I was told the injections in my spine would be painful and unpleasant. It wasn’t a quick prick, inject, and be on your way situation. So, I was prepared. Thankfully, I can keep a sense of humor and that helped a great deal.
The staff was great! The doctor and nurse both kept conversations going with me and once they discovered I had a dark, wicked, sarcastic sense of humor, they joined right in. When I went to leave, the doctor told me I was one of the best patients he had ever had; mostly because I hadn’t screamed, cursed, moved, vomited, passed out, or lost my sense of humor.
They did hurt. I thought it was two and it was really four. They put two in the disk and one in each of the nerves next to it. Lidocain was involved, that was interesting. My ass went numb. I had a streak of numbness down each leg that went into my foot and impacted my fourth and fifth toes. I had to actually look at my feet when I walked, even six hours later I still had numbness in one butt cheek.
There were times I wanted to swear the walls down. The lidocain helped, but while I was numb, I could still feel it when they unscrewed the first syringe and screwed the second one in. Then there was the repeat. Then there was the other side. And the repeat of that. Most of the time when lidocain is involved, you feel it, but it’s pressure and this was actual pain. It was acute and painful.
The more it hurt, the more I joked about it. Like I said, I kept my sense of humor and that got me through the worst parts of it. I made jokes about putting the doctor in my next book. He had asked me if I liked my job, so I reversed it and asked if he enjoyed putting needles in people’s rear ends all day.
All in all, it took 37 minutes for the procedure. Twenty-eight of those minutes were spent with needles stuck in me. It’s a long time to have a needle stuck anywhere.
My exit instructions and I quote:
Go home, sit on your behind all afternoon and into the night. Go to bed. Get up tomorrow and sit on your behind all day. You can start moving around in about 24 hours, but nothing strenuous for at least 48. Also, consolidate your walking trips. If you need to pee, hold it until it feels like your bladder is going to explode, then go to the bathroom, get something to drink, grab a snack, whatever, then return to your position on your behind and don’t move again for several hours. No NSAIDS or steroids for 48 hours, but you can take acetaminophen as needed for the pain. There’s a good chance you’ll have hot flashes, really hot flashes, you’ll want to pull your skin off you’ll be so hot, but you can’t, because that would mean a trip to the ER. Just try to have someone help you undress, possibly down to underwear and a tank top until it goes away. Then have them dress you again. If you want to have some fun, be unhelpful during the redressing process, but if you have your life partner helping, don’t tease him, because you can’t have sex for at least a few days, no matter how much the injections help and the shots for carpel tunnel are also painful, you don’t want to do that to him. Order dinner out tonight, order lunch out tomorrow because you can’t cook. We’ll write a note for that if you need one. Don’t pick up babies, puppies, dogs, stray cats, non-stray cats, chipmunks, or poisonous snakes for at least 24 hours. We also recommend you not pick up hitchhikers, but since you write serial killer novels, you probably already know that. Laughing’s going to hurt, so we recommend you go home and marathon something awful, we are currently recommending a show called Penny Dreadful, it’s available on Netflix. If you don’t have a Netflix account, you can always sign up for a free trial and then cancel it once you no longer have to sit on your behind. No yoga. I cannot stress that enough. We realize yoga is supposed to help with stress and pain relief, but in this case, it’s only going to make the pain worse, which will stress you out, which will cause more pain, and you’ll have to visit an ER before dawn. Then someone is going to ask me why I didn’t tell you not to do yoga. It will look bad on my performance review. Do you have any questions?
About thirty seconds into her spiel, I was giggling, so I asked her if I could record it. She agreed, but I missed the first couple of sentences which included something about Fabio and the Kama Sutra… and I was in tears when she finished. It turns out that if you have a sense of humor during these sorts of things, the staff is willing to have a little (or a lot) of fun with you. It was a blessing, because while it really does hurt to laugh, it made me feel better. I was able to walk out with a smile, despite having to watch where my feet were in relation to the ground.
So, I got practically nothing done with setting up the new laptop. I really did feel rather nauseated all afternoon and into the evening. The injections triggered a bad headache, which is normal, but didn’t help with my desire to install programs or even set up email. I only wrote this because I said I would. I figure it will be Sunday before I really get into Laptop Setup Mode. I hope to be writing by Tuesday night, at the latest. Oh and the new laptop screen is freakin’ massive compared to the other one. I admit, I’m already in love with the new Dell (Sorry Dave, you’re still one of my favorites, despite your hatred of Dell)!