Aftermath of Procedure – 18/07/14 10:54

So yesterday I realised that anaesthetic can have a serious lasting effect on the body, or at least, it did on mine.

Don’t get me wrong, I was ‘okay’ to a point. Yesterday I woke up, and I felt alright. My pain levels were low, the stiffness has mostly faded as with the aching, so I was relatively happy and I couldn’t complain. Next thing I know, I’m feeling lethargic and have a very deep sickly feeling in my stomach.

At this point, I’m confused. I had a good amount of sleep the night before, I’ve still taken my meds as normal, and I’ve eaten. So what the hell is going on? I wouldn’t mind, but I was border-lining dangerous as I continued to get even more lethargic as I went to see the missus at work. After leaving her, I went to see my mum on her break and she questioned whether I had taken anything bar my normal medication. I swiftly refused, but she’d only asked because my pupils were tiny. Granted, it was a very sunny day, but still, they were stupidly small.

She thought it best I go home and sleep, to see if that will help any. I agreed with her, and went home to catch some Zzz’s before I went to go an pick up the other half. Lucky for me, she wanted to get a couple of hours shut eye when we got back to mine, so again, I fell asleep.

Once we’d both awoke, I felt fine. I mean seriously, I felt absolutely fine and actually went to a family get together and had a couple of drinks.

It was strange, because I’m usually tired anyway, not so much because I’m lazy or because I don’t do anything because I’m certainly not lazy at all. It’s mainly because I’m knocking back that many pills, a concoction of painkillers, nerve suppressants and anti-inflammatorys, I’m bound to feel knackered all the time, and alongside the anaesthetic and steroids given to me in my back… I think my body just reacted negatively and needed time to recharge and get itself together.

Granted, as I said, I went to a get together last night and the missus came along too. Me, my mum and the other half, and I can safely say it was lovely. Surprisingly enough actually. Usually this half of the family, whilst most of the time way over the alcohol limit, are a bit.. Stuck up. You see, they have money.. A LOT of money. When you put that next to what my mum earns, she probably earns <10% of what they earn in a year. So it’s difficult for us to understand exactly why they’re so money mad.

My mum works incredibly hard for her wages, always doing overtime and actually sometimes running herself into the ground. The same can be said for the other half too! She does something similar, and I do worry about them both about the amount their working and the affect it’s having on them, but then I have to think… They’re worrying about me too, and when I was working.. I was doing exactly the same, so I understand why they do it.

So we work for our money… Yet this side of the family, at least most of them, have a lot of money given to them. Nevertheless, we had a lovely night, and it was actually the first time I’ve introduced a girlfriend to that side of the family, and it’s safe to say that she got along well with a few of them, which was an absolute pleasure to see. We may not see them all again any time soon, but it was a lovely night.

It was a lovely ending, to an otherwise very strange day. It was odd feeling that way, it has to be said, and I hope that I don’t feel like that again any time soon. Then again, it’s just the aftermath of all the shit running through my body.

I really wish that I didn’t have to take all these tablets, and perhaps one day, I’ll explain why.

For now though, I’m going to end this here, and coincidentally enough.. Go and get the other half!

Pain Rating: 4

Pain Rating

Surprise procedure & Pain Rating Scale – 16/07/14 23:28

Well it seems like I almost didn’t stick to the Day-by-Day schedule, but there is a reason for doing so!

At 13:20 yesterday I recived a phone call from my local hospital saying that I could come in and have a procedure which I have been waiting for on my back. I’d like to point out that I’ve been waiting for this procedure for weeks, rather impatiently. But there was a catch.

I had to be at the hospital for 14:00.

That gave me 40 minutes to get there. Which, to be honest, was a lot of time, as the hospital was just down the road. I said goodbye to the missus, as at the time I was actually with her on her break at work, and off I went for this procedure.

This procedure was basically a set of six injections of local anaesthetic and steroids, which were done within the facet joints in my back. For those that have no clue what facet joints are, it’s basically the parts between the vertebrae in your spine, and the cartilage “disks”, but behind those. Yeah, it’s complicated to understand, so here’s a picture which shows things better…lumbar_facet_arthritis_intro01

You see those “red bits”? Yeah, that’s basically where I had these injections. The bottom two red parts of the picture above, and just a tad bit lower, towards the pelvis, one more injection was done. So I had three injections over either side of my spine coming to six in total.

