Personal: Cervical Facet Joint Block Procedure, The Day After
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Personal: About My Cervical Facet Joint Block Procedure And The Day After

Personal: About My Cervical Facet Joint Block Procedure And The Day After

by Alicia in Health, Personal

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Today is Day 1 after the Cervical Facet Block procedure I had yesterday afternoon.  This procedure was the 2nd I’ve had in hopes of determining if a permanent cauterization of the nerves is necessary or if I need more in-depth surgery to alleviate the back and neck pain that could possibly be a result of a car accident I was in a long time ago.   A Cervical Facet Joint block procedure is done to help determine whether a facet joint is a source of pain. Facet joints are located on the back of the spine, where one vertebra slightly overlaps another. These joints guide and restrict the spines movement.

I was a little nervous about the procedure because it is a step up from the epidural I had done a couple of months ago and I didn’t know what to expect.   I didn’t take meds to prep for my previous procedure but this time around, Dr. surgeon requested that I take anxiety medication, Lorazepam, an hour before the cervical facet block. I’m not a fan of mood altering drugs so I opted to take one pill per the pharmacist’s instruction but there were three pills in the bottle. I took one pill, felt fine, and 30 minutes later, the nurse called my name. The energetic male nurse asked if I was ” feeling good” to which I responded “I feel pretty normal”.   He said “aw, we’ll take you back anyway.”  – What was that supposed to mean?

We got to the room where after being attached to a finger oxygen reader, blood pressure monitor, and thermometer, it became a joke that I must have been trying out for a part on Walking Dead as I had no pulse or blood pressure. I wanted to bust out my best zombie groan but couldn’t muster up the strength given how anxious I was feeling.  A few minutes later a nurse entered the room with a brand new set of vital checking tools and sure enough I had a pulse and decent blood pressure!  Hooray! :).

Cervical Facet Joint and Nerve Block

Then Dr. surgeon comes in and after a formal shake of hands, he asked me how I was feeling to which I replied “fine..just about normal” and he demandingly replied “take the other two pills”. I jokingly asked if my husband was going to have to carry me out of the facility if I took all three pills then my husband chimed in and said maybe the staff would be graced with Alicia’s showtunes performance after all three pills kicked in! Fast forward 30 minutes later..to my knowledge all the pills did was make me tired after the procedure for about 6 hours.

Once I got into the sub-zero degree procedure room, I was asked to slide my tops and bra down and lay on the procedure table. It was much like a masseuse table with a hole where my face could rest. Then..entered two more nurses.  Between the two nurses, they learned my life story in about 3 minutes. Husband’s name, address, phone number, medical record number, etc.  – all of which I answered firmly and abruptly. I quickly learned that they were testing me to see how well the meds had taken effect. I told them that I was fine and to move forward with the procedure when Dr. surgeon jumped in to remind me to take 3 pills at once next time.

Once he started talking and prepping for the procedure I completely understood why 3 well absorbed Lorazepam would have been helpful.

He was asking for needles, writing on my back, tilting a machine this way and that way to make sure he could see the exact areas of the spine he needed to work on. Then the kicker.. “Ok Alicia, I’m going to give you a numbing shot”. Ok doc I said. One shot, two shots, three shots, four.  Five. Ok. What’s going on?  After the 5th shot, one of the nurses told Dr. Surgeon that I should be ready.   Seriously, you just gave me 5 shottttssss.  Yeow!  I felt a big fat needle with some kind of wirey thing attached to it hit my spinal column. Fun!  My hands became one with the table and and if I remember correctly I played some mad tapping tunes for my audience of Dr. Surgeon and nurses.  I was tapping all sorts of tunes on that table including Jeses Loves Me, Roar, and one I made up about getting the F off that table. Luckily no one can decipher my taps except me.

After he made sure to insert plenty of needles and wirey things and twist each of those things to his delight, the procedure was pronounced finished and I was ready to jump off the table and launch out of there like a rocket but ended up being wheeled out in a smooth wheelchair. Sweet!

Fast forward to today, not quite 24 hours after the procedure, I shed a few tears upon waking, took something for pain, and am looking forward to when the injected meds kick in in 6-7 days. You read that right.  It’s all good. I really hope this procedure works and allows me to play with the kids on the floor again, turn my neck independently of my body, do yoga, etc. all those things I haven’t been able to do in years but think I’ve pulled off pretty well.

To top it all off, Madelyn is home sick today, I still have to work, and I have to drive Sebastian 3 hours to a Boy Scout camping trip tonight.

You can learn more about Cervical Facet Block  here

I finish my story by asking WHERE IS MY HEALTHY CLONE?  Anyone?

 

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