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Old 06-14-2011, 10:02 AM   #1
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Very worried about this epidural injection. Please read.

It's my first one and scheduled for Thursday. I've just been reading about the side affects and I'm getting seriously worried.

It just occurred to me; STEROIDS, as in, the stuff bodybuilders use?! Anger, irritability?

Cushings Syndrome? I'm reading of a LOT of people that developed this after just a few injections.

Increased anxiety? I have anxiety disorder. I really dont want it worse than it already is.

Uncontrollable appetite? Call me vain if you will, but I work really hard to maintain my body. I dont want to get fat.

My daughter is getting married in a week and a half. I have more stuff to do than I can handle. What are the chances that this injection is going to turn me into an irritable, anxiety-ridden, fat, hairy-faced person at my daughter's wedding?!

If I refuse this, will I be considered non-compliant? I've done everything they've asked me to do, so far. I dont want to get on their bad side.

I dont know exactly what kind of injection I'm getting. The pain is in my upper body, so I assume the injection will be up high on my back.

 
Old 06-14-2011, 11:49 AM   #2
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Re: Very worried about this epidural injection. Please read.

Hi mombomb,

I have recently had an epidural injection of steroids in C5, C6, and C7 - neck. The day of the injection I just felt like someone had frogged my muscles in my shoulders but other than that I was fairly pain free. The second day I went back to work which was a mistake. About an hour before I left my face suddenly became red like I had a sunburn and I had a low grade fever. I called the doctor's office and the nurse told me that 'flushing' of the face was common so I went on to work. When I got there I had an episode where it felt as if someone had punched me right in the center of my chest and I suddenly had a hard time breathing. I went to the emergency room since I could not get my doctor back on the phone. The E.R. doctor told me that it was another fairly common reaction - a rush of adrenaline brought on by anxiety. I was not given any information on possible side effects and what to worry about and what not to worry about so I guess I had the anxiety attack because of the flushing and the fear of going back to work and getting ill there.

As for the anger, irritability side effects, I have experienced some irritability and anger but that has been ongoing since my diagnosis. It makes me angry that I have to limit myself due to my health problems and that it seems as if my family just thinks I am complaining to hear myself and so that I don't have to do anything but sit around all day (which I do not do, by the way!).

I have not had an increased appetite since the shot but I'm on so much other medication that I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it or not. The first 5 days after the flushing went away, I felt wonderful - mostly pain free but the pain is now returning. I am scheduled for a second shot next week and I was told that it has to be done in a series of 3 to be effective. We will see if it is helpful in the long run.

As for being non-compliant, I can't really comment on that. I guess that would depend upon your insurance company. My insurance company has not refused any MRIs, CTs, x-rays, medications, etc. so I'm one of the lucky ones that was not forced to go to physical therapy before getting medications.

I think that if you go in armed with the knowledge that these side effects can occur, it is easier to deal with them when they do happen. You must weigh the pros and cons for your own self as everyone is different. For me, my only other option is surgery to fuse 5 of my 7 vertebrae in my neck which would severely limit my range of motion and my activities in the future which I'm not yet willing to live with. I will give the shots a chance - anything to avoid surgery.

I hope that whatever you decide to do that you find some relief for the pain. I understand the frustration of living every minute with pain. Take good care of yourself.

 
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:41 PM   #3
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Re: Very worried about this epidural injection. Please read.

Talk to the doc about your concerns. If the injection is in the epidural space I don't think you would have whole body side effects.

Oral steroids have all those side effects and I think body builders inject them into a vein. This is different (I think)

Ask the doc and tell him your concerns.

Pup

 
Old 06-14-2011, 08:15 PM   #4
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Re: Very worried about this epidural injection. Please read.

It sounds like an epidural steroid injection. The risk of developing Cushings Syndrome is slim after getting a shot of kenalog, which is the steroid that is mostly used to give injections near the spine. It is also usually mixed with some lidocaine type of medication to kind of numb the painful area some for a time until the steroids kick in.
It is a tiny dose of steroids, but there are some side effects - as there are with any medication, no matter what it is. It is evaluating whether or not the side effects are intolerable that dictates whether or not a medication can be used.
Increased appetite can happen but it is not going to cause you to eat uncontrollably if you don't allow it to. Flushing may happen and be momentary in nature or last for a few hours.
The biggest risk of getting steroid injections are that they may cause an increase in pain for the first two days or so, before they begin to work.
I think that you will be fine by your daughter's wedding......Congratulations by the way.
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:19 AM   #5
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Re: Very worried about this epidural injection. Please read.

Hi Tanked:

I have had these ESI's 4x a year for 5 years with no adverse side effects. Not much help in general, but they lasted for a week or so in my case. It was worth that week or 10 days feeling much better. My ESI's were in my lower lumbar spine, and were done with twilight anesthesia, and the PM doc (also an anestheologist) used something like a camera/video/tv to guide him to EXACTLY the right spot. I never developed any spinal leaks, nor did I have anything go wrong in any of the 20 procedures done. They were done outpatient. They did not hurt. If your doc is good at what he does, all will be well. Until now I have never heard of "Cushings" disease, and I'm glad I didn't. Good luck on your procedure, I'm sure all will go well. Trust your doc.

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Old 06-15-2011, 01:17 PM   #6
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Re: Very worried about this epidural injection. Please read.

Thank you for your replies. Tomorows the big day. Wootwoot I'll talk to him prior of course, but in my experience, so many drs, dont give you the real 'dirt' on side effects and I've found I need to take more control of things like that on my own. I'm very unsure about this. I wish it was scheduled after the wedding, but I'll do it. It's not like there's anything else that can be done to help me except, thank ****, the pain pills. Nothing else has worked so far and I'll be very suprised if this does.

 
Old 06-15-2011, 01:59 PM   #7
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Re: Very worried about this epidural injection. Please read.

hi, i went through a series of those about 6 years ago. if they are done properly, the worst thing is if they actually hit a vertabret with the needle. they did that once with me, it was like somebody just sucked every last bit of air out of me. other than that, the only real side effect (other than the relief) was pretty extreem itching in my "neather regoins". they gave me a very large dose of benadryl prior to the shot to help relax me. and once you really start coming out of it, i started itching. i was already home, so it was not that big of deal. just thought you should know. also, for me, the first shot worked the best. every one after that got progressivly less relief. after 6 shots, there was no point in continuing treatment, because the amount of relief was minimal and short in duration. after that first shot however, i could have danced my way to the moon! and i don't dance!

 
Old 06-15-2011, 02:24 PM   #8
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Re: Very worried about this epidural injection. Please read.

ITCHING??!! Oh noooo. I have an itching phobia. I had a very bad case of chickenpox as an adult and I panic when I get an itch now. sigh.

 
Old 06-15-2011, 02:26 PM   #9
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Re: Very worried about this epidural injection. Please read.

I called the nurse to ask her a few questions. She explained the procedure a bit. They dont do an IV or any sedatives but said I can take an Ativan before my appt. I have some here at home already. Wish me luck.

 
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