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Why would it hurt to get an epidural? - Page 2

post #21 of 59
I had a spinal before each of my c/s. The first one took five tries before it 'took' and severe convulsions followed each attempt. I had pain searing through parts of my body I had never even felt before, matts in my hair that had to be torn out later, and I had to be sedated as well to deal with how much my body would have continued to move without it during the c/s.

My second spinal went in first try and no convulsions (imagine how frightened I was though since nobody could explain to me what happened the first time), BUT this time, it went all the way up to the top of my throat, my heartrate dropped to 38 bpm and stayed there for two hours while I was on constant watch (as in two nurses had to be touching my body at all times, standing there watching the monitors) and two floors away from my new babe. No explanation, again. It was the most horrible experience of my whole life (and I've had more horrible experiences than most...)

I now know that I was likely experiencing adrenal crisis, but since it was previously undiagnosed, I didn't know the true risk of having the surgeries and the drs didn't consider it since I was 'too young' to have such a condition (again, many horrible experiences and pts contribute to adrenal crisis onset...). I didn't have any lasting pain in my spine though even after I recovered physically, although the emotional and mental recovery is ongoing from both experiences...
post #22 of 59
I had an epidural after 35 hours of screaming unbearable back labour, so at that point you could have literally stabbed me with a knife and I would not have felt it. It didn't hurt at all compared to the pain I was in.

I have heard that it is quite painful though, if you get one and are not already in agony...
post #23 of 59
I had an epidural for my CS. It didn't hurt. I had been looked at by the consultant anaesthetist earlier in pregnancy (the OB asked if I was going to want an epidural, I said I didn't know, and she looked at my back and referred me to the anaesthetist), so there was a note in my records saying I'd be "difficult" and that an experienced anaesthetist should do it. He wanted to do a CSE (combined spinal-epidural) but couldn't get the spinal needle in, so just had the epidural (since they had the 20 minutes to wait, it was preferable). It was uncomfortable, but not painful. I didn't have any side effects.

If for some reason you do need an epidural have them cath you AFTER it's in, so you don't feel it. Sometimes they do it before which can be unpleasant!
post #24 of 59
It hurt to have to curl up into a ball, while having ctx, and have a needle put in my spine, yeah. And then I had a hot spot or a window, and all the pain went right to that spot, and then for months afterwards I had back pain in the spot where I'd had my epi placed.

So, yeah, it hurts. Maybe if you're having excrutiating labor it's not painful compared to that, but I don't recall it fondly and I didn't get one with subsequent labors.
post #25 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetpeasmom View Post
Well for me the reaction I got from the epidural was a pain, i'd rather have dealt with the contractions than the itching I got from it. That was totally unbearable and made me miserable.
I didn't itch during my section, but the itching from the painkiller that was added to my spinal made me literally want to kill myself. I didn't count that, because it was afterwards. I foolishly agreed to the morphine with my first scheduled repeat...and the guy put it in without asking the second time!
post #26 of 59
I was wonked out on demerol when they administered mine in my first birth, but that needle still hurt going in- and guess what? It was suffering in vain because that epi didn't work! Instead it numbed half of my back and all the labor was forced onto the not-numb side, making the pain a million times worse. Yeah, epidurals HURT!
post #27 of 59
like most medical procedures it probably is a combination of your personal pain tolerance level, the skill of the practitioner, and a bit of luck. mine felt like a bee sting and came in the middle of a strong pit contraction. it wasn't what I would call comfy.
post #28 of 59
I don't remember the epi itself being painful (had it with my first, and then NOT my second) but the complications from it were horrible and lasting. I still have problems today (and this was almost three years ago).
post #29 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenlaana View Post
I had a spinal... they did the surface needle numbing thing first which kind of hurt, but honestly the large gage IV needle that was put into the back of my hand "just in case" by a nurse hurt WAY more than the anesthesiologist doing a spinal.
I was going to post this as well. The IV hurt me very badly. Also, I was quite itchy after my c/s, so the nurse put benadryl in my IV and it BURNED. Ouch. I could feel it go into my hand and up my arm. What really made me mad about that was I didn't even consent to it. I kept scratching my face and the nurse just said, "oh I fix that for you..."

All that said, I can still feel exactly where the spinal was put in. It's not horribly painful, but still sore, and my ds is 21 mos.
post #30 of 59
I had an epidural with my first birth. When the NA was putting mine in, he had some trouble getting it into one intervetebral space, and had to try a second one. He kept saying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I know this hurts SO much!" Uh, that pain was NOTHING compared to what was going on around front. Curling into the fetal position when you are in hard labor = :

I had some minor, minor site soreness for a few days and that was it. But they inserted my catheter wrong and my bladder didn't drain properly. When the epi started to wear off I was in pain from that until I got up and peed. I'm lucky that it didn't do any damage to my bladder.

