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Friday, July 8, 2011

Laundry List Friday: 5 things that are "awesome" about cortisone shots

Good morning!

So, as expected, my ortho doc scolded me for my foray into the physical world of 3rd shift work yesterday.  The results are in:  Yes, I messed up my hands more in the short month I was at that position and no, I won't get that damage healed.  Yay me.

Dr. Doogie also reiterated the state of my thumb joints with this succinct statement after looking at my x-rays:  They are just so bad!

So, he gave me a cortisone shot in my right hand, though he really didn't want to have to give me any shots in either hand for at least another 6 months.  But, since the damage and the pain was pretty undeniable...as well as the loss of use (he tested my thumb strength with a cool little thumb pressure machine.  I pretty much have the thumb strength of a newborn and should probably give up everything involving my thumbs.)

That's the spot...sort of.
The thing about getting a cortisone shot is that it's not the quick fix pain kill you'd like it to be. Which brings me to today's list:  5 things that are "awesome" about cortisone shots.

5)  Getting the shot is really more of an art than a science.

Seriously, this is what Dr. Doogie told me yesterday.  In order to give me the shot, he had to locate the joint.  This happens when he tugs on my thumb a few times, and yes, that's good big fun for me.  Then, having located the tiny little joint, he draws a line in pen on the joint line.  THEN he gets the topical antiseptic and anesthetic, the application of which is fairly painful, but nothing compared to getting a 3 inch needle stuck into the most tender part of the aching joint...if you're lucky.  There's a certain amount of twisting and wiggling about before the medicine, which sort of feels like FIRE being injected, actually finds it's point.  And how does Dr. Doogie know when he hit the right spot?  When I howl and suck in my breath.  That's when we know we're in the right spot.

I asked him how he practiced this in med school.  "Cadavers?"  I asked hopefully.  "Not really," says he.  "Sort of just hit and miss practice."

Egads.  Those poor practice patients.

4)  It's surprising just how big the needle hole is.

Needle shown is actual size.
Next time you get an injection for something, take a look at the needle and the injection sight when you're done.  You might be hard pressed to find the needle stick spot.  Not me.  Upon withdrawal, the needle leaves a big, gaping hole... sort of awesome, if you think about it.  I mean, talk about your basic puncture wounds.  I only wish Dr. Doogie would use cooler band aids.  I  mean, Peaches got a booster yesterday, and she got a Snoopy band aid from her peds doc.  You'd think someone as young as Dr. Doogie would at least have a Powerpuff girls band aid lying around or something.

3)  The real pain doesn't start for 3-4 hours.

Yeah, getting a cortisone shot isn't like inhaling chloroform.  There's a certain amount of tenderness for a couple hours, followed by blinding pain and complete loss of the affected body part for about 8 hours. 

Contemplate for a moment, just how much you use your hand, especially your dominant hand, in the course of even the quietest of evenings.  Change your clothes?  Use the rest room?  Take a phone call?  Change the channel on your TV?  Trying doing it with the opposite hand, or one handed.  Oh, and be sure to have someone bash your hand with a hammer ever time you move it.

Gooooooooood big fun!

2)  My hand isn't fat...it's swollen, swollen with cortisoney goodness.

Fluffy girls sometimes have random, fairly thin body parts despite the fact they are fluffy.  For me, my hands  (not my fingers...I have large fingers) are very small and trim.  Except after a cortisone shot when the medicine actually sort of just sits there for a few hours before dispersing.  It's an attractive look, I promise you!

1)  I won't be able to ride in the Tour de France.

Who's not in this picture?  I'm not!  Why?  Cortisone shots!
Hubby and I are fans of the Tour, currently running right now.  22 days of super skinny guys riding endlessly on bikes through gorgeous French countryside...and then getting tested for drugs twice a day.  And guess what...my cursed thumbs are going to keep me out of this great race.

Yes, that's the reason I'm not training for the Tour.  That's the ONLY reason!  Darn cortisone!

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