August 2005 – Sadly, the success we’d had with previous joint injections was not happening this time. And we also had two more joints crop up – her left ankle and the left side of her jaw. Her right ankle was still quite warm and swollen so the joint injection hadn’t alleviated the pain. As the rheumatologist explained to us, it’s difficult to inject in the right spot in the ankles. So he scheduled us for joint injections by ultrasound. The jaw is a joint where they always use ultrasound to inject. Because we were already doing one joint that way, they decided to do all the joints that way. This would give them a greater degree of accuracy in the ankle joint as well. This is done by a radiologist, not the rheumatologist.
When we arrived at the hospital, we had to go to a different area of the hospital – instead of the short stay unit, we had to go to the imaging department. As always, the staff there are incredible. This was only Amanda’s second joint injection in almost 6 years so she was still very apprehensive. She was immediately thrown into a panic when she thought I wouldn’t be allowed to go with her into the procedure room. That decision is up to the anaesthesiologist and, once we explained how distraught Amanda was, the doc OK’ed my accompanying her into the room. We met with a rheumatology fellow who informed me that, unlike weight bearing joints, the jaw does NOT have to rest for 48 hours! I took delight in winding Amanda up, telling her she’d have to shut up fro 48 hours straight! Luckily for her, the doc straightened me out!
When it was time to take Amanda in, we walked into the procedure room and she immediately freaked! The room was used for assorted procedures – CT scan, x-rays, etc – and was filled with some majorly complicated and expensive equipment! Amanda figured this was for her and she flipped out – she started crying saying she didn’t want to do it. I grabbed her face with my hands and forced her to look into my face and said “Give me your ears, and not your tears!! None of this equipment is for you! It’s for really sick kids!” She calmed down slightly and I held her hand while they used an I.V. to knock her out. Once she was asleep, I met up with Tim and we went to the surgical waiting room – after the procedure, Amanda would be taken to a recovery room before she would be brought back to the imaging waiting room.
Once she woke up, the volunteers took me to meet her where she was groggily calling for me. Once she was a little more awake and taking fluids, they moved her to the imaging waiting room. We hung out there for another 2 hours before they declared her alert enough to go home.
We only had one weight-bearing limb to worry about this time so it was a little easier to get her to and from the bathroom. She would hold on to someone’s shoulders and hop her way around. Unfortunately, that caused pain in her other leg so she resorted to crawling to and from the bathroom. Again, we got the wheelchair to get her out of the house. And, trying to make lemonade out of lemons, we decided to have a party! We had a number of families over for a swim and everyone took turns pushing Amanda around in her wheelchair. It helped make an otherwise pretty dull night a little more fun!