My baby was OP, they used the vacuum, and I tore, so you might consider that pain epi related. I do personally.


Jen
post #31 of 59
i have never had one....

but the i think for me. its the "IDEA" of a giant needle being "shoved" into you back is what gets me. ***shivers**

the brain is AMAZING. if you have an idea in your head ( true or not) you mind can play tricks KWIM?
post #32 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
oh I had to come back and talk about a different intervention I almost forgot about that I had given to me by the mw's! sterile water blocks! those hurt WAY worse than the epi!!!! seriously. :
omg. I had this and, let me tell you, I wish I had known how much they hurt before I got them, I can't decide if it made my overall pain level worse, or if it just put me into some kind of momentary shock. I mean, seriously. holy sh*t.
post #33 of 59
mine didn't hurt but it took WAY longer than 3 minutes. at least 20 minutes. omg it took for-ev-er. I thought it was never going to be over and I was so scared.
post #34 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheal View Post
It doesn't hurt as much as the mind makes it out to be. It does however cause problems (back wise) for some people like myself (scoliosis, I had the spinal). If not careful, you can end up with what's called a spinal headache (I had it, I think Epi is the same right?)

It's a massive headaches caused by blood seepage into the spinal fluid if the catheter isn't placed right or slips.
Spinal headaches are the worst! I had 2 spinals for a surgery 2 years ago and had a spinal headache for 2 weeks that took 2 epidural blood patches to fix.

With the few epidurals I have had, I never got the headache.

To me, anything in my back hurts. The epidural pain was worse that the spinal pain...think it has alot to do with cath insertion and nerve endings.
post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetpeasmom View Post
Well for me the reaction I got from the epidural was a pain, i'd rather have dealt with the contractions than the itching I got from it. That was totally unbearable and made me miserable. Then I think them taking off the tape was the absolute worst! I actually screamed when they did that, I never screamed during a contraction, lol.


I sometimes had a sharp pain in a certain radius around the insertion point for 5-6 months pp, esp while lifting more than 15lbs, ie DD
post #36 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
oh I had to come back and talk about a different intervention I almost forgot about that I had given to me by the mw's! sterile water blocks! those hurt WAY worse than the epi!!!! seriously. :
a what?
post #37 of 59
I had one after 20 hours of active labor and have to say that I didn't feel a thing. Not a prick, nothing. That said, I was TERRIFIED of it and I think the sheer terror kept all pain away. The doc commented on how I need to sit perfectly still for 10 minutes or else I could have all sorts of side effects. I thought there was no way I could sit still for that long, since I'd be writhing in pain every 2 minutes! But, I think the fear took over and I literally felt nothing. In fact, at one point, I heard my mw say to the guy "she's having a contraction now so just be careful." At that moment, all the pain of the contraction hit. I just stopped and said to myself "stop it! You didn't feel anything until she said something so just dont' feel it." And the pain literally just stopped. Just like that. It was the weirdest thing. But like I said, the epidural itself was nothing. I also had a spinal tap when I was 16 (to test for meningitis) and I didn't feel anything then either. I actually twisted around during the procedure to watch my spinal fluid come out nice and clear! Now I cant' believe I dared move but at the time it didn't seem like a big deal!
post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by thorn View Post
mine didn't hurt but it took WAY longer than 3 minutes. at least 20 minutes. omg it took for-ev-er. I thought it was never going to be over and I was so scared.
Mine, too. And my Anestesiologist was Mean. She yelled at me and was very rude the whole time while I cried and told her I was sorry my back was difficult. :
post #39 of 59
one word excrutiating
post #40 of 59
DH does epidurals and spinals regularly for not only L&D, but for other surgeries where it might be appropriate anesthesia.

Neither are placed *without* a local anesthetic being used first if the patient in question is conscious.

I'm not even sure it would be remotely feasible to attempt placing the actual epidural or spinal needle properly *without* numbing with a local first. A person simply wouldn't be able to tolerate the procedure. It's not like a procedure where you could hold a person down to do it despite the pain because the precision required to actually get it in the right place is too great.

I had spinals with all of my c-sections. None were what I'd call pleasant, but none were horrible either. I was not in hard labor with any of them, neither myself nor any of my babies were in trouble at the moment necessitating quick action, and I had excellent OR nurses each time helping me stay in one position, all of which I'm sure had at least some effect on my experiences.

The worst part of my first and second sections....the IV placement before surgery. First time was AWFUL. Far and away the worst part of all of it, and on the top five list of most painful experiences I've had. They blew a vein and my arm was black and blue from elbow to wrist for days afterward. Second time was not quite as bad, but bad enough. Third time was a walk in the park, though I did spend quite a bit of time fretting over how awful it might be. The third one was the only one I had a local with prior to insertion. In hindsight, I should have had a local with all of them. Live and learn.
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