullient consultant, himself, who would be carrying out the injections - to explain what would be occurring, the recovery period, what I should and shouldn't do etc
When it was my turn to be taken into theatre, having got changed into a fetching hospital gown (see picture below), I lay on the bed and was wheeled in, before being asked to turn onto my stomach.
Freezing cold, local anaesthetic spray was put on my back, then the injections began. First the three on the right of my spine, which - to be honest - I barely felt at all. I couldn't even tell you how far the needles went in.
Foolishly, when asked how those felt, I said: "Painless", promptly jinxing the whole shebang.
Next, it was the trio of injections on the left side of my spine. While these didn't hurt per se, they triggered violent twitching in my left leg - the side leg numbed by my stroke 12 years ago. So that was fun.
Everything was done and dusted in about ten minutes.
Afterwards I was taken into a recovery room, just to ensure there were no complications, where, chatting with the nurse, I managed to swing the conversation round to the wonders of Alice.
Once they got bored of me waffling on about our dog, I was taken back to "my" room, where Rachel was waiting.
I was given a cup of tea and some custard creams (yummm), and told to recuperate for half an hour, then we could go.
There were some final blood pressure checks and I was allowed to head home, on the understanding that I take it easy for a day or two - as once the local anaesthetic wore off I was likely to feel the bruising and pain.
Now, it's a waiting game. We went into this knowing that the injections only work on 60 per cent of patients, and improvements often only start to materialise after two to three weeks.
Even then, if they work, the effects only last for a matter of months and then I'd had have to think about maybe having more injections in 18 months or so.
|Post-Injections: Feeling Fine!|
Back from the hospital, I have to confess, there was a constant mild ache that never truly went away.
But today, when Rachel and I tried to walk Alice uptown, I think the anaesthetic must have finally worn off as I was suddenly struck by cramping pain in my back and sides. We had to turn round and shuffle home, so I could get into a warm bath.
Hopefully, things will now slowly improve. Slightly disappointed that I didn't emerge from the procedure with Captain America-style muscles, but the dice have been rolled. Let's see what happens next...