Torture – Part 2
So now, to how doctors buy themselves time and the active torture that was to temporarily fix the problem. They promised me an Epidural.
Have you ever wondered why “women in labour” ask for the Epidural? I don’t know from personal experience, but I’m told it hurts. It hurts like pushing a big square wardrobe out of a small place in you body, wardrobes don’t belong…
And the Epidural doesn’t hurt because of the happy pregnant lady hormones.
Now, they promised me an Epidural as part of delivering me a nerve root injection or a Cortisone shot. (you will hear people call it)
At the time I was on two waiting lists, one with my hospital (because I thought they would get to me) and another hospital closer to home. (that is, I didn’t have them do my surgery, my own mother might have killed me. Because she had been told they had the best surgeon to see.)
Have I mentioned, I’m a public patient? Because I’m poor. Yeah. So it generally means, you go with whatever you can get, whenever you can have it and not before.
The term for it is triage, they prioritise the patience that are less mobile and more ‘at risk’. Just making a point – ALL YEAR, it took all year!
Still, I digress.
The Nuero root injection goes like this, in nothing but your knickers pushed down low on your hips and a gown that is open at the back, you lie down on your tummy on a CT scanning bed. There are two people in the room whom you will hate by the end of the procedure. (if you follow my advice and learn from my experience.)
Firstly, they give you a local anaesthetic. Now I will remind you, it’s been a while since my last local, so you forget how much it stings.
Sweet Jesus! (Which is likely what I said)
The doctors claim it’s because the needle is so fine. Really? Torture device.
Then they wait until it starts to kick-in and then I swear it’s like a pick-axe! They insert it in my lower back, telling me to breathe and relax.
When in pain, it’s good to keep breathing, but when lying on your tummy and working where they were, it’s impossible.
Then, they roll you into the CT machine and take a scan. The doctor comes back in and utters some words like “Looks like we’re heading in the right direction” and they ram the needle in further.
I don’t think a “Sweet Jesus” was what came out the second time. They offered me more local, but does anyone need reminding, a local really does mean ‘local’.
Then another scan and more core breaking agony. Three times they took to get that needle all the way to where they wanted it. Then they injected me with the Cortisone, or whatever, that was meant to give me blessed relief from the pain.
I did feel something shoot down my right leg, but that was it.
I recall getting up after it an asking “What’s next?”
They told me that was it and I could go. OK
My sister had told me, if I was getting an epidural to ask at the end of the procedure “Where’s my baby?”
The Jewish doctor and his registrar just looked at me. The female nurse, over to one side gave me a little smile.
Anyway, I left the hospital with my mum and was still in pain, but now with a very sore back.
The second one I had at a different hospital, they made me stay lying down for an hour or so afterwards, in a small recovery room with nurses overlooking about six beds. They were very insistent I not get up and walk straight away in case my legs gave way and I fell over. Is that the sure sign it worked? Maybe not, not sure. But I really needed to pee.
I was offered a bedpan, seriously, the push bedpans in hospital, like it’s more convenient for them to change the sheets than wheel me to a toilet and wheel me back to bed.
Grudgingly the nurse bought over a walker (you know, not just for old people, but predominantly) and I told her no. She kept insisting and I thought she was very slow for not realising you needed two hands to work one. I growled further to get it out of my way. I’m sure she thought I was the rudest cow in there that day. (I probably was)
Eventually, a wheelchair was produced and I was wheeled to the toilet. The chair pushed so close to the toilet and locked into place, I struggled to wriggle up and around it to wash my hand after I had gone.
I pressed the duty call button and waited for some time for the nurse to return to me. My mum was patiently waiting my return. My mum was patiently waiting for my return, I briefly contemplated getting up and walking back using the hand rail on the hallway wall as an aide, but I waited.
I swear I waited twenty minutes, you get I only needed to pee.
The nurse finally retrieved me, stating she only realised I was not in my bed when she did a head-count and realised there was one bed empty. Oh, the call button doesn’t work? Nor did the nerve root injection.
But, humoursly, the night light was comment from the nurse that had been in assisting my injection. She must have been new to that area.
An older more experienced nurse enquired as to during all the CT scans if she had protected herself from the radiation.
She replied “OH yes! I hid behind the Doctors.”
What about me? I’d suffered four or five, that day, I was informed the staff get fifty or more in a day.
I guess getting a needle rammed into your back with only a local, really doesn’t make for a happy Hellonwheels.