As some of you know, 2014 has been a rough year for me. I've been dealing with chronic pain that is not only tough to just live with, but it prevents me from doing many former life activities, such as driving more than a few minutes, concerts, most bars, dance clubs, traveling, hiking, most gym exercises, conferences, or any event that is crowded or requires standing (including standing in a line). I've been doing various things as treatment, but it turns out my condition is worse than the doctors initially thought, so we need to move to the next step in my treatment.
I’m getting 2 epidural injections in my spine on Tuesday. For some people in my condition, it really helps. For others, it doesn’t do a thing. They will administer these painful shots with long needles. I was told by a friend who got similar shots to bring something to squeeze.
Here’s what happens: I’ll get the shots and soon I will feel relief. This is the lidocaine, which is a numbing ingredient. But that wears off in about 3 hours. After that, I will actually feel worse than before I got the shots. That’s what’s called a steroid flair, as steroids are the main component of the injections. For the next 24-48 hours, I will be in pretty bad pain and must refrain from most activities. If the shots work, I’ll feel better after that 24-48 hours is over. If they don’t work, I’ll probably just feel like how I did before I got the injections.
I won't know until I try. I know someone who got them and they did nothing. She then had to get surgery. But at least she knew before the surgery that she had tried everything (the shots and other things). I know others who swear by the shots and call them a lifesaver. There are different factors as to why they work for some and not others, but they think I’m a good candidate, so we must try. My doctors are saying I will likely need surgery for this at some point in my life, but they are trying to postpone it as much as possible, since more damage is expected to happen to my body as time goes by.
This is all I'll say on here for now. I have been limited in what I've shared about my medical problems on facebook, as I hate it turning into a fight about what I should be doing or how I need to try alt-med instead. I'm a skeptic and I talk with people about fighting woo and protecting themselves on a daily basis, but it can be mentally draining and emotionally exhausting when it's about your own condition that you are going through right now. Some annoyance also comes from people who do believe in science-based medicine, but don't understand how the healthcare system works, and say, "Well, why don't you just make them do __?" or "Why haven't you tried __?" or just straight up tell me what I need to do, which are things I cannot do in that way because that's now how the system works (sometimes for good reason). I'm hoping ello at this stage is a place I can share things like this for now and not worry about it turning into uncomfortable questions, prying, or fights.
Have a nice weekend, everyone!