I survived my injections yesterday, and they actually went quite smoothly.
I was going to a new surgery center, with new doctors I hadn’t met yet, and while they had been highly recommended by my pain specialist, I still felt a little anxious since I hadn’t met them yet. But I have to say, the entire staff there was INCREDIBLY nice and helpful. They seemed like the actually cared about me and their other patients, instead of treating us like obstacles to be gotten around, as other centers have.
I had one main nurse looking after me who called me “sweetie” and “honey” a lot. The surgeon himself, Dr. Seltzer (his name, I thought, was a good omen, since it made him sound cheery and bubbly) looked astonishingly like Maynard James Keenan, and went out of his was to be nice to me also. The anesthesiologist looked strikingly like Terrence Stamp, and while he was quieter, also seemed genuine.
The worst part for me is always when I’m in the OR, people are fussing around and with me, and I’m just waiting for them to give me the sedative and put me out; and I never know exactly when it’s coming. I know it will come, but I’m anxious until I feel it start to work. After my last injections, when I woke up part way through and was awake enough to feel everything they were doing, I really, really wanted to just be OUT. But finally I felt someone fiddling with my IV line, and something cold entering my veins, happily realized I was getting rapidly drowsy… and I was out.
I came to as they were wheeling me back into the recovery room, and as usually happens, I was tremendous pain. But when you’re just waking up from any kind of sedation, you’re very loopy and it’s hard to think clear thoughts such as, “I should ask me nurse to give me the pain medication now,” or “I can hear my nurse on the other side of the room, I should ask her to come here.” Rational thoughts are not your friend right then. So I whimpered quietly a few times, which at least served it’s purpose and got her attention. She brought over a huge ice pack for me to lay on, which really didn’t do anything, but they always want to try ice first.
Dr. Seltzer came by shortly after… at least I think it was him. My eyes couldn’t focus on much for about 10 minutes after I started to wake up, but it sounded like his voice. He asked how I was, and I told him tearfully that it hurt a lot. Then the nurse came back over and I told her I was still in great pain. Clever, clever nurse that she was, she gave me a different kind of pain medication than I usually get after injections. The regular medication does work really well for my pain, but it also makes me vomit violently in even the shortest car rides. Usually they deal with this by also giving me something to help with the nausea, and call it a day. My smart, caring nurse gave me a different kind of drug, which calmed my pain beautifully away, but did not cause me any nausea in the car. Bless her heart.
After I was awake enough to drink a can of apply juice, they released me. One of the male nurses walked with me from my bed to the bathroom where my street clothes were in a locker, to make sure I was steady enough to not topple over in the middle of the hall. After changing, I found Geoff in the lobby and he took me home.
Usually when I have the injections done, they do two to three different sites. Dr. Seltzer did five. I thought it probably was a good idea to get to as many of the potentially problem-causing nerves as possible in one shot, but I wondered if that would make my recovery even more painful than usual.
After I got home, I changed into my new Pjs, crawled into bed and shivered there for a while until I warmed up. Geoff brought me doughnuts and hovered around me all day, just waiting for me to even think about wanting something, so he could get it for me. I have the best fiance.
For the first hour or two, I felt surprised at how good I was feeling; I was still having pain, yes, but it wasn’t nearly so bad as it usually is the first day. And then, very suddenly, it appeared that the pain medication I’d gotten at the surgery center wore of and my lower back exploded into a searing mine field of pain. Ow, ow, ow, ow. I spent most of the rest of the day lying quietly, trying to not move or breath heavily and upset my angry nerves.
Something in the sight of me laying carefully still made me an irresistible temptation to both my cats, who spent hours yesterday wanting to climb up on my torso and lay there. No, I told them. You’ve had lots of time to lay on me when your tiny kitty weight would make me scream in pain and punch you. You will have the chance to do so again. But you are not laying on me now. They did not understand this and just looked at me with accusing eyes. Until I got up to feed them dinner, at which point everything was forgiven.
Today it feels a bit better, as it usually does the second day. It still feels like my ribs are fractured, but not as much as they did yesterday. And if it progresses at it’s usual rate, I should be feeling even better by tomorrow.
And I’m going to lay down again now. Thanks to everyone who wished me well and send good thoughts my way; they helped, and I really appreciated your concerns.