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ESI tomorrow (gulp)!

KimD592KKimD592 Posts: 435
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Tomorrow is my ESI for T7-8. I'm really nervous about it, as I've had bad experiences with them in the past. They are doing it under sedation, like they did last time, but I'm hoping they actually sedate me this time. I don't want to be awake for it at all. While I'm nervous about it, I'm also hopeful that it'll help with this pain. I feel like it's my last resort, once again. It's like deja vu all over again! So, fingers crossed this works, because I REALLY don't want to undergo another surgery, especially when it hasn't even been 3 months since my last one. I'm going in at 8:30 tomorrow morning.


  • Kim,

    If they are sedating you, you should be fine. I have had multiple ESI's, and was awake for them all. The cervical spine ones, you see the needle coming right at you, but I just think of the relief I will get from it. Think positive thoughts about it, that it will work and not that it might not work, and the alternative.
  • Best of luck Kim! I'm sure it will work out fine. Hopefully they can give you more anesthesia this time to make sure you are really out. Just think positively that this will help your pain!
  • Thinking positive thought for you Kim! Even though you didn't have much luck with them in the past, this could turn out totally different.Go in thinking positive, it will help.

    Take it easy after it is done, let it all settle in and give it a chance to do its thing.

    I see my ortho (not neuro who did my surgery) tomorrow and he is going to set me up for some facet blocks. I, like you at 8.5 weeks out am still in pain. Here's hoping the shots do their thing for the both of us.

    Let us know how things went, when you are able.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012

  • Please let us know how you get on.

    I really hope that they will get just the right spot and you will get relief of your pain.

    When talking to my neurosurgeon who is recommending cervical ESIs to try to help me, he told me that they are far less risky than surgery and well worth trying to get relief. I had been thinking that I didn't want to even try them, but his opinion did make sense.

    I will follow how you get on with interest. If you can get relief from a thoracic herniation, then that must be better than surgery!

    Feel better soon. >:D<
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    I think the thoracic ones are the easiest to take.
    I didnt like lumbar ESIs, I hated cervical ESI's, but for whatever reason the thoracic ESI's were the ones that I cant remember even having the needle inserted.

    Kim, hopefully, yours will be as easy.... Sedated or not, just go with the flow
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Thanks everyone! Oddly enough, I'm looking forward to this one moreso than the ones I had in the past. I think because I'm in much more pain than I was then, and I'm absolutely desperate for relief. If it even helps just a little bit, I'll definitely be going back for #'s 2 and 3. I'm feeling lucky today, though, because today is mine and hubby's 8-year anniversary! The irony of it is that the last ESI I had done was on my birthday...lol! I'll definitely update when I get home.
  • Was just thinking of you, as it is 8 am here, thinking you should be off to your appointment now. You are going into it with a great attitude, fingers crossed that this will give you relief.

    I know what you mean about just wanting to try to do anything to get some relief. I would jump today if my ortho tells me "Lets get them set up for today" lol I know not gonna happen, but I too am looking forward to trying the shots.

    Let us know how it went when you are able. Hope you get some relief, that would be a great anniversary present. Enjoy the rest of your day, hopefully do something special with your hubby. Hope you don't have to work later today, as you should take it easy after the injections.

    Look forward to your update.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Well, I had my ESI earlier today. They did it with "sedation" but again, I wasn't completely out even though I told the doctor I wanted to be knocked out. In any case, it wasn't as bad as the last two I had done prior to my surgery. The medication made me sleepy enough that I really didn't care. It was still a bit uncomfortable, but it was over pretty quickly. As for whether it helped with the pain, well it's hard to say since I've been laying down relaxing/sleeping since I came home. I typically don't have a whole lot of pain until I'm up and moving about, which I haven't done yet. This leads me to my next question:

    I woke up from my nap having moderate to severe low back/hip/leg pain. I'd rate it a 7 or 8 on the pain scale. It's a deep aching type of pain, and I remember having it last time I had an ESI as well. I had the injection in my thoracic area, which is why I'm surprised I'm having so much low back/hip pain. Is this a normal side effect of an ESI? Other than that, the only other side effect I'm having right now is a MAJOR increase in appetite. I feel like I could eat a cow right now...seriously! lol.

    Also, assuming I experience relief from this ESI, how often am I able to have them, and how many do they typically allow you to have? I believe I remember hearing that you can have 3 of them, but I don't remember what period of time the doctor was talking about...probably 6 months to a year?

    Lastly, when I got home I was reading the paper they sent home with me, and it states, "Left T9-10 (T8-9) ESI". The reason I'm questioning this is because those are the levels I had my surgery on. The NS, when he wrote the script for it, wrote T7-8. I'm just curious as to if there's a reason why it wasn't done on T7-8, since that is the disc, according to the MRI, that is causing problems. I have my follow-up appt on 9/26, and I will definitely mention it then as well. I trust that my PM doc knows what he's doing, and perhaps that's how they typically do it? If I remember correctly, when I had ESI's prior to my surgery on T8-9-10, he had injected T10-11.

    Sooooo....just glad it's done and over with. Now I'm going to keep my fingers crossed and pray to the good Lord that this injection help.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    There are some different thought processes and different insurance policies.

    With my doctors and my insurance policy, they limit to about 3 injections per year. In some extreme cases, they might approve an additional one.

    In some of my situations, I had two of them almost back to back (within 10 days), while others I waited 6 months.

    Its always a waiting game to see what happens with ESIs. For some people they still getting relief within 48 hours, others may have to wait up to 3 weeks, and still from others, no noticeable improvement.

    As far as the area that the injection was done, I can not comment. The only thing I know is that for every injection I had, the doctor would circle in pen directly on the my back where they would be doing the injection. Sort of a cross check between what the medical records indicate and what the procedure is suppose to address.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Well, that low back/hip/leg pain I had yesterday after the ESI seems to be gone. It was very intense and it took quite a bit of pain meds to get the pain to subside. Then of course, due to the steroid, I was up practically all night last night.

    As for my usual pain, it's hard to see. I was laying down all day yesterday, so the pain was pretty minimal. Last night, while I was in bed, I started to feel the pain. This morning I'm feeling it a little bit as well, but it's not too intense yet. So, we'll see how I feel as the day progresses. It's back to the grind with taking care of the kids on my own today, so I should get a better idea of my pain level today. Luckily I was canceled from work today and tomorrow, so I'll be able to rest tonight if need be. These were my last two days of orientation, but I've done so well at work that they don't feel I need it.
  • tamtam said:
    The cervical spine ones, you see the needle coming right at you

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Kim, first of all I hope you are feeling better. Second of all I know you don't feel it but you are lucky! Over the last year and a half, I have had 11 ESI's and they have NEVER knocked me out or gave me anything to relax me. I wanna go to your PM, lol. Best wishes!
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