L5/S1 Facet Injections

It’s been less than 48 hours since I was laying facedown on a cold table, bum exposed, and needles sticking out of me. It’s the 4th time I’ve done it, but these diagnostic procedures bring new experiences and new results each time. 

The procedure itself was actually very quick. In fact I sat in the lobby and exam room waiting longer than the actual injections. Everything is done within my pain management doctor’s office and procedure room. I had 2 sweet female nurses who chatted with me about my hair and the new Portos being built in Buena Park. I must have enjoyed the chat so much that I don’t even remember them pulling my chonies down and cleaning my bum. I guess it could have been the Diazepam I was given to help calm me down too. Side note: if you need procedures like this, ask for a sedative, it helps keep me from tensing up and making my muscle pain worse next day. 

Back to the injection….Right in front of my head was a set of screens with live images of my lumbar spine and sacrum on them. The doctor uses fluoroscopy (x-ray) to make sure the medication is properly placed within the fracture and or joint space. Each one of my injections had been done this way, which is the gold standard of diagnostic injections. Then the handsome Dr Arthur Zepeda did his thang. “You’re going to feel a tiny prick, and then some pressure, you ready?” As I’ll ever be Doc! He started with the left side which hurt a bit more than the right, and was done within 5 minutes. I watched the screen the whole time, for the first time, which was pretty darn cool. Kind nurse A then cleaned my back/bum again, slapped on a couple of bandaids that she said looks lol eyes 👀, an sat me up. Kind nurse B wheeled me back to the recovery room, where 10 mintues later I passed observation with flying colors and was discharged. Overall it was just as quick as the SI injections but far less painful. 

Unlike the SI injections, I got very little instant or short term relief from the anesthetic involved in this one. In fact the only relief I got was in a tiny spot of my spine, just under the bandaids, not in my legs, pelvis or hips. I remember getting in the car swiftly and easily after my bilateral SI injections…that didn’t happen for this injection. In fact by 8pm (my injection was at 4), I was in a pretty intense amount of pain: achy, heavy legs, throbbing knees, SI joints on fire, and severe muscle spasms in the abdomen and back, as well as a pretty bad headache. At least a 8/10 on the pain scale. That pain has yet to let up. Talk about a post injection flare-up 😒.

Lucky for me, I have one of the cutest caretakers around. He’s taken very good care of his weak, sore, and frustrated litte wifey. I will never understand why God sent me such an angel, but I’ll never question it either. 

As I mentioned in my last post, Dr. Zepeda,my pain management doctor who administered the injections, said it could take up to a week for the steroid to kick in. Dr. Beck, the neurosurgeon/SI fusion innovator, who I flew out to Montana to see, said I should be able to compare pain relief pretty quickly from the SI injections vs. the Facet injections. He said it should help answer the question, “what came first, the SI chicken or the fractured egg?” 

I think I finally have my answer as far as what surgery option to go with, but I do plan to give these steroids a shot…he did say up to a week. I am in buttloads of pain (I’m so punny 🍑 #buttjokesallday), so I’m doing my best to get comfortable and relax until I go back to work tomorrow evening. 

Couldn’t do it without you all, thank you for the love 💜🦄🙌🏻


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