Drug 101: Steroid Injection

Steroid is an anti-inflammatory drug used to treat a number of conditions and comes in varying forms.

The resultant pain caused by inflammation, as in my case – of lumbar spinal stenosis or narrowing of the spinal canal and spondylolisthesis of the lumbar spine – is that which reason why steroid, in the form of an injection, has been prescribed to me at the Pain Clinic of Al Razi Bone Hospital. I already have had two injections, medically termed as Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection (LESI), and it has tremendously helped in lessening the pain in my lower back and legs (sciatica).

The first was in February 2017 and today, October 15, 2017, another steroid injection was done. The steroid, along with anesthesia, was injected in my lower back and it was done at the Operating Theater (OT) of the bone hospital. I will have it again in the next 10 months or so.

Taken by my personal driver and caregiver Inday Malyn, the photo shows of me sleeping at the Recovery Room after the procedure was done. I was sedated prior to the injection.

My lower back condition was deemed inoperable by the head spinal surgeon of the only orthopedic hospital in Kuwait many months ago. Although surgery is commonly done to manage my said condition, my overly-porous bones, caused by both my inherited Osteogenesis Imperfecta and my acquired Osteoporosis, won’t be able to hold the screws and rods which will have to be fixed in order to somehow manage the pain caused by the diseased lumbar and sacral vertebrae.

There is no limit, my Pain doctor said, to the steroid injections and I can have it every six months. Before the back injection was prescribed to me at the Pain Clinic, where I was referred to by the spinal surgeon, I was mostly in excruciating pain and it is because I can’t take the most-needed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like Brufen, Olfen and the likes because of my mild kidney damage. Yet I was still prescribed with Lioresal (Baclofen) tablet, an antispastic NSAID with spinal site of attack, which I have been taking sparingly. But now that I can regularly have the lumbar epidural steroid injections, I will enjoy a few months free of excruciating back and leg pain.

I consider the privilege of receiving the treatment, at no cost at all, as one of the many blessings from God!



About Author

Freda Editha O. Contreras
Writing is a God-given talent which I try to utilize the good way. I used it as a means to earn a living, my very first job after graduating from college, when I got hired as an Information Writer by the Provincial Government of Antique through Governor Enrique A. Zaldivar in January 1982. By profession, I am a Registered Nurse, and was only able to practice it when I got recruited to work in a private hospital in Kuwait. This was in November 1987 and since then I have been living in Kuwait, now retired since June 2002. Because of my knack in writing I got hired in 1994 to write for Kuwait Times and later became an Editor of 'Pinoy News' a weekly supplement of KT. In March 1996 I published the very first independent Filipino newspaper in Kuwait and the Gulf bannered as Pinoy Expat News or PEN. The paper lasted for only 10 weekly issues. This was followed by another publication and came out first as an insert of an ad paper and later as a separate tabloid. I used then 'Pinoy News' as it was my idea the first time it was used for Kuwait Times. This again failed and produced only three weekly issues. I then turned to the Internet and in 1999 I got hired as a Contributing Editor of Suite101.com, a writers' portal on the web. The last of my articles was published December 31, 2002 but my topic 'Overseas Filipino Workers' was still visible until January 2006. All the 38 articles I wrote have been compiled into a book which I published in August 2007. I discovered blogging in 2006 but was not really serious about my writing. I wrote according to my whim. Having this blog under my own domain name is now a welcome development and I plan to concentrate again in writing. As is commonly said: "A writer will always be a writer." http://fredacontreras.com/

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