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Jan 11

Back Injections – Ouch :(

  
Today I spent half the day in Tameside Hospital. 

Once I was dropped off by my partner, I got booked in by a delightfully rude woman who must love her job! Then waited to be taken to the ward. 

After filling in a “few” sheets of paper work, and sat on my mobility scooter, forced to watch daytime television. I was eventually called and shown to the ward (by a very nice pleasant male nurse), about half an hour after the requested arrival time! 

I think they just ask everyone to arrive, all at the same time. I was to arrive for 10am, though of course we always turn up early so I was there at 9.15am.

In my cubicle I got changed into a delightful, off the shoulder backless little nightie number. I know, you are probably all jealous. But not everybody get the chance to wear such lovely nighties, and just for a twist, I put mine on backwards too! Well hey, it was by choice, honest 😉

I then covered my posterior, with the beautiful furry leopard dressing gown the kids got me for Christmas 😀

Then started the next waiting game. Once I had been brought to the ward and shown my cubicle with bed, and a nightie and blanket I was left to get changed. 

Nobody came to check on me, or inform me of when I would be going to theatre. They didn’t even open my curtains, I waited over half an hour! Then I got one of my walking sticks, and pulled a curtain back so I could be seen that I was there! 

Communication doesn’t take much, but can mean a lot. Just an acknowledgement from a nurse that I was there, would have been enough. I didn’t get collected to go down to theatre, until just after 12 noon.

In the outer room before going into the theatre, I had a cannular put into my left hand. It took ages, as the nurse couldn’t find a vein so he was having to flick my hand with two fingers to make a vein rise up. It hurt, and I knew there would be bruising tomorrow. Never mind tomorrow, it’s already bruised now 🙁

Then off with the dressing gown, and pushed on through the next set of doors. Ready and waiting was my surgeon, to do the injection for my back and leg pain.

Only to my surprise he spoke about injecting the facets in between the back bones, where I have all the problems of degenerating discs, prolapses and bulging discs.

Facet joints are small joints at each segment of the spine that provide stability and help guide motion. Facet joints can become painful due to arthritis, back injury, or mechanical stress. A facet joint injection delivers a steroid medication which anesthetizes the joints and blocks the pain.

Well that’s the explaination, so you can understand more about the procedure I had done. 

I was not expecting these injections, I had four of them. It was very painful, the surgeon said I did brilliant. Though I did cry by the end, I did well holding back the tears that long! 🙁 

The surgeon had mentioned about doing the facet joints, and the epidural injections all at the same time. But he was concerned in case my stats changed, and if my body couldn’t take it.

I asked him to please, just do them all and get it over with. As he was doing the procedure he was great, he was totally on top of his game. Watching all monitors, and giving orders and requests to his staff members. He knew I was going through a lot of pain, kept checking I was okay. I wanted it done, I kept saying yes.

Unfortunately by the end of the third injection I could no longer hold my tears back, and j was crying. I felt ashamed of myself! I put up with pain EVERY DAY! WHATS A BIT MORE PAIN WHEN ITS TO DO GOOD? 🙁

The surgeon decided that once the facet joint injections were done, he wanted to finish and not do the epidural spinal injection. He said I’d gone through enough, he didn’t want to put me through more. That they would arrange my epidural steroid injection for another day, and would send out the appointment by letter.

They very gently helped me transfer back to the bed I had been wheeled in on from the ward, covered me with a blanket and put up the sides. 

I felt sick, the pain was awful. My back hurt more than when I came in, but I expected that. I was just so pleased I hadn’t suffered an epileptic attack, whether I have epilepsy or non epileptic attack disorder. Either are scary, and I didn’t need that on top of the pain. Plus I only spasmed a few times, so my neurological disorders all seemed to behave their selves. For once! 😀

When back on the ward the nurse came and took my blood pressure and stats, she asked about the pain and what sort of level I would put it at. I replied that I live with pain everyday, that it was a little worse and uncomfortable. She gave me number ratings, and said she wouldn’t consider letting me home, until I got to 2 or below. 

She got me a coffee and toast, I’d had nothing to drink for hours and hadn’t eaten since 7pm the day before.

Eventually I could feel the pain lessening, the injections were working! 

The nurse eventually allowed me to leave, and removed the wire finger monitor for my heart and the cannular from my hand. Oops blood spurted all over, my hand was covered. I might not have wanted to give them a vein, but apparently I was a little bleeder 😉 lol 

I’d been texting my partner, and was relieved to let him know he could set off to collect me at last. 

I was so glad to see him, and even happier once home. 

I was so tired, I actually went to bed as soon as we got in. He went to make us coffee, but I was practically asleep by the time he had made it.

He left me to sleep, and when I woke up it was five o’clock, tablet time! It’s as if my body knows all the tablet times now 🙂

I was in a lot of pain. It is now 10pm in the evening, I’m still in pain. It can take a couple of days for it all to settle, after all I’ve had needles inserted and then steroid medication pushed through into joints not used to any of this.

I am hoping for a good nights sleep tonight, and a new slightly less painful day tomorrow.

I hope my writings both interest, and give you insight to the things that movement sufferers can live through.

Take care folks, and as always thanks for reading 🙂

4 comments

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  1. Steve Riley

    Hope you feel much better and the pain is less now after a good night sleep
    all the best

    1. dystoniasufferer

      Thank you so much Steve, I am, at last, feeling a little better 🙂

  2. NewDystoniaWarrior

    I’ve only been diagnosed in the last 6 months and still suffering most of the time. I’m still fighting to work and function. I feel 86 but I’m 36. I was told that facet injections could help me but another doctor that had done my epidurals told me I wouldn’t be able to handle it as there is no sedation and I have severe anxiety. Botox did not help me at all. Do you have less spasms now after facet injections? Was it worth it to you? I’m sure my body would not tolerate the procedure well but as you said I hurt all the time what’s a little more pain if it helps. Thank you in advance.

    1. dystoniasufferer

      Hi NewDystoniaWarrior,
      Well the first injection I had was an epidural, which was scary, but needed to stop the sciatic pain going down my buttock and down through my left leg. It had been causing me major pain, spasms and distress since Nov 2012, and I only eventually got that injection last September! It worked, and has cut down the spasms which made my leg jump or pull up, though it couldn’t and wasn’t expected to help with the calf muscle spasms, but I’ve learnt to cope either even though it hurts.
      When I was offered the back injections in the facet joints, I looked it all up online so I understood what it offered. I decided it couldn’t hurt to try, and just maybe I would get some relief, which is all we want.
      They are xray guided injections, it is a long bendy needle inserted in while they watch the xray. They firstly inject a generalised anaesthetic to help numb the nerves in the area around the joint (but of course there is nothing given to help numb as the needle is actually inserted and honestly I can take a lot of pain, but it hurts! Then they inject through the needle to give pain relief to the facet joint.
      The injections work differently on each patient, some get relief for 6-12months if lucky. Mine lasted 2 months 🙁
      I was offered another chance, but that time they didn’t really seem to work as well, only 50% compared to the first time.
      So I don’t think I will be offered them again, and I don’t really see that they would be of any use. It’s a shame, I really had hoped they would work great. I do obviously know they worked a bit for me, so they were worth that slight relief.
      My advice, if offered give it a go. You don’t know if they will work for you unless you try.
      So I wish you the very best of luck

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