It was a strange feeling, because I’d already had a Pre-OP a few weeks ago, and I thought they would have done it then.. But apparently they trust my blood pressure to stay consistant and for me to not become infected with MRSA in the weeks coming up to my actual operation, which of course I didn’t actually get a date for. Hence why I was so eager to get in the 14:00 cancelation slot.

Anyway, it is safe to say.. It was the most painful thing, I think I’ve ever done. In fact, I nearly screamed at the Doc doing it, after swearing multiple times at him, which he gracefully took on the chin as he knew that I knew he wasn’t intentionally hurting me. I wouldn’t mind, but it was the anestetic that hurt first, and then after that, I couldn’t feel anything “externally”, it was inside my spine that I felt the sharp end of the needle, which was a very strange feeling.

He also did a superb job when it came to the joints close to my pelvis. For those of you that don’t know, because of the Ankylosing Spondylitis, the joints in my pelvis have fused together. Meaning I don’t have the normal three bones that you would have. Instead of having two hip bones and a tail bone, I have one big, fused bone.

This of course created complications when he was trying to inject into that joint, and on multiple ocassions, I again explicitly told him that it hurt as I could actually feel the needle, and the contents of said needle, touching the fused bones within my pelvis. I think at one point, the BP monitor that was clipped over my finger actually registered me as dead, purely because I was squeezing my fists that tightly, that the monitor couldn’t get an accurate reading of my BP. rest assured, because of the tensing of my legs and the words coming out of my mouth, my consultant was positvely sure that I was very much still alive.

So, once the procedure was over, and what felt like an excructiatingly long 20 minutes, I was back in the hospital ward after the nurses at recovery were sure that my blood pressure was stable, and that I could still move my legs.

It was strange, because when I was back on the hospital ward, I could feel my back.. Yet it was like I couldn’t.. The anestetic didn’t wear off until a few hours afterwards. This was lovely for me, as when I got up to go to the toilet, to my amazement, I could actually walk without any pain. For the first time in five years, I can say that I was completely out of pain. It was a fantastic feeling.

Yet of course, once the anastetic began to wear off, I began to feel my back again and become very tired and stiff.

Today, I feel “better”. I started the day off feeling very achy. The doc told me to take it easy and try to do as little as possible, so of course, I took his advice. I did go and see the missus on her dinner, which did add a bit of light and excitement, to my otherwise very boring day. Then again, I couldn’t actually do much. My back hadn’t seiezed up, I just couldn’t move it properly. I actually felt like someone has replaced my lower back with a broom stick. I don’t mind of course, because I know that soon enough, It’ll get better.

Now though, as I write this, I am in a slight bit of pain again. I’m still stiff as anything, aching, but some pain has come back. I have to say though, it certainly isn’t anything to what it used to be. Only time will tell as to how I’ll react to this treatment. After having just a normal steroid injection in my bum last year, I had a major flare up soon after. Which is “rare”.. Here’s hoping it doesn’t happen again.

I am feeling confident about this procedure though, I’ve hard many stories of them being a great success. Then again, others which haven’t had as much success. Realistically like anything, it’s all trial and error really. You never know, within the next few days I could have the exact feeling or “lack of” should I say, as I felt when I first got up on the hospital ward to go to the toilet. I could be pain free, for at least a few months.

At least, that’s what I’m hoping for. Optimism is key with a condition like this. I realised that a long time ago. Is it the placebo effect? After going through a procedure like that, I can safely say NO! If the anestetic and stroids work, it’s because they’ve worked. If they don’t, it’s either because my condition is worse than I thougt, or they just haven’t had an effect on me.

For now though, I’m much happier now I’ve had them done, and I’m no longer impatiently waiting for a letter to appear through my door with a date on it. I’ll only get one of those when my consultant would like to see me again, which should be sometime within the next three months. I may have to have these injections again.. Throughout all the pain of having them done.. I just hope that I can say that it was all worth it, but for now, we’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m also going to introduce a pain rating scale, which I will insert at the end of every post, and comment on where abouts on the scale I feel I am on that day. This scale is fantastic, and it certainly puts it into words, and visualises exactly how I’m feeling and how my pain is affecting me on that day.

It’s important to note that my daily pain has NEVER gone below a 4 on this scale. EVER. As far a I can remember anyway. So I’m hoping that I can get below that with the procedure that I’ve just had done.

I would say today, that I am actually quite low for me, but that maybe because I’m stiff as a board and actually haven’t moved much today. None the less, I’m going to end this post here by saying that right now I feel like my pain is a 5 on this scale.

Until next time.

Pain Rating: 5

Pain Rating