Hi luvs! So many of you have been so wonderful with all your kind comments and words of encouragement about what’s been going on with my hip. As many of you know, I was recently diagnosed with SI Joint Dysfunction. My doctor told me I had the worst case he’s ever seen (oh joy). But I am so happy to report that I am currently pain-free! And I hope that this post serves as something that people who are Googling “SI joint pain” find and can use as a resource to hopefully help them heal faster.
So here’s my story. About 3 months ago I started waking up in the morning with sharp pain in my right hip. I would say the pain was about a 7 out of 10 and it usually only lasted for a few hours every morning and would disappear by the early afternoon. So I ignored it for about 6 weeks thinking it would go away but it never did. So I finally decided to go to physical therapy. The day after my first session of physical therapy I woke up in the worst pain I’d been in yet! At the time, I would’ve described it as a 10 out of 10, but I’d soon find out that it could even get worse. So even though physical therapy usually helps injuries, in my case, it made it much much worse. So I decided then it was time to see an orthopedic surgeon.
For a while I thought I was suffering from Hip Bursitis but my surgeon let me know that I was in fact suffering from something called SI Joint Dysfunction or the technical term Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction. So he suggested that I get something called an SI joint block/injection.
After playing phone tag with the radiology place where I needed to get the procedure done, I was finally able to schedule one. Unfortunately, that was a 3 week period between meeting with the surgeon and getting the procedure. During that time frame I was in excruciating pain. Sometimes laying down was the worst of it all. When I would lay down if my legs were in a certain position I would have a sharp pain in my lower right back going into my hip. And forget about rolling over in bed! I could barely even roll out of bed in the morning. All the while I’m trying to chase around my 13-month-old who thinks it’s so much more fun to run than to carefully walk, even though she runs like a drunken sailor and falls all over the place. So as you can see, it was a rough 3 weeks for me.
The day of the SI joint block people kept asking me if I was nervous. Essentially it’s like an epidural. A very long needle is injected into your SI joint to inject a steroid. This is all done while you’re in a CT scan machine so the doctor knows exactly where to place the needle. So every time someone would ask me if I was nervous I would respond by saying that I was the most excited I’d been in a very long time! The idea of being pain-free was something I thought I’d never feel again!
The doctor told me to fast for 4 hours prior to the procedure and I had to get some blood work done as well. So let me be clear, this isn’t a Cortizone shot or a simple shot at the doctors office. This was an actual procedure where I had to get blood work done and fast but it wasn’t surgery either. Also, the pain of this procedure is unlike anything I’ve ever felt, well, except for childbirth! Most people don’t experience the level of pain I did, so if you have SI joint pain and you’re reading this don’t get freaked out. My surgeon told me that I had an extreme case and my SI joint was severely inflamed. So here I am lying facedown with my naked butt in the air and the surgeon gives me some general anesthetic to numb the area. Similar to when you go to the dentist and he numbs your gums before putting the bigger needle in. Then he ran me through the CT scan to get a map of the inside of my hip and then placed a small x’s on my lower back to mark where he was going to do the injection. I was run through the CT scan one more time to make sure the injection site was 100% correct and then my doctor inserted the long needle. Honestly, I couldn’t even feel the needle going in because of the general anesthetic. And then the pain came.
The moment the needle touched my SI joint I screamed in excruciating pain. The only thing that even comes close to this pain, for me, was labor pains. And honestly, this pain was so close I might even say it was as bad. But thankfully, unlike childbirth, the time the needle was injected into my joint couldn’t have been more than two minutes. Maybe even 60 seconds. But it was agonizingly painful. I just kept grunting and screaming and trying to get through it. When the doctor was done he swiftly yanked the needle out and I instantly felt better.
That said, I did have some intense shivering and body convulsions after the procedure because my body was in shock from the pain. Any moms out there who have been in labor might know what I’m talking about. The same thing happened to me after I gave birth to Molly. I remember shivering and my teeth chattering so loudly (like my body was convulsing) because I was in shock from the pain. When I mentioned this on my Instagram stories recently, a bunch of moms commented on my Instagram photo saying that they remember that exact same thing happening to them after they gave birth. It’s no fun. But the doctor wrapped me up in a warm blanket and within 2 minutes I was sitting up feeling so much better.
An hour after the procedure I had no pain. The only pain I really felt was in my quadriceps because it had been months since I actually used them in my right leg and I think that they were all out of whack.
The night after the procedure was absolutely glorious. I got right on Instagram story and told all of you how excited I was that I was pain-free and I could put all of this behind me at least for a little while! Little did I know, I would wake up in the middle of the night in agonizing pain. I keep using the word agonizing but there’s really no other way to describe it. I woke up around 3 AM because I had a sharp pain in my lower back and right hip that instantly woke me up. I thought I would try to get out of bed to see what was going on but the second I tried to roll I screamed out loud and woke Kevin out of a deep sleep. Poor guy. I must’ve freaked him out so bad. He asked me what was wrong and I told him about how much pain I was in and that I needed help to get to the bathroom. He gave me his shoulder to help me up out of bed and the moment I tried to put weight on my leg I fell to my knees sobbing in pain. We were both really scared and thought that maybe I was going to have to go to the emergency room. Anytime you get a procedure done or a huge needle inserted into your lower back by your spine, it feels scary. And even though this procedure is very low risk, I was still freaked out just because of what I was feeling.
I decided to wait it out and to call my surgeon around 8 AM to get his opinion. My mother wanted me to go straight to the ER because that’s what moms do but still, I waited it out. When I spoke to my surgeon he told me in rare cases people can end up with a lot more pain the day after the surgery. I just didn’t realize how much more pain. And again, I think I’m just a severe case.
Well, I’m so happy to report that that was the end of it. After that day, I was completely pain-free! That was over a week ago now and still every day I am walking around, playing with Molly, and living my life without pain! It makes me so grateful that, in general, I do live pain-free. My heart goes out to all the people out there who are suffering from chronic pain every day because it’s just terrible. It consumes you and there’s nothing else you can think about. While my pain was acute and very sharp, I imagine that dull chronic pain over a long period time is just as terrible. So no my heart goes out to all of you!
My doctor said there’s a chance this procedure will only work for a few months and I might have to have it done again. Luckily, since my inflammation should be much less severe at that point (because I will go to the doctor right away other than waiting for it to get worse) it shouldn’t be nearly as painful. Fingers crossed! Or really, I just hope I don’t have to do a second procedure!
But with that said, I also found out when I saw my surgeon originally that I have Hip Dysplasia, which is a whole other thing that I’ll need to go to physical therapy for the rest of my life to try preventing any future hip replacement surgeries. My doctor actually said that it’s a blessing in disguise that I had the SI joint pain because it allowed me to find out about the Hip Dysplasia which is a bigger deal long term.
So anyway, that’s my story! I just wanted to share it with you guys cause you all have been so great about checking up on me and asking if I’m feeling better. Also, if you just happen to google SI joint dysfunction or SI joint block and found this blog, I really hope this was helpful to you! My biggest advice to all of you, is to get that SI joint block and don’t wait because it changed everything for me. I’ll do another update to this blog after a few months have passed. I’ll let you know how my physical therapy is going and if I have to do another injection or not. Fingers crossed that I don’t! Luv you guys!
And real quick before you all go. This tee I’m wearing is only $25 and my new FAVORITE EVER!!!! I bought it in white too and plan on getting every color I love it so much. I’m normally a medium and got a medium.