Cortisone Shot EquipmentHaving tried many many other things first, I didn’t even flinch for a moment when the doc recommended I try a cortisone injection in my hip. Generally I’d be the type of person that would hem and haw (how the hell do you spell that anyway?) about it for days due to the 1 in 15,000 risks that include degeneration of local tissues, infection, allergic reaction, etc. But 8 weeks of this crap and I was like, “if its legal, sign me up.”
Luckily, he was able to get me an appointment same day with a radiologist in another medical center. Having nothing of value to do other than drive to various doctors appointments, I transported myself from one to the other with the awkward 45 minute time lag in between and didn’t have a thing to complain about. I mean seriously, what else am I going to do with my day?
Once I got onto the table, I was not as eager to have the injection. I was naked from the waist down other than a sheet, waiting alone…just me and the giant X-Ray arm floating above me. I don’t do well with needles, and I was doubting my courage.
When the doc came in and explained the process, at first I thought I had really lucked out. When it comes to needles, there are two kinds of doctors: explainers and surprisers. This guy was an explainer, so he walked me through the whole thing verbally first, making sure I was comfortable. I would have a local anesthetic needle first, that would sting like a bee sting for a few seconds, and then it would dig deeper into the muscle and numb that next, then deeper and numb that, and then deepest, and numb that. So I should feel 5 or 6 stings. Then the tissue is numb so they can take a bigger needle and inject dye so they can make sure they are in the right area….the XRay is guiding them the whole time. Then they get the cortisone and get the needle into the hip joint, guided by the X-Ray image again, and inject the medicine in the magic spot.
Because I knew all this was going to happen in advance, I was completely tense, awaiting the next bee sting, anticipating the potential pain. He would talk through the whole procedure, so I knew when my muscle was more fibrous than he expected, or when the space in my hip socket was smaller than usual, or when he was up against resistance when he was pushing in the medicine. All that information made my mouth water like I was going to barf, and I had to keep reminding myself to take deep breaths so I wouldn’t die. I couldn’t just tune it out and go to a happy place.
The whole needle part only lasted 10 minutes or so, but when I got home, I was all shaken up and exhausted. I had a glass of wine at 3:30 in the afternoon, and watched some “West Wing.” Calmed me right down.
In two or three days, the medicine will have kicked in completely. It is a great diagnostic test because if I’m pain free in 3 days, I know the injury is in fact originating in the hip and further tests can be done to find out what was missed in the first MRI. If in a max of 5-7 days, my pain has not subsided, then the source of the injury is likely somewhere else. Such as the back.
Tomorrow I meet with Coach and the physio to talk about whats next.