The Other Hideous Thing
So, today I’m following through on a promise from my early Hellonwheels days. I mentioned way back then about there having been two hideous tests or procedures I’ve had, that I did not particularly like. You may recall, my post about the Cerebral angiogram. It was the one I likened to being punched in the head from the inside.
This is the “other” thing I’ve had and ironically, I’ve had this thing twice also.
However, I need to premise this by mentioning the back story. I will attempt to keep it brief. No promises.
After a few years of smashing out Life One Handed after a while, ‘things’ start to breakdown. Wish someone had told me to prepare for that.
Now, this describes a time frame from literally the 6th January 2011, to the 11th November in the same year. Early January, I lifted a heavy suitcase of my tech toys (laptop, hard drives etc) from the floor to my bed, to more easily unpack it. My lower back did not particularly like it. But it was a process of why-questions.
Why do I always feel I need to pee? (not really)
Why does it hurt to sit down for more than three minutes?
And many, many others.
My GP Dr Chris (he won’t mind) started me on some muscle relaxants. Didn’t help. Then something else (can’t remember) also didn’t help. I was seeing the physio and OT at the time and one of them started massaging the back of my right leg. (my good leg) because that’s where the worst pain was and she was working on that spot until I wanted to slap her.
So needless to say, I was getting test on my good leg. Other random tests and things, I can’t even remember now, and over the course of the year we found the diagnosis after an MRI of my lower back, the answer to all the pain was I had a DISC BULGE in my lower back, at L5 (I think).
After diagnosis, we worked at the right pain relief (drugs) and right sedentary lifestyle. At the time, I still lived in Clifton Hill on the other side of Hoddle Street.
Clifton Hill is where I spend every Wednesday for lunch and see my chiropractor. I would scooter to my chiro every week and while I went full pelt through the park to get to my appointment, When I got to traffic lights, I had to stand up to give my lower back a stretch. (walking through the park took too long and I always feared I wouldn’t make it home to the toilet.) Yeah, good times.
Anyway, the Happy Place with pain meds for me was Oxy, Oxy, Oxy. (As I call it) Slow release Oxycontin twice a day and when I had to get up off my bed to go anywhere, I would slam some short term, but fast release stuff. Endone 5mg (gives me about thirty minutes) and it’s no silver bullet. 5mg of Oxy norm gives you about three hours and that’s on top of 20mg or 10mg of the Oxycontin. Who knows that happens when you take a shit load of pain meds?
That’s right Constipation!
I’m going to imagine my followers don’t require me to explain this displeasure. But my point here is, I don’t understand when people tap out of life taking pain meds, when they just can’t deal with life, when it means they can’t have a good bowel movement.
So, it would seem I have covered the pre-stuff sufficiently.
Now, the horrid thing.
To buy time, the medical system should you be in the public system and once you are ‘pilled’ up to your eyeballs and constipated to hell and back. They still won’t schedule you for surgery until they give you a Nerve root injection. Sounds like something a dentist night give you. But no, my first (yeah, had two of these things also: NOT frigging happy). The procedure goes like this.
You are wearing underwear and a gown that does up at the back. Isn’t it always the way?
Lying face down, I had been told I would be given an epidural. My sister (the weird grumpy one) Oh, wait that’s both of them.
After the procedure, she suggested I enquire “where’s my baby?”
I delivered the joke to a very still silent room. The young and old Jewish doctors didn’t get it. I looked at the only female in the room and she gave me a weak smile. “Tough crowd”
So, firstly they give you a local in my lower back. Now, it’s been a few years since I’ve had a local anaesthetic, but in between we forgot how much they hurt. They STING. Sweet Jesus! I’m told it’s because the need is so fine. So, after the local and long enough for that to kick in. The younger Jewish doctor tells me ‘You will just feel some scratching’. Well, that turns out to be a lie.
He rammed the next needle into my lower back. Now, anyone dealing with pain, the best advice is to battle through it. But, I couldn’t. I was told to keep perfectly still while they tortured me.
But, wait there’s more.
They pushed the table I was on into the CT machine and moved behind me to do a scan. He left the room for a moment to check the scan with the older doctor, then returned saying the words “We’ve definitely heading in the right direction” a little to chipper about it, I thought as the local had done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Then telling me to be still, he drove the needle in further.
Then another CT scan and another pointless comment about scratching, which I feel I’ve already covered was the worst understatement ever. Then ramming of the needle again before being injected with the ‘Steroid’. (I forgot).
After the torture was over, I was told I could get up and I asked what next? “Oh. you can just go.”
My mum came into help me dress and I sat with her for five minutes, to gather my thoughts.
I was just happy I had not sworn, but seriously – FUK, FUK, FUK, FUK. Not enough of those in the world that day.
Overall, considering the pain and torture and the promise of pain relief, it was under delivered. No pain relief and despite being my hospital that had done my radiation treatment. No Surgery.
Next I was booked to have one at another hospital that was closer to home and my side of town. Again, despite knowing what to expect. Didn’t like it any more than the first.
Amusingly after the second Nerve root test (injection) they insisted I stay lying down in recovery for an hour. Lying down! After my first injection at another hospital, they basically told me to get out. (politer than that, but still). After ramming a needle into my back while I was conscious and while not on any Oxycontin. Plus I had to pee.. Was not happy.
Ladies, you know the routine? Well, I was offered a bed pan. They then offed me a bedpan in a chair in the corner. “oh, well close the curtains”
Just “HELL NO!”
They then offered me a walker, to get to the toilet. I don’t know what part of me told them we had time to debate this. I really had to go. Just pee, but still.
They did not have any idea why I rudely insisted they get the walker away from me. They insisted. I know now rude I seemed but I’m one-handed. How was I going to use that walker?
They finally bought me a wheelchair and took me to the toilet.
All of this under the watchful eye of my mother.
NB – Did I mention I was offered a third one of these? Yeah, same place as the first one.
I was given a student, and she seemed to hear me, but went and got the senior dude on that day. (He did not listen so he doesn’t get qualification acknowledgement as he wanted someone with way less experience to get to stab me in my back!) He came in and said “Oh, I think we’ll start with a nerve root injection?”
And I think they just didn’t prioritise me for surgery because I refused to let them keep practicing on me.