Monday 14 April 2014

Another Shot in the Bum

Last June, I got my last shot in the bum in the name of science. I had a caudal epidural to ease my nerve discomfort. It took a while to work, but one day I realized that the tingling was gone. I could move into all sorts of positions without a zing.

In the last month or two, the tingling has returned, so I scheduled another epidural at our Pain Clinic. With the muddy weather, my daughter and I have had to give Mango several baths, sometimes in the same day. Bending over, even from on my knees, has caused my entire left buttock to tingle. That's not as much fun as it sounds. Just bending slightly over the sink to brush my teeth causes the same problem. I get a different tingle if I lay down on too high a pillow. Installing a car harness for Mango in the van was distinctly uncomfortable.

In advance of my two o'clock appointment, I had to fast from 8:00 am. I could take clear liquids until noon. I got to the hospital early for my appointment, as they requested. [Really, if they want you there twenty minutes early, why don't they make the appointment for 1:40?] I scarcely had time to complete the usual paperwork on my pain before the nurse called me in. From there, it was zoom, zoom, zoom and I was out within the hour.

The procedure is awkward, for all concerned. First, I had to lie face down on a slanted table with a pillow under my hips. As soon as the table was straightened and raised, my pants were lowered. Yes, the handsome technician, or was he a nurse, exposed my tingly buttocks and washed them with a bright pink cleanser. Since I had had the procedure before, the doctor and x-ray technician easily found the spot the we're looking for. The doctor shot some local anaesthetic into, um, my bum-crack. It worked instantly and before I knew it she had injected the steroid. Pants up, I was moved to a chair and given a snack while my blood pressure was monitored.

Never one to put my feet up when I am supposed to, my Sweetheart and I stopped at a pet store and the veterinarian's before returning home. I have tried to stay mostly couch-bound since then, the local has worn off, but the steroid isn't yet working. So I have a sore and still tingling bum.

The doctor used a lower steroid dose than last time, since I described my previous side-effects. Last time, I had the typical steroid face: round, red, hot cheeks. I felt "odd" for a couple of days, and low, like chemo low. And I had chills. I was just rereading my blog posts from June 2013 and remembering the side-effects. Ew. Like childbirth, it is good to forget. I hope with the lower dose, I can avoid all that. Either way, for me to do it again, it really had to be worth it. I just hope it works as long this time.

There is a lot of good information from hospitals and clinics to be found online. But if you are considering a caudal epidural and would like to talk to me about it, please email me at jimsgirlblog at gmail dot com. I would be happy to answer any questions you have. You should also have a look at my posts from last June about the procedure.

Have any of you, dear readers, had a caudal epidural? What was your experience like?