Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Radiofrequency Lesioning

I was petrified going in the morning of my procedure.  Everything I had read about RFL said it was a torturous procedure done while wide awake with a long, painful recovery.  Of course, Dr. B. assured me that was not the case, but I tend to expect the worse and didn't believe a word he said.  I mean...the internet certainly knows more than the drs., right?!?  This would be the reason Jesse keeps threatening to disconnect our internet modem...and banning me from WebMD.  Anyhow, when I got to the surgery center, I was pleasantly surprised to find a lovely anesthesiologist waiting for me, with syringe in hand,  the second I was taken into pre-op.  She was ready to inject my fentanyl before I even had an IV site!  They couldn't get that IV in fast enough as far as I was concerned!  I longed for that relaxing, melting sensation to come over my body as at that moment I was twitching with anxiety and felt like I was jumping out of my skin.  Of course, not being able to have anything by mouth 12 hours before the procedure, I was dehydrated.  It took 3 attempts to get my IV in as my veins kept "blowing".  As a nurse, it was frustrating!  Now, I don't always get IV's right away either, but I know where my good veins are and the nurse wouldn't listen to me.  She jokingly kept saying..."Stop being a nurse and just be the patient"...although I know she really meant it.  So, finally IV in place, fentanyl on board and being wheeled blissfully into operating suite.  I was placed on the table, face down and started panicking once again screaming, "I don't feel sedated enough...don't start yet!"  Then....nothing!  I woke up in a recliner in recovery, completely dressed, sobbing and dry heaving.  I always cry coming out of anesthesia.  Apparantly I was put completely to sleep!  Yay!  (Dr. B. later told me that he does not use the old barbaric method of making the patient stay awake). So after a few sips of ginger ale and some more Zofran, I was set free.  Pain wise, it wasn't unbearable at that point.  Still the good drugs kicking in.  I felt pain only on my left side, right side...nothing.  I got home and right to sleep I went.  The rest of the day went fairly smoothly.  I took my pain meds around the clock and kept ice packs on constantly as ordered.  Then...WHAM!  Almost out of nowhere, I awoke in the evening in what I can only refer to as utter agony.  The pain in the sides of my neck is what I would describe as a deep, burning ache.  It hurt like hell.  My head was pounding so hard, I thought the top of it was going to pop off.  I had sharp stabbing pains shooting through my eyes and ears.  I could do nothing but cry and ask Jesse over and over again why I did this.  My mother's boyfriend (an ER physician) was working and I knew I could go to him for help, but I chose to wait it out.  In my mind I kept thinking "what if I have a spinal headache?" So I took every medication I had in my medicine cabinet, surrounded my head and neck in ice packs, drank some caffeine and laid flat on my back.  Eventually I fell asleep.  I awoke the next afternoon at 1pm to Jesse hovering over me, making sure I was breathing!  He does that quite often.  I am lucky to know I am being looked after and frequently checked on when I am in my medication stupor.


Anonymous said...

Hey Jess, I'm so sorry about that incredible pain. I was hoping that it was a miracle cure so that I can do it myself. I am utterly tired of the migraines, and as of late, my head hurts almost on a daily basis. I am hoping that maybe today it will be a pain free day for you. Keep your chin up, something is bound to work, I keep searching too! Keep me posted.

Your migraine pal, Lori

Jessica said...

Lori, you will be pleased to know that the pain from the procedure has greatly subsided! =)

S.I.F. said...

That sounds just awful! But I am so glad they put you completely to sleep for the procedure.

I'm actually really interested to find out how this works for you in the long run. My grandmother has fibromyalgia (I am 99% sure I butchered that) and is in constant pain... I think she would do just about anything that would help at this point.

Jessica said...

To S.I.F.
Good job on the "fibromyalgia", butchering! I don't think they would do RFL on fibro. It is usually done for pain in the back due to spinal issues. Mine was done in my cervical spine (c-3 to c-7) in hope to help with my occipital nerve pain. However, if your grandmother goes to a rheumatologist or pain management specialist she should never know!!!