The saga of my sciatic nerve pain continues! I’m going to share my experience in case someone else has this condition. I didn’t know there were so many treatment options. My pain started in December prior to major surgery and just continued to get worse during my recovery. Once my OB/Gyn surgeon cleared me for physical activity, I was sent to a spine specialist for sciatic nerve pain and a scoliosis study. She sent me to physical therapy for both conditions.
PT has been great for my back but only gave me a slight improvement with the sciatic pain. After my last visit the spine specialist sent me to the U.C. Davis Pain Center in Sacramento.
Yesterday I went there for a Transforminal Epidural Steriod Injection in the right Sacral-1 using Fluorscopy. I had to fast for eight hours prior to the 3:00 pm procedure. They were running behind so it actually didn’t take place until after 4:00.
I went through a very thorough exam with two doctors to determine where the pain was originating from so they could pinpoint where the ejection should go. They both agreed with the spine specialist that it wasn’t the disc with a slight protrusion that showed up on the MRI. They agreed that it was the area under the piriformis muscle in the gluteal region of the buttocks where the sciatic nerve lies underneath. That is consistent with the fact that sitting down, driving, bending over and squatting all increase the pain.
The Urodynamics testing I underwent for my pelvic prolapse surgery was the cause of the initial sciatic nerve issue. The position I was in for the nearly 7 hour surgery exacerbated the problem. Then 12 weeks of recovery with limited movement didn’t help! It just continued to get worse from there with pain shooting all the way down to my ankle.
I opted not to have sedation for yesterday’s procedure as I didn’t want to be drowsy after the procedure. Although I felt calm my usually low blood pressure was slightly elevated. The nurse said the stress of the pain was contributing to that since I had to stop one of my pain meds a week ago in preparation for the epidural my pain level had increased. An IV was put in place in case anything went wrong. I had to be face down on the table. They used Fluoroscopy to locate the exact position of the sacral-1 which is a tiny hole in the sacrum. The area was numbed with a local anesthetic. At first I felt a burning sensation and that was the worse part of the procedure. When the steroid was injected I just felt pressure. The idea is that the steroid solution will bathe that area and calm the sciatic nerve down. This procedure may need to be repeated in 8 weeks and then again 8 weeks after that. It’s a waiting game now to see if it works.
After the procedure they brought me my choice of juice, soda or water – I asked for water. Then the nurse brought an assortment of junk food snacks like cookies and cheese crackers – hardly whole food plant based options! But being the prepared woman I am I had healthy snacks in my purse and munched on those instead. The nurse said my snacks were a lot healthier than their offerings! Food tastes so good after fasting.
They told me I had about 2 hours of being pain free from the local anesthesia so I should go enjoy a nice “sit down” dinner. So that’s what we did. It was an amazing feeling to sit down with out pain. After 6 months I had forgotten what that feels like.
I miss hiking and bike riding, being able to bend over with out feeling more pain, getting up from a sitting position and not having my leg and hip seize up on me and being able to drive the car with out pain. I just want to feel good again and be pain free! I am hopeful and praying that this is going to work! Keep me in your prayers friends. Prayers are powerful.
I have to thank hubby Tom for being my amazing support through all of this. He has dealt with my moodiness, tears and down days and consistently remains positive! The one thing that I can do that doesn’t cause pain is walk so I have been walking every morning 5-6 miles. It clears my head and makes me feel good when all those endorphin’s are released and it allows me to be outside which I love.
Baby Alma is also good medicine. When I’m busy with her I forget all about my pain! Here’s to better days ahead!
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To your health,
Feel free to leave a comment! Have you ever had sciatic pain?