Thursday, November 6, 2008

Too Much of A Good Thing!

When I had my c-section, the doctor had to do a pretty heavy-duty spinal, as I could still feel my stomach even after he turned up the juice on my epidural. Then, the initial spinal didn't take, and he had to add even more drugs to the mix.

That's why I wasn't too surprised when my lower back/upper buttock area remained numb after the rest of me regained feeling. Even a few weeks later, I still wasn't that worried about it. I figured that it was a small price to pay for not feeling someone cut through the layers of my stomach fat and uterus!

At my six week check, I asked my OB if it was normal, and he said it wasn't and that he would have the anesthesiologist call me for a follow up. I never heard anything and, as the numbness wasn't keeping me from my regular activities, and was only mildly annoying, I kind of just let it go.

Over the past two weeks, however, I have had these little shooting/electrical little pains radiating from the numb area in my back down to my left leg. It kind of reminds me of the feeling right after they administered the initial epidural, that little flash of electrical current that didn't hurt more than startle. But it seems strange that it would be getting worse instead of staying the same or getting better. I have noticed that the shooting pains only happen when I am sitting down, or especially when I am driving. Sometimes, when I get out of the car, even after a short drive, my left leg feels numb until I walk around for a few minutes.

So, I called the OB office today, to see if there was anything else that I needed to do for a follow up. The anesthesiologist called me back and I have an appointment for next week. I don't think that it's anything too serious, and kind of wonder if the shooting little pains are the nerves coming back alive?

If anyone has had anything similar happen to them, I'd love to hear your experience.


Polka Dot said...

That must be an odd feeling, having a numb tush ; )

I don't have any experience with it, but it would seem (to me in my non-medical expertise sort of way) like maybe things are coming back to life again.

The only thing I have to correlate would be when Patrick hit my siatic nerve during a treatment cycle. There was the initial "holy mother of God!" reaction, but then that whole butt cheek was numb for weeks. Then I did have the shooting pain here and there. And although the feeling did come back, the area of the shot itself is still super sensitive to the touch.

So similar but kinda not lol

Kim said...

Well, my back was never numb. My stomach has been numb since my first C-Section, though. It's more creepy/annoying than anything, though. It extends from my incision up to my belly button. I can feel touch, but it's kind of like when you touch your foot when it's asleep. Not to mention, half of my big toe on my right foot has been numb since my recent C-Section. So well, I'm just a freak. But I hope they can figure out what the deal is!

Mel said...

I once got numbed up too much for a filling on an upper tooth and it made my eye on that side go numb for like 6 hours. It was the freakiest feeling ever, but it eventually came back.
I hope everything is a-ok!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, not much help here. None of the shots they gave me with Nick worked and eventually they had to put me under to do it.

Hope its nothing serious though!

Kristen said...

I don't have any experience there but just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you and hope it is nothing serious. I too hope those nerves are just waking up after a restful sleep! XOXO

Jen said...

Hmm, interesting. I have no idea. I hope it is a simple fix for you.

Geohde said...

Good luck with your appointment. It could be one of two things from what you describe- sciatica co-incidental to the spinal or a nerve root may have been mildly pranged....hope it gets better soon.


Joy said...

I read all of the other comments and I have to admit that I, too, don't have any experience with that. My epidurals (I had one with each daughter's birth) did do some funky stuff to me for a long time. Like my right leg and foot is SLIGHTLY larger than the left leg and foot. It was also harder to stretch my right leg than my left.

I chalk it up to the epidural because my left side stopped tingling long before my right side.

Allison said...

They had to re-do my epidural because the first one didn't take...even after they kept pumping more and more meds into me. The second one finally took, only to discover literally 5 min. later that I needed a c-section (I had a giganto baby - 10 and a half pounds). WEEKS afterward my upper/mid buttocks were numb, then turned to tingly. I know the feeling you're talking about exactly, the electric currents. My dr. said that it was just the nerves reattaching or whatever. After awhile(maybe 3+ months?)I was back to normal. They think it was attributed to the fact that since my first epi didn't take and they just kept pumping more and more drugs to me and then they took the needle out and redid it with more meds...just had TONS of drugs coarsing through my body! I agree, since I NEVER took any pain meds after my c-section. NONE! The nurses thought I was some super-woman! Trust me, I'm not..I was still numb!

Ms. J said...

Hey Sweetie, I hope you don't mind, but I had my husband read your blog entry, too (I emailed the ext to him). I asked him for his opinion, since he is a chiropractor (his Dad is an anesthesiologist - sp?! - so he is not some anti-med type of chiropractor). Anyhoo, here is what Dr. J replied to me with . . .

"There could be a couple of things going on but sounds like the Dr possibly hit a nerve while inserting the epidural. There could be a problem with the hole in the spinal coverings following the epidural but this DOES NEED TO BE CHECKED OUT AND TREATED! This is not to scare you but there is the real possibility of her having nerve damage. She should get a second opinion and possibly a NVC (nerve conduction study). This should not occur following an epidural."

If my husband speaks with his Dad over the weekend he is going to run this by him, too, since his 90% of the hospital work his father does is administering anesthesia to pregnant women!

I will be in touch!


Searching said...

I've had numb bellies described to me by many of our c-section wound patients. It does seem odd for it to persist for so many weeks. I'll keep you in my prayers.

Ms. J said...

Hi There!

As promised, my husband spoke with his Dad (an anesthesiologist who does a TON of epidurals on women in labor, as well as being a recognized expert in pain management). Here is what Dr. F said:

"Your friend needs to have an evaluation on her lower back and should be scheduled for an MRI. There are a couple of things which could be causing her symptoms following her epidural: first the needle from the epidural could have nicked a nerve causing inflammation and subsequent nerve root irritation, second she could have herniated a spinal disc during childbirth."

Hope this helps!