Epidural Injection

I received an epidural injection at UCLA Pain Management on January 25, 2021. The injection was performed by Dr. Li under the supervision of Dr. Wu. After a two-hour wait, the procedure itself took about 20 minutes. I lay facing down, they put local numbing medication around my tailbone before they inserted in a long needle; that was the most painful part of the entire procedure. The final step was to inject into my lower back the real medication - steroid.

The days right after the injection, I still felt my old pain plus new pain from the wound around my tailbone which was tolerable and not a big deal. The steroid took a few days to kick in, and it helped somewhat the following week. I still experienced a lot of pain but the number of unbearable moments has dropped a bit. That, of course, also depends on what I do during the day. During the second week, I took a 15-minute walk two days in a roll, I ended up having bad pain in my hips the second day after the walk. So, I stopped walking.

This third week has not been good. I stayed in and did only very light stretching exercises, but the pain came back and I have felt really terrible. I've gone back to the sick old days, spending a lot of time lying down. I knew that getting the injection was a gamble, each person receiving it reacts differently. For some, I've heard, the injection could last a long time, while for others not at all. I has hoping for it to last, but it looks like it didn't. And, gambling is never free! I've experienced great side effects from the steroid.

I have not been resting well at all. I have to get up and pee in the middle of the night two to three times since the injection. And, all my night urines are very cloudy. I feel increasingly weak and I continue to lose weight. When I was healthy I remember I used to weight 155lb or maybe even higher. I also remember before my second surgery in early 2019 I weight around 144lb. This morning I weighed 126lb, a new low. During the procedure, I remember the doctors remarked how skinny I was that they could see certain bones of mine without instruments.

Before the procedure, Dr. Li asked me which side, between left and right hips, hurt more? I said it really varies from moment to mention and day to day, about 2/3 of the times my right side hurt more. So, Dr. Li told me afterwards that he put in more medication to my right side. Right now both sides hurt, and my left leg and foot also experience occasional numbness.

My family physician, Dr. Aronin, has ordered blood, urine and stool tests. I'm also going back to see Dr. Wu for a follow-up on Friday 2/19/2021. In the meantime, I'm pursuing acupuncture treatment at UCLA East West Medicine. So far, I received my first session on 2/9/2021 and I'm going back there again on 2/23/2021.

In addition to my lower back pain which has been the old problem, I started experiencing pain, tightness and discomfort around the middle of my back since last October. About an inch above the scar from my second surgery, the position is around T12. I asked Pain Management last November if they could do something about that too, the doctor wanted to worry about the lower back first. The middle back discomfort has progressed quite a bit since, it starts to bother me more and more and making my middle to upper back aching throughout my day and night. I plan to ask Dr. Wu for a new MRI to see my latest development, besides by March it'll be six months since my last MRI.

Time for a prayer, I still hope Lord that you could help me and get through all these pain, weaknesses and anxiety, cleanse my sins and illnesses, let me become a better man! Amen 🙏