Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Suckage & Smelling Salts

When did I become such a friggin' baby?

I've been having problems with my left hip all summer. I suspect that somewhere along the line, I did something not nice to it while kayaking. But, it could have been anything. 200,000 miles of pushing a beetle clutch? 35 years of sitting weird with my left leg under my right butt cheek? Premature aging?

Whatever it is, its been interfering in my life. I'd wake up in the middle of the night with it throbbing. It hurt while kayaking. Then I tried to start running again and it was over. Holy crap. Then it really hurt. I felt like something was clicking or pushing or something. Something was wrong. But whatever. I just don't run anymore. No big sacrifice. Really.

But then, I couldn't even sit in my kayak comfortably, and I broke down and went to the doctor. And as we all know, the doctor is a gateway drug to other doctors. If I don't have a cold or the flu, Doc C. sends me to a specialist.

So I got x-rays (normal) and went to the specialist. He twisted my leg in a couple directions and got the hint when I screamed. Yeah. "I don't go that way anymore." Specialist thinks I might have a labral tear in the hip. I guess its fairly common amongst the sporty set (which I still don't really consider myself to be a part of, funny enough). So off for an MRI.

But this wasn't an ordinary MRI. They did one of those MRIs where they put dye in and track where it goes. Whatever, right? No big deal.

Except that it turned out to be a big deal.

I stripped down and put their ugly gown on. Then they laid me on this very hard metal table, with some sort of imaging machine attached to it. I was nervous. As I've gotten older, needles and procedures have affected me more and more. And because of some stuff I had read on the internet about pain during and after the procedure (damn internet) I was already a little bit freaked out.

I laid on the cold metal table for 5-10 minutes staring at the ceiling and trying not to panic while the tech got various needles and shots prepared. Then the doc came in and they spent another 10 minutes mixing and lining up shots. I was getting a local anesthetic, two different cortisone shots and the dye. And lord knows what else. I couldn't look at all that shit sitting on the tray. It was freaking me out.

As soon as the first needle hit my hip, I got really unhappy. I could feel it in there. And I kept just thinking about all that crap they were blowing into my joints and I started feeling sick to my stomach. I didn't feel any pain, just pressure. But it was sickening.

Then, I started to feel hot. Then clammy. I know this feeling. Its the feeling I get right before I pass out or puke. And they had told me not to eat, so there was nothing to puke. I had no choice. I was going to have to pass out. I told the technician that I was feeling woozy and clammy. Doc said "you look pale." Wow, really? Four years of medical school, for that?

I really was not doing good, going back and forth between wanting to forcibly push my way out of the room, and wanting to pass out. A tech came over with a cold compress, then I heard "get the smelling salts." Really? Smelling salts? What am I, a corseted 19th century housewife? Then there she was, shoving foul smelling salts up my nose. Ever stuck your nose into a bottle of ammonia? Well, its not pleasant. And it stopped me from fainting, since I switched from worrying about the needle in my hip to worrying about the permanent damage that had just occurred to my nostrils.

Then they were done and I could sit up and recover. As soon as I heard them say, "ok, we're done" I felt a little bit better. They gave me some water and I limped over to the MRI machine. I had never been so glad to be in an MRI machine - no needles in there! Just a terrible radio station and some thumps. Last time I had an MRI, I started getting a little freaky about the space by the end, but this time I had no problem. I could have stayed there all day. Nobody was poking me.

It took me hours to recover, really. I went to a nearby cafe afterwards to get some caffeine and food in my system, and slowly made my way home. I was so tired when I got home - I guess the emotional energy I had expended sucked it out of me. I ended up in bed most of the afternoon - totally wiped out. And when I woke up, the hip still hurts and feels all weird (cuz its filled with weird dye fluid crap) and I'm all dehydrated and stupid. Its like the painkiller they injected went all over my body and affected my brain. I am definitely affected.

But you all knew that already.


Just Sayin... said...

Its never easy to be poked by strangers...unless that is your kind of thing. ;)

Hope you recover quickly and they find the issue and NOT come back with "everything is normal".


erin said...

Ugh, this is why I avoid western medicine as much as possible. (Yes, I would use it if I felt I needed it.) Anyway, if the MRI doesn't turn anything up, look for an Osteopath. They are MDs, they are western, they are covered by insurance, but they are secretly eastern. And they don't poke you with needles, inject with you dyes, and refer you to other doctors. They fix the problem in non-invasive ways. According my osteopath, any sort of injury that pulls the body out of alignment can build up over the years (even from when you were little) and suddenly start really hurting you. (Also: my osteopath does not crack anything - like a chiropractor - either. I love him.)

Hope you're feeling better!

Anonymous said...

MmmmmMmMMmmmm.... Smelling salts. I put them in my donuts.