No one had an explanation for why the IV pain medications were not working for me. The doctor decided maybe it would be better to keep administering them by way of the epidural so the anesthesiologist was called to see if he could figure out why I had begun having problems with that when I'd started off so "comfortably."
Of course the anesthesiologist I saw in mid afternoon was not the one I'd seen in the early morning. This one decided the position of the needle needed to be adjusted and everything should be fine. He wiggled the needle around a little bit and the IV into my spine was turned back on.
A few minutes for me and I was already feeling some relief. It looked like all was well. The anesthesiologist was gone and I hoped things had settled down but the next thing I knew I was beginning to feel moisture on my back side. That was pretty much what had started this whole thing in the first place so the anesthesiologist was called again.
It took a couple more hours for the anesthesiologist to return. Now with me sitting in a wet bed and moisture puddled up around the needle, it was pretty obvious for him to see there was something definitely wrong with this particular epidural. There was no way to fix it. The only way for me to get meds by this means was by re-administering the epidural.
Redoing an epidural like this is not something that is usually done. It can be a risky procedure and it can have some serious side effects. The decision to do it was only made because they couldn't figure out any another way to keep me comfortable. Since pain interferes with healing and can even cause some damage of its own, it had become imperative for them to find a way to get my pain levels managed again. If that meant redoing the epidural, so be it.
Looking back at this situation, I probably should have been scared out of my head. I have had serious side effects from an epidural for childbirth. I'd even balked at the use of it for this surgery until I'd heard my other options. Redoing "should" have pushed plenty of buttons for me but I was so beat up from the pain of the day, I no longer cared. All I wanted was some continuous relief no matter what it took.
Redoing the epidural sounded simple enough but, just like everything else in this journey, finding the right location turned out to be something of a challenge. The poor anesthesiologist "poked" me a number of times, wiggling the needle around looking for a "way in" to no avail.
Each time the man applied any kind of pressure to that needle he apologized profusely for causing me pain. He tried and tried at each new site to get that needle to go in between the vertebrae but the darn thing just refused to slide into place.
Strangely enough, these pokes that didn't work were not all that painful considering what the rest of my day had been like. Even though sitting on the bed curled over in the "proper" position was painful and the faulty IV hadn't been delivering the proper dosage of drugs, I was feeling enough relief to be able to tolerate whatever it was going to take to make it REALLY stop hurting.
It was the final poke where the needle managed to find its way between my vertebrae that was unbearable. Up until that time I had not muttered a single sound due to pain but this time was different. I couldn't help it. Despite the fact I didn't want to add any stress to this already stressed out doctor, I could not restrain the sound that emerged.
As much as it hurt, I was also relieved. I knew when I felt the fire that this time would be the one that worked. It still took the doc a few adjustments here and there for that needle to find home and those were nearly as painful as that first poke but what mattered was this time the needle actually did end up resting where it should.
The anesthesiologist quickly finished up securing the needle in place once it had found its proper home. With that accomplished he came around the bed to face me when he really could have just walked out the door and disappeared. I vividly recall the expression on the man's face and his body language as he stood in front of me. Everything about him showed how upset he was. Pain was written all across his face, and most profoundly in his eyes, as he once again apologized profusely for causing me pain and taking so long.
No amount of reassurance from me, eased the conscience of this doctor. Even though I know it's not possible this procedure could hurt him as much as it hurt me, emotionally he had paid quite a price for something that probably had more to do with me, and my body's reaction to a painful day, than him. I felt for him and I really appreciated his caring. It is something I believe I will always remember. He was clearly so real and genuine.
To be continued.........................
Ending a Difficult Day.......
This video is one of Legs' daughter, Scandalous Faith. Dave looked at this three times before he realized which Legs daughter she was. His first two guesses were Hope, then Rose.
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