May 23, 2008
Pain in the Ass: CT-Guided Pudendal Nerve Block
On Wednesday I had a CT-guided pudendal nerve block. I hadn't anticipated it would be such an ordeal. 2 days before the appointment I received a call from the office saying that I had to come over an hour before the procedure, I couldn't eat or drink after 6:00 am that day. I'm under a ridiculous amount of stress at work and unfortunately, I have my fair share at home as well. I began to have some misgivings.
My mom was kind enough to go with me for the block. I had to get completely undressed and wear gown. I got an IV on the top of my left hand. I was hungry, but cool as a cucumber. One of the nurses even said, "I've never seen a woman this calm before this procedure!"
I guess she jinxed me. I finally got to meet the doctor who was performing the block. He was very nice, but I think I got a little more information than I needed. He told me that I needed to be awake enough to tell him if he punctured the nerve.
That sent me into a bit of a panic. I was all ready to be knocked out. I thought all I had to do was lie there and look pretty. I didn't want to be awake and in pain! What if he did puncture the nerve!?! What if this little procedure only made me worse?!?
I started to feel hot and nauseous. My mom got one of the nurses and I told her that I didn't want to do it, that I had changed my mind. She was very surprised. I was no longer her super cool patient. I was a hot mess. I was ready to rip the IV out of my hand myself.
My mom suggested that I speak to the doctor and see if he could put my mind at ease. I have to say, everyone on staff that day was just wonderful. They were patient, understanding and kind. The doctor and the nurse administering the anesthesia assured me that the risks were minimal and I would be well cared for.
I decided to go for it. I had to lie on my stomach with my arms stretched out in front of me. My ass as in a tube for the CT. Once they had everything lined up, I was given a local numbing injection in each butt cheek. It hurt. Then the big needle was placed on the left side. "OW!" Then another big needle was placed on the right side. "OW!" I'm not gonna lie. It hurt. Those needles were long!
After that second "ow" I was out. I woke up feeling very happy and very relaxed some time later. That was a wonderful sleep. I felt so relieved about everything when I woke up. Apparently, every time I said "ow" the nurse gave me another dose of twilight. Good deal!
I'm not nearly as numb as I have been with the previous nerve blocks. Unfortunately, I have another raging yeast infection from a course of antibiotics. And let me tell you, I can feel that! I wish I couldn't.
My butt is still very sore from the injections. I feel like I got a tetanus shot in both cheeks.
The steroid in the injection is not supposed to take effect for about a week, so I'll keep you posted on if I see some improvement. I really need to nix this yeast infection first. It's completely tainting my results and ruining my day!
I have a followup with my doctor some time in the next two weeks where we'll discuss surgery. The CT-guided nerve block is supposed to be a good indicator of whether or not you should have surgery because it is so much more accurate. The needle is in the potentially compressed canal.
Hopefully, I'll have a clear indication of where to go from here.