Wednesday, July 18, 2012

damsel in distress

Monday I went in for my hip arthrogram (they inject dye into the joint and then do an MRI) and cortisone injection. I was not excited about these because of my ser-i-ous fear of needles. I've been nervous about the test for weeks but by Monday morning I mostly just wanted to get it over with.

Manny took the afternoon off to come with me since I was so nervous. I also figured my hip would be pretty sore after the injections and that I wouldn't feel much like driving. So off we went, me fidgeting and chewing on my newly manicured nails the whole way to the medical center because I was so nervous. Manny tried calming me down telling me it was going to be fine. I told him he wasn't the one getting giant needles stuck into his hip. :)

After I changed into the gown, I sat in the fluoroscopy room for a while waiting for the doctor. (The use an X-ray type machine for these injections since the hip joint is so deep to make sure they're getting in exactly the right spot.) When the doctor came in he told me not to worry because he had the most experience of anyone in the hospital doing this type of injection. Everyone was so nice and very compassionate about the fact that I had a lot of anxiety about this procedure. So up onto the table I go, getting draped and prepped and ready for the injection. I started to cry before the first needle even touched me. Oops. But one of the super sweet techs came over and held an ice pack on my head to try and help me calm down and to remind me to breathe. After getting the numbing agent in (which hurt a lot), the other two injections went really smoothly. At least I assume they did because I couldn't feel anything at all.

So after all the anxiety and tears, the injections themselves were over in just a couple minutes. They handed me some scrub pants and told me to put those on instead of the gown (I still had my shirt on under the gown). They sat me up slowly to make sure I wasn't light-headed and stepped outside of the room so I could get the pants on. After getting the scrub pants on I called them back in the room to let them know I was ready to go down to MRI. The helped me off the table and into a wheelchair which I thought was really silly because while my hip was very sore, I was certainly capable of walking 25 yards down to MRI. But that's procedure so into the chair I went.

I couldn't have been in the chair for more than 5 seconds and we were just turning to head to MRI when I remember saying "wait, I feel really light headed" and felt like I was going to throw up. No vomit, but apparently I was out cold for a good 30 seconds. When I woke up, I was still in the chair but there were all these people, and I'm pretty sure they were talking to me but I had no idea what they were saying. Eventually I regained enough sense to realize they were trying to get me out of the chair and onto the floor so they could put my feet up. So there I am, laying on the floor, just barely out of the hallway, sweaty, pale, shaky, still a little confused and surrounded by military men. I'm thinking there are worse things to wake up to. ;) Apparently fainting is a fairly common side effect to the dye injection. Who knew (well, they did).

I think I laid on the floor for a good 10 minutes before I felt normal enough to try sitting. At this point I was mostly just embarrassed and I really had to pee. We wheeled down to the bathroom in the MRI area and we sat outside the bathroom forever and I thought we were waiting for someone to come out but then I realized they didn't want me getting up and fainting in the bathroom. I made Manny come in with me anyway, just in case.

Everything after that went pretty smoothly I mostly just felt a little weak for the rest of the day. Oh, and my hip was super sore from all the junk they had pumped in it. I've never really passed out like that before and I have to say, it's not an experience I'd care to repeat. I just remember being so confused when I woke up. It's like I was seeing all these images but my brain could not process them. Oh well, at least I fainted into the very capable hands of my husband and the guys at the medical center.


  1. sad day :(

    fainting is the pits! but at least you were sitting!!

  2. Pulling an Amber: (n) the act of saying you're going to faint and then actually fainting.