From the heart

Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection

Yesterday morning I had a procedure Called a Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection (link of animated procedure) on my upper back to address the pain and inflammation in my neck. This is one of possible many minor procedures to avoid surgery this year.

Surgery will be inevitable down the road to address the bulged disc in my neck, but I don’t have the resources to have my children looked after while I recover for 6 weeks.

My appointment was at The Pain Institute of Southern Arizona with Dr. Chan. I met with her about a month ago to address the pain and she said I was a great candidate for this epidural steroid injection.

I was nervous but I’m so glad it all went well, I really loved Dr. Chan’s bedside manor and the nurse in the room with her was great. I will say the nurse who brought me back to the room to change and then the nurse who took me out of the room, seemed to lack a little compassion or desire to be at work, but maybe they were having a rough day? I mean it was Friday around lunch time. 🤷🏼‍♀️

I was given a local anesthetic to numb the area for the epidural injection. That burns, if you’ve never had that done. The position I was laying in was really awkward and actually strained my neck a bit, but that’s what was required to get the epidural in the right area. I iced that as soon as I got home. The placement of the epidural and positioning that into the right area was very uncomfortable for me and I did yelp out a few times. It felt very much like a tugging and poking in my upper spine, but once Dr. Chan got it in the right area she administered the steroid. She warned me it may burn, but it didn’t.

The steroid injection itself wasn’t painful, I felt a warm sensation go down to my chest, to my neck and almost like it wrapped to my shoulder blade. Which is great if this works, because the shoulder to shoulder blade is wear most of my pain is.

With that warming sensation, I got really nauseated and started to sweat. I know they were talking to me and I just kept thinking it’s so hot in here. Dr. Chan made sure I didn’t lose feeling in my arms or hands before allowing me to scoot off the table and be escorted to the recovery room.

Once I was in recovery they gave me water, took my vitals as I sat. My blood pressure was incredibly low at 90/66. They gave me more water and retook my vitals and I was at 110/71, so I was allowed to go home.

I did drive myself, I asked ahead of my appointment to make sure that was okay. They said it was since I was not being put to sleep. IF you have this done or would need reoccurring procedures, check if you need a driver!

I felt fine, I got in my car, chugged my ice water I always carry with me and chowed down on a Kind Bar, so I didn’t get the shakes. Once I made it home safely, I used an ice pack on my shoulder and neck and then crawled into bed for a short nap.

Prior to my procedure
Wearing my comfy clothes for my procedure

I won’t expect to feel relief for 3-7 days after the procedure I was told and it can feel worse before it gets better. I’m expecting that, so the next few days I’m taking it easy, no running until Wednesday and no lifting weights until next Friday just to be sure it all works well. As of right now I don’t have a 2nd procedure lined up, I will follow up with Dr. Chan’s staff on Friday.

Any questions? Drop me a comment 👇 and I’ll be happy to answer!

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