BIG needle

I had the injection  this afternoon.  I've had these injections before, 4 times.  I haven't needed one in 4 years because I thought my disease activity was under control, well controlled.

They took my word this time that there was a 0% chance of pregnancy, and the nurses and technical staff were great.  I got all checked in, changed, and had my vitals taken.  They wheeled me in, got me prepped and got the contrast and meds ready.

In the past, they did a quick bit of lidocaine with a needle to numb things, did the contrast via needle then injected the steroid.  It would take 5 minutes and all I felt was pressure when the meds were squeezed into the synovium between the ball and socket.

This time...quick bit of lidocaine, then a lot... a lot of digging around with the contrast needle.  After 10 minutes of this, the doc could tell I was having a little trouble.  At one point he must have hit a nerve or something because my leg jumped!  A second doctor came in and started helped and explained that there was a lot of disease in the joint so they were having trouble finding the perfect spot to get the medicine in.  That hit me.  I started taking deeper breaths, but hearing that made it all feel so much more real.  Chris, one of the radiology nurses, came over to the table, put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Keep breathing, I know it is hard, especially when they start pushing the steroid in.  You okay?"  It was so comforting.  It made such a difference and I thanked him before I left.

I know every day that I have RA.  I know every day that I have swollen joints.  I know this...I feel it.  I have x-rays every two years and the Rheumatologist reads them and monitors things.  I do these infusions every six weeks. I do shots of methotrexate into my belly every week and take medicine every day.  I've lived with this for over a decade.  Not sure why the doc making that comment hit me so hard.

We finished up and I walked a couple blocks to get the joint moving and get the medicine moving. I am home now, breathing, trying to relax.  Aside from the actual injection, holding my leg with my foot turned in that whole time was tough.

I hope this works.



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