Well that did not go as any of us hoped. The radiologists had trouble finding an injection site where they could draw spinal fluid and inject the drug. Three different doctors attempted three different angles, and multiple punctures over two hours, with no success.
And it hurt. A lot. I went into the procedure knowing that it would. Like Westley from The Princess Bride, I figured I could "cope with torture" - especially if it was brief and successful. I expected it to take a few minutes, and that I'd be out of there in an hour, with a miracle drug flowing through me. But after an hour of unsuccessfully poking around inside me, I started to moan, then cry. My resolve was melting. I gritted my teeth and gripped my pillow and tried to think of Captain America and Westley, and begged God to guide the need to the right spot so this could all end well.
But He didn't. With every new poke, I became more disappointed, discouraged, scared, frustrated and angry - not with the doctors, but with God. After all, my hope had been in Him, and now everything that hurt seemed to come from him. He'd gotten me into this, but wasn't getting me out. I felt abandoned and alone. Another hour of pain dragged on before I said I didn't want to continue (the doctors had been willing to try as long as I wanted).
The doctors decided the best next step would be to get a CT scan, for a clearer image of my spine, so they could regroup and work out a new approach. They took me right in for the scan while I was there, and the staff kept telling me how brave I was. But I didn't feel brave.
I felt weary and raw, but deep inside I knew that my attitude and perspective was wrong. God heard me, saw me, and loved me like he always has, and just because he didn't do what I wanted him to do, when I wanted him to do it, doesn't mean he isn't in control and isn't working it out. He is, and he will... I know.
The CT scan results came back today, and the bottom line is that there is just no space between my vertebrae to put the needle in, because of my fusion. The needle was literally hitting an impenetrable concrete wall. The radiologists are not going to be able to do the injection. But my neurologist is awesome, and has not given up yet. And I don't think I've given up either.