Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bring on being painfree!

"Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today" . - Thich Nhat Hanh

You remember that feeling you got as a kid before Christmas? That anticipation and excitement deep in your belly? The feeling of wanting time to speed up so you didn't have to wait for so long. Well that is what its been like for me counting down the days until I got my hip steroid injection. I guess for majority of you the thought of having a massive needle placed into a joint would seem like a worst nightmare but the truth was I was so looking forward to this procedure. Looking forward to being able to sleep through the night without excruciating pain, be able to walk without crutches, stop taking heavy duty painkillers and ultimately start living again!

Finally yesterday the day dawned upon me. Months had turned into weeks, weeks into days and days into hours. I felt like I had finally taken control back from this miserable pain. I wasn't due in at the hospital until 3.30pm so I had a long day ahead of me waiting. I was thankful that due to having had this done two times previously I knew what I was in for which made the waiting easier. There is nothing worse than anxiously waiting for a surgery. Arriving at the hospital things happened very quickly as I had been brought forward on the list. Because the injection is done in a theater room I am prepped like I'm having surgery. Due to my lupus my surgeon wants the most sterile clean conditions to lower the risk of infection. I am wheeled away to theater and checked over for the final time. My surgeon comes into pre-op and signs the final forms and marks my left leg. I am excited and its obvious  to all the nurses who seem to be confused with why I am so happy. One states I am a 'breath of fresh air'. My surgeon checks again that I do not want any sedatives. My reply "no I am absolutely fine!".

I am then wheeled into the operating theater and transferred onto the table. I always find it so strange to be awake at this time. The room has to be kept cold so I am piled with warm blankets. Before we begin my surgeon marks out vial arteries and nerves that he needs to stay away from.My hip area is then smothered in antiseptic and draped to prevent infection. A radiologist uses a fluoroscope to ensure my surgeon gets the needle inside my hip joint. First a local anasetic is injected into my hip to numb the area to reduce the pain. It more feels like a sharp scratch then a little big of stinging as the local is injected. Nothing too painful. Once the area is numb the needle is then inserted right into the hip joint. The surgeon then inserts contrast into the hip to ensure he is in the right place. Xrays will be taken during this time and sometimes the needle will have to be moved around slightly to find the right place. Once this is achieved the steroid is injected as well as some long lasting anesthetic  . This typically does not hurt but can feel like there is pressure building up in the joint. Then the needle is removed a sterile water proof dressing is placed on the injection site and you are done!! The injection its self does not take long more time is spent charting and prepping all the materials. Throughout the injection my surgeon talked me through what was happened and ensured I was being brave and coping well.
Needle in my hip being injected with contrast 

I was then transferred back to my bed and into post op where I had two sets of observations taken and then got to go back to my room. I was so thankfully I did not have to wake up from a general anesthetic as the guy next to be struggled with the nasty side effects. Thanks to the local anesthetic my hip felt great.   I spent about an hour and a half in the hospital before I was allowed home. On the way home I happily burst out with "Mum I can't feel my hip!!!". Relief sweet relief!  Last night I had to rest up and take it easy to allow the steroid to start to work. I had the best sleep which was incredible.

This morning my local anesthetic has worn off so my hip is a bit more achy. The steroid should start to kick in in the next few days. Here's hoping it wont take long. So for now I hope and pray that soon I truly will be pain free!!! I have so much living I want to do so please hip be nice.