What I remember about
my epidural that I had six or seven years ago isn't much but here goes...
1) it's a pretty decent sized needle - so the doctor saying this is what we are using is a bad idea if you are scared of needles.
2) you aren't going to want to be driving home afterwards, or have plans to do anything for the next day.
Basically they are going to have you lay or sit in a certain position - mine was leaning way forward. They might use their fingers to feel your spine to check where things are, and then mark on you to verify
locations or whatnot. You will probably be hooked up to a pulse oxygen thingy (the little thing they stick over your finger) as well as a blood pressure machine just to monitor you... it was a good thing for me, because I tend to stop breathing when I'm nervous and I guess it's bad to not breathe... the doctor kept having to stop to get me to breathe. They will then sterilize the area - by using iodine or whatever it is they are using now days. You will probably have a localized numbing solution used to help things. They will ask you to hold very still and will then proceed to move the needle in and inject the steroid or whatever they are doing. It is very important to stay as calm as possible, and let the doctor know anything that you are feeling. If you get a sharp pain, or anything let the doctor know. For me it helped that the doctor verbally walked me through what they were doing.
I think it was harder on my husband - watching a huge needle get inserted into me - than it was on me. I had very minimal pain relief from mine - but at the time anything was better than none. It was then decided that there was no point in continuing the epidurals. They work for some people, and not others. I have heard a few people who will swear they changed their lives for the better.
As Gramps mentioned they do come with risks - make sure that you understand what they are before hand. Most doctors require you to sign a waiver as well stating that you are aware of the risks that come with the procedure - as I said - make sure that you know what they are before hand.
There is always a chance that something can go wrong - but from what I've heard people rarely have bad reactions to them. There is a small number of the population though that does. So your doctor may require you to hang out for awhile just to be on the safe side.
I know there are a great deal of people here who have not had relief from the epidurals - personally the chance at becoming pain free - or dealing with less pain - were worth the risks. I personally have to advise against too much internet research as it tends to freak me out - but it depends on how you react to what you can find on the web.
I wish you the best!
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"
"Cause when push comes to shove You taste what you're made of, You might bend, till you break Cause its all you can take; On your knees you look up Decide you've had enough, You get mad you get strong Wipe your hands shake it off, Then you Stand" From "Stand" by Rascal Flatts
Dx.: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Ulcerlative Colitis, Chronic Inflammation of the Colon, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1 w/pinched nerves, Degenerative Disc Disease, Chronic Costochondritis, Back Muscle Spasms, Asthma, Benign Tremmors (hands)