Sunday, September 21, 2008

To do, or not to do.....

Friday, the wife drove me downtown Dallas to Baylor hospital. To see the neurosurgeon who fixed her back, some nine years ago. We sat in the waiting room for 20 minutes while I filled out paper work. A bit later, another patient told the office lady, that he was heading down stairs for a bit, but would not if the doctors were back yet. She told him, no, go ahead, as both doctors were still in emergency surgery. OK....I can wait. We wound up waiting a tad over an hour, but finally they called us back and the doctor took my bad-back history and gave me the once over.
The good news? He said "you have no neurological event which would point me to doing surgery on you". OK....two weeks ago, I couldn't get out of bed without extreme pain. So then he said "Lets go look at this MRI". We head into a darkened conference room and he fires up a PC with a big plasma screen and starts pulling up photos of my herniated disc and such. He points out all the problems. Than, said some interesting things. No one can tell from the MRI, how long these injuries have been there. He was willing to do surgery and while he was in there, fix all this stuff up. Recovery time was a few weeks to normal activities and three months to full recovery. Then, he said that there might also be NO CHANGE, post-operation! I enquired as to "solving this once and for all". He asked if I meant a "laminectomy", also known as a fusion. Um, yeah, so I can't hurt it again. Well, he said, remember that pain you had of two weeks back? That was nothing compared to the pain of a fusion. OK, so what are the options?
We choose conservative. He changed up an anti-inflammatory medicine. And gave me a prescription for physical therapy. And some shoes ideas. He liked my walking schedule, but wondered if some different shoes might help. He pointed to his $235.00 athletic shoes as an example. He also suggested a Lumbar Cushion. For use whenever I'm sitting. In the truck, car, at work, etc. Sounds like get a carabiner and just attach it to me!
So for now, I'm setting up PT. Seeing if the new meds help. Doc said that I can change my mind and shoot for surgery, anytime between now and the followup in two months. I know from checking their web site, that even up to a four month old MRI like I've shown him, they would "work with that".
I hope to head into work a few days this week and see about that.

Wife said "just looking at what all you have messed up......gave me the creeps...."
Thanks dear....

1 comment:

Schweers' Mom said...

What a drag. Sorry to hear about that. That's one of those frustrating medical stories. Hope the new meds work with no side-effects.

And...the hot sauce story - HILARIOUS.