I left work early and rode my bike out to my doctor’s office as planned. I was escorted back to have my vitals taken and sign some paperwork. After the nurse leaves the room, I can hear them talking about the fact I rode my bike there. One of the nurses goes on about how she used to ride across the Second Street Bridge.
I’ve done this before. I know the doctor will come in and talk to me briefly before another nurse leads me to the treatment room.
He does. I tell him this will probably be my last epidural – that I’m scared shitless of them now.
The nurse takes me to the treatment room. I take off my shirt and put on the gown. I lay down face-first on the treatment table. The x-ray machine is put in place over my neck. This is used to place the needle correctly in my spine.
My heart started racing. I couldn’t breath. I told them to stop. They moved the x-ray machine and I got up. They hadn’t gone as far as prepping my skin, but that was the next step. I was done. I just wanted out.
I apologized to the the doctor for leaving, but dressed and left.
On the ride home my mind was battling between shame and relief.