On a wheeled horse I ride. i.am.rollerman

Archive for April, 2009|Monthly archive page

No pain in my A** Epidural Day

In spinal cord injury on April 9, 2009 at 8:43 pm

I wanted to start this blog on a day that was hopefully a big event in my life. Today I am getting an Epidural. The purpose of the Epidural is to hopefully lessen or eliminate the pain provided by my T8 paraplegia. (I’ll circle back later in my blog and cover the incident that made me a paraplegic.), but first the Epidural.

I had been complaining to my Spinal Cord Physician, Dr Inocencia Carrano, (I call her Dr. C) that my two painkillers were losing their effectiveness, and I needed to up either of my dosages in order to function.

I define “not to function” as that physical and mental state where I can not think of anything other than the pain. It’s a fairly broad definition, but think about it, if you’re in pain it’s difficult to think of anything other than the pain you’re in.

Hospitals are now attempting to measure or quantify your pain by asking “…on a scale from 1 to 10, what number would you say your pain is?…” What number would you assign “it f*ckin hurts” to?

The procedure will be performed at my physician’s office in Middletown, NY. My Wife and I arrive promptly at 10:30 a.m. and I wheel into the procedure room.

Problem #1, the table is approximately one foot higher than my wheelchair. I can elevate myself out of the chair, but not that high. Two of the male Doctors and a nurse lift me out of the chair and onto the table face down, right onto Problem #2.

Problem #2 can be a whole other chapter, I am wearing a “Holter.” No, not a cross-dressing halter, I said hOlter A medical holter is a series of electrodes and wires connected to a silver box the size of an IPhone. Not unlike an IPhone, the holter is used to record your heart beat and rhythm to a recording device for a 24 hour period.

It’s not the fact that I’m wearing a holter that is a problem, actually it is. I’m lying face down on eight bulking electrodes. They are bulking and they are cold, and boy do I feel them. However, I am soon distracted by the discomfort of the holter by the beginning of the Epidural.

Going into this, I thought an Epidural was similar to a Spinal Tap. I am familiar to a Spinal Tap since I had two when I was sophomore in high school. I was wrong. An Epidural is not a long needle that goes up your spine; rather it’s a needle that’s plunged in to your “whale tail or “anal taint” region. (…”it ain’t yur butt hole..’ thus anal taint) of your back side. Fringe benefit of my paralysis, I don’t feel the needle going in or coming out.

Five minutes after the first needle was plunged I was done. Would I now feel a true by-product of being a T8 paraplegic? Would I now have no feeling from the belly-button down?

Truth in advertising: being a T8 paraplegic does NOT mean you have no feeling from that point down. I have feeling, it’s what the Doctors call neuropathic pain. It’s what I call the “phantom pain.”

Even though I could have one of my legs hacked off by a black bear with a hatchet (quite prevalent in my neck of the woods) I would feel no pain. Some time later, after my stump has healed up, I would develop a throbbing pain in BOTH legs.

No explanation for it.

…more later.