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?

13 comments:

  1. Nope Kate ... have never had one and I'm wondering after reading this 'somewhat' informative and 'somewhat' funny procedure .. guess it's not the procedure that made me chuckle, but your 'wit' in how you tell you story ... I certainly hope it works for you, don't think a tingling bum would be too much fun. Other than that, I hope all is well and things are going good for you. Have not heard about Mom lately, any changes to report? Take Care my dear, talk soon. Judy

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    1. Hi Judy! Mom is still at St. Vincent's. There is no real change, I'm afraid. In fact, I better head there now. Time to put down the iPad. ~Kate

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  2. dear Kate,

    I went back to read your June post - SO glad you did not get urinary incontinence! or die! you've really done a very informative and well written post with sprinkles of your inimitable humor here, too, and I hope the procedure leaves you bum and back tingle free, plus allowing the compensatory muscle tightening to relax.

    you were very smart to inform the doctor of the SE's from the past dose of steroids, and i hope the lower dose this time around does it's job without those unpleasant after affects.

    i have never had the procedure, but if i ever needed it you would be my go-to gal, for sure.

    still sending big hope for some improvement in your Mom's condition.

    much love and light,

    Karen, xoxoxo

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    1. Thanks, Karen. So far, all the SE I have are red hot cheeks. No one has asked if I'm teething! The tingling is still there today, but it will give it a while to work. It should kick in within a week.

      Mom is the same, which, all things considered, is good. Thank you again for asking.

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  3. I think it speaks to your strong character that you can make jokes about a procedure like this - impressive! I enjoyed reading your post - can't say I've had that experience. Wishing you and your family a great Easter weekend! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Sonia. I hope you never need to get one! Happy Easter to you, Ian and the girls. Perhaps we can get together for coffee when spring returns. My sweetie really enjoyed meeting you. ~Kate

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  4. Oh, the teething... I think I know what you mean. I never know what SE's are from what half the time. I sure hope it's working soon Kate!! No, tingles are no fun... very glad you were able to get another procedure. And, good to catch some news about your Mom in the comments too... I think of you so often. xx

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    1. Thank you, Carolyn! I am still waiting for the effects to begin. And thank you for the share of Facebook!

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  5. Hi Kate,
    There are so many indignities to endure as a cancer patient aren't there? Thanks for sharing about this one. Fingers crossed that you're getting relief without too many nasty side effects.

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    1. Thank you, Nancy. So far no relief, but few side-effects. I am still optimistic. ~Kate

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  6. Haven't had one, but I'm glad you have shared since this could most certainly help folks. I'll be sure to share it online too. I hope this works for a very long time. ~Catherine

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    1. Thank you for spreading the word, Catherine. ~Kate

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  7. You are such an inspiration! I find this blog very inspiring.You are great and thank you for sharing your experience.stay positive and stay strong.God bless!

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