Expat Magazine

Another Day, Another Epidural.

By Expatmum @tonihargis
So the back saga continues. After the MRI a few days ago, the orthopedic doctor could see that there's some herniation between my lowest two vertebrae which is irritating the sciatic nerve and causing the world's worst mucho pain. Every prescription he's given me has done nothing other than either make me sleepy or nauseous but failed to make a dent in the pain. Pah!

Next step is a steroid epidural! Yikes. 

I've had a few epidurals in my day and, since I was already wracked with labor pains at the time, I don't recall any pain when the harpoon needle went in. {I love it when they ask you if you want an epidural and you say "No, not yet", then they say "Well, don't leave it too late 'cause there's a point at which we can't administer it" and you do an immediate 180 on your decision.)  

This epidural will inject pain relief straight into the sciatic nerve I'm told. I may need one and I may need three. It may or may not work. Not wishing to sound glass-half-empty, I'm not overly optimistic since nothing (including Tylenol with Codeine and on another occasion a friend's Vicodin) has helped one iota. (Sorry Iota.) 

I'm just looking forward to being able to get dressed in under half an hour and with less fast-breathing than I currently have to do because of the pain. The current routine consists of dropping my knickers (panties) on the floor, putting my good-leg foot in, flipping them half way up my calf, bending slightly sideways (away from the pain) to grab them with left hand, holding them steady while I (and this is the excruciating part) try to lift my right leg six inches off the floor and into the leg hole. The noises I make too! As for shaving my legs, well that's gone completely out the window, which makes for some embarrassment when you're dealing with doctors who need to touch and/or hold various parts of your lower legs. 

The good news is that the pain I was worried about in my calf isn't a Deep Vein Thrombosis, which would have been a bit scary. That a close friend who's had a few close shaves is deathly afraid on my behalf doesn't alleviate the worry, but at least she could give me signs of an emergency. My doc says the sciatic nerve also controls the muscle behind/below the knee which is why I'm also having pain there. 

Oh, and he says it's all age related. 

Cheeky bugger!

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