E (Epidural) Day – Interventional Pain Management

Orthopaedic & Spine Center

Pain Relief through an Epidural

Following from my last post, with much fear and trembling, I checked in to the OSC MRI and Fluoroscopy Waiting Room for my Cervical Epidural.  I was taken into the Fluroscopy Suite by Mary, Dr. Sureja’s nurse and by one of our Radiology techs, Debbie.  They gave me a gown to change into (although I could keep on my bra and everything from the waist down), put on a surgical cap (kind of like a shower cap) to hold my hair, and helped me to get situated on the procedure table.

OSC Orthopedic Practice

The procedure table is very comfortable.  I was told to lay on my stomach with my face in a round cushion, which was open so that I could breathe and see.  Kind of like a massage or PT table.  Dr. Raj Sureja came into the room and started talking to me and he was so kind and reassuring.  He explained every step of the procedure and told me exactly what to expect.  He told me that he would talk to me to keep my mind off of what was going on OR that he would be quiet, if that would help me get through my fear.  I told him to talk to me, so he did.

First, he injected numbing medication into the area where he would do the epidural.  My injection area was in the back of my neck, near the intersection of my neck and shoulders.  This shot barely hurt at all and only for a moment, but I still started to feel hot and faint.  Mary and Debbie turned on a fan and blew it on me to cool me off.  Dr. Sureja took pictures of my spine and herniated disc with the fluoroscopy machine and then inserted the catheter into my neck, through which he would place the steriod medication.  He continually took pictures of my spine to make sure he was placing the medication correctly.  He was very gentle and I cannot say this enough, patient and kind.  Although, at this point, the epidural did not hurt, I must say it felt weird.

It was over very quickly and unfortunately, I was very faint feeling, so it took me a while to sit up and feel better.  They got me some water and let me sit awhile until I started to feel better.  They were concerned because my blood pressure dropped and that was why I was feeling so light-headed.  They put me in a room and continued checking on me and taking my blood pressure until I felt normal.  Then they released me to go home, with an instruction sheet and into the custody of my in-laws, who drove me home.  When you have an epidural, you have to have someone to drive you home, because you may experience dizziness or headache or just feeling funny.  It was nice to have someone to worry about the driving.  All I wanted to do was go home and rest.  Even though I got faint and felt silly, I made it through the procedure!  Hopefully, it will help!

Next time, the day after!