“Backed” into a Corner

“Backed” into a Corner

I know a lot of you, my sweet friends, are wondering what is going on with me physically.  I figured this was a pretty central place to let everyone know what’s going on.

I have had worsening back pain for several weeks.  I received an epidural injection several weeks ago and only had relief for a couple days from it.  The pain down my right leg has gotten almost constant and made walking difficult unless I had the maximum amount of tylenol AND advil in me at the same time.  This would take the edge off.  I went for a new MRI on Sunday morning, with contrast, and I am so glad I did.

My doctor has been working out of town this week but when the nurse called him with the results, he said today that he wanted me in to see a neurosurgeon ASAP…preferably today or tomorrow!  I was a little alarmed at the urgency, but I understand why at this point.

I met with a neurosurgeon this afternoon, after getting one hours notice of the appointment and knowing I would be worked in and would likely have to wait a couple hours to be seen.  I was at Rex at 3 p.m. to pic up my MRI pics and was then to go to the surgeon’s office by 3:30.  I was back and forth with different folks on the phone for upwards of an hour, because this particular surgeon is not “in network” with our insurance.  He comes highly recommended by several other docs.  We got the insurance stuff worked out and I waited till almost 6 p.m. to be seen.  I was very pleased with him, his knowledge and his explanation of what they needed to do.

I have two very LARGE herniated (ruptured) discs, 7 mm and 12 mm, between L3 and L4 and between L4 and L5.  The one below that has a mild bulge, but he isn’t concerned about that one.  He was describing it to me and came out and said, “You can basically see it from across the room.”  They were very sympathetic to the amount of pain I HAD to be suffering.  The nerve roots are “displaced” and the sac around the nerves has thinned out completely due to the pressure.

It was almost 6:30 p.m. when I left his office and as of now, they hope to do surgery on Tuesday,  May 5th.  I’ll find out for sure tomorrow because he was going to alter his schedule a bit.  He was easy to talk to and he explained what he will do very well.  The surgery will take 4 hours or more.  They will remove both the discs completely and replace them with a substance that contains stem cells (not fetal…I asked).  This material will form new bone in place of the discs.  Then he will put a “cage” around it with screws.   I will possibly come home the same day, but more than likely the next day.  We’ll see…I anticipate the latter and I am a weenie when it comes to pain.

lumbar_interbody_fusionThe absolutely WONDERFUL thing about this is that I will never have to worry about by back going out again.  If he just removed the disc material that is coming out, he said it would recur.  I’ve had quite enough recurrence with my back since I first injured it 15 years ago.  I am SO thankful to have HOPE and I praise God for bringing me to this particular doctor, that my current back doctor AND my chiropractor both recommend highly.

He has also given me a couple prescriptions, Percocet and Valium, so I don’t need to continue the 4 advil/2 extra strengh tylenol all day long.  I’m afraid it’s gonna zonk me out, but it will be good for the beginning of the day when I have several painful hours waiting for the other stuff to kick in after sleeping at night.

I would appreciate your prayers.  I am in the middle of a whopper of a fibromyalgia flare, probably due to the stress my body is under with my back, so my pain has been everywhere else in my body as well.   I’ll be so glad for some pain relief.  I’ll also have to deal with Celiac issues at the hospital.  I’ve been told many hospitals aren’t very “in the know” about the dietary restrictions.   If I need to make food ahead of time and have it brought in, I’ll just have to do it.

So there you have it.  Thanks for your support and mostly for your prayers, especially that my back doesn’t reach an emergency level before I have the surgery.  It’s been a rough day but I am so thankful that I know the Lord will bring me through.

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7 thoughts on ““Backed” into a Corner

  1. Beth –
    I had no idea you had a blog 🙂 I’ll pray for you, that everything will go as planned and that you become pain free – as well as the other logistical things like your diet. I’m sorry you’ve been dealing with this for so long, and very happy that God brought you to this new doctor.
    Donna

  2. Beth,

    I wil be praying for you, and I am sorry you have been in so much pain. Thankful that you have a great doctor and a positive prognosis!

    Sara

  3. Praying for you as you wait and praying for a successful surgery! (((Beth))) I’m so glad you have a doctor that you trust and feel confident in.

    Hugs,
    Leslie

  4. Beth!
    I had no clue that this was going on! Where WAS I? I’m so sorry about it!

    I will be praying for you and I’ll call you as soon as I get the chance. Love you Onni!
    Jules

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