Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bilateral Hip Injections

For the last year or so, my hips have been experiencing pain/pressure off and on. Slowly the pain has become more intense and about two months or so ago, I called and asked for some relief.  I was put on Medrol Dosepak and for a short time felt better.  In the meantime, my rheumatologist sent me for x-rays which showed NO bone destruction.  (Yay!!!)  I then had a sonogram which showed inflammation in my hips. Two weeks ago I met with Barbara, my new hip orthopedic, who I instantly fell in love with. Bilateral hip injections were scheduled for the following week.

In my 11 year experience with rheumatoid arthritis, I have definitely experienced my share of cortisone injections. Except for the one in my hand for trigger fingers, I've handled each one without any problems. But with the hips, it was going to be a lot more involved. Since x-rays were needed to guide Barbara to the location of the injection, I was required to show up at the surgery center which involved all the stages of surgery: pre-surgery, shots, and recovery.

 
I was told beforehand that a designated driver was required. My son came with me and was greeted with a room full of soft drinks and snacks. He was also given a buzzer so he knew when the procedure was finished.  I was taken back to the pre-surgery room where I left a urine sample, a million questions were asked, and my blood pressure was taken. Not surprisingly, my blood pressure was high and they kept rechecking it. I was really nervous! Finally the nurse left and asked me to think of calming thoughts. That must of worked because I was then wheeled back to an extremely cool surgery room. The only other time I have been in surgery was for the c-sections of my two babies. I imagined my husband sitting beside me as he did then and that instantly brought some calm to me. There were three nurses, the x-ray technician, and Barbara in the room. They were all very comforting. I appreciate the nurse that let me squeeze her hand throughout the procedure which took about 10-15 minutes. I did peek to see how Barbara was using the x-ray to inject the cortisone. Pretty cool. Then I was taken to recovery where my son met me and hung out with me for a while before we headed home. From start to finish I was there about two hours.

Afterwards, I was extremely tired. I am a little bruised, but not bad. On Day 2 I started to feel some relief. One thing I forgot about chronic pain is how much space it occupies in your head. When the pain is reduced, it's like you are floating because your mind is so light.  Today is Day 5 and I woke up with a stiff right hip and some pressure that has returned. Hopefully it is just a fluke and after a morning nature walk with my daughter, it will work itself out and I will be on a my way to moving with ease again.