Yesterday was Valentine’s Day here in America. That good old card-company designed day for men to panic to find flowers for their significant others and single ladies everywhere to sit and wonder what they did wrong.
Not me though! Usually I commemorate the day of love with an annual visit to my gynecologist – a very amusing coincidence that took place more than a few times in a row for a while. But this year, I had the pleasure of leaving work early to go have an arthrogram done on my hip.
My hip. It’s strange. I’ve been going to physical therapy ] for months and stopped about six weeks ago since it was doing very little to help. This injury I have, which didn’t come from any actually incident that I recall, is located on the inside of my hip joint. So I feel immense pain when trying to sit cross-legged on the floor, for example. My doctor, who is being replaced next month with a second opinion at Mass General, suspects it might be a labral tear, since tests for necrosis and arthritis have been ruled out. Since a tear cannot be seen in the x-rays he’s done, the arthrogram needed to happen.
I arrived at the center, signed in, got into my little johnny outfit and waited. Eventually I was brought to a room with bright window light and told to lie down on a table. A xray machine was used to help the doctor keep an eye on where the dye was going into the hip and ensure it was going into the right place.
I was nervous and told her so. She explained the whole process before getting to it, telling me also that while I can move around and do regular everyday things, she wouldn’t recommend I go home and do squats or hit the gym later.
She gave me what I guess (because I didn’t look) was about six different shots of lidocane around the hip to numb the area. Then, another needle was inserted. That needle was connected to a lonnnnng tube and at the end of the tube was the doctor dumping dye into my hip. I have no idea why the long tube was necessary but I was too focused on breathing my way through not being a giant baby that I didn’t ask her. I didn’t see the needle, but when it came out I could feel it. That sickening sucking feeling that you also feel when IVs are removed. Blech.
The tech who was assisting seemed to be watching me carefully, like I might pass out or barf at any moment. In truth, I was fine. As I came to a seated position to get off the table, she said to me “because of the lidocaine, a lot of people find that they’re free of pain for a few hours after the procedure”
Well, let me just say that that nice lady should wear a name tag that says “hello, my name is LIAR FACE”
As I stepped down off the table I was shocked to not only feel no numbness, but to feel pain strong enough that I couldn’t actually walk properly. I kept thinking to myself I’m being melodramatic for sure. This can’t be pain I’m feeling. It’s weakness from the numbing, right? But no, I was actually in a fair amount of pain.
The next step was the MRI, the whole point of having the dye placed into the hip. The dye, the doctor told me, would spread everything out a bit and allow the doctor’s to really determine if there’s a tear deep in my hip or not. The MRI machine was loud with its cracking and humming and banging. Naturally, I feel right to sleep.
I hobbled my way out of there, measuring my Wimp Factor every six steps or so while trying to walk all calm and normal like No this is my swagger! I’m totally not in pain like a Wimpy McWhiny!
I spent the evening in the lovely company of my parents over a nice meal and some Olympic chatter with a heating pad in my lap. To my relief, I woke this morning feeling the level of pain I was promised yesterday. That level being basically none.