Back from Dr's visits (long, thanks for reading)

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am just now back from the Dr visit I went to on Tues.

    No, the doctor didn't keep me that long. My dad put me up in a hotel in the town where the doctors both are. 2 nights ALL BY MYSELF!!!!!! It was SOO sweet of him, esp since riding in a car is not much fun these days. My mom took me and came back and took me to the 2nd appointment also. She is so sweet, even skipped part of class to do it!)

    Tues I saw the orthopedic doctor's PA. The doctor also came in to talk with me. I felt they were very knowledgeable and caring. They explained what they think is going on, and outlined a plan to treat me. Not treat it, ie the problem, but treat ME the person. I like this distinction. They had very logical reasons for what they suggested, why they suggested it, and what the options were.

    They suggested epidural cortisone and pain medication injection along with traction to see if that will let my body repair the problem. Clearly showed me where the disck and bone are us against the spinal cord.

    The doctor said that I would have the shot, and the traction therapy and come see him a week later. It would be A: Better and we say Great!; B: Same and we think about surgery and try the injection and therapy a little longer (just a month or so); or C: Worse, then we scedule disk fusion with a titanium plate to hold things together.

    No matter what, the ortho doctor says it is reasonable to expect to see some sort of results and improvement within the next few months. That leaving this and just expecting me to live with the pain levels is not in the plan.

    Today (Thurs) I saw the neurosurgeon. He was gruff (not a bad thing, just a characteristic), said that all he treats are pinched nerves. He did some neurological testing (squeeze my hand, keep fingers apart, etc) and then did a "test" where he grabbed my right hand, carefully positioned his fingers so that his fingernails dug into the psoriasis sore on my hand, and told me to push.

    Sadistic jerk. may he have a never ending series of mosquitoes biting him in embarrassing and horrible place.

    He took a safety pin, opened it, and pricked my skin in different places. There were definite places of numbness, but he discounted that. Even though they were only on one hand/arm.

    He looked at the films and told me that he saw a few little things, but nothing that shows a real problem.

    Recommended an EMG (test of nerves in various parts of the body. Then recommended a shot of cortisone into my spine. Recommended a doctor who I KNOW is NOT good and has had problems with safe and sterile proceedures (been in trouble for these).

    Basically told me that because I have fibro and chronic pain they would not be able to effectively manage the pain from any surgery and since I am in pain already why bother treating this new pain.

    When I told him that his neuro tests were all excruciating (bite through your lower lip excruciating) he acted as though this meant NOTHING in reference to what I was there for.

    I had a great day Wed. Spent time in the hotel pool and hot tub, watched a TON of law and order (no cable or satellite, so it was a real treat!), and had ME time!!

    I think I am going to have the EMG done. More info is never a bad thing. Then I am going to have the injections (epidural) that are recommended, and then I am going to see the ortho doctor. The neurosurgeon is NOT someone I wll see again.

    I wouldn't take my cat to see the first doctor.

    Thanks for reading this, I am pretty emotional now, I was crying after my doctor appointment today, it was just horrible.

    I am home and geting ready to see thank you!!! I actually missed my kids!!! (can't see Jess - she went to the state fair with her bff's family.

    Love to all!

  2. susiestar,

    I'm glad you had a relaxing time, but so sorry that you had to have a bad doctor experience. It's no fun going to the doctor to begin with... no need for him to have it made worse. I highly recommend the EMG. If you get the epidural injections - don't get more than four. If they are not helpful by the fourth one - they aren't the right approach.

    Good luck and remember that sometimes time to wait out the pain - combined with good physical therapy can be the most effective treatment for back pain. Many studies bear this out.

    Take care.
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm glad that at least one doctor appointment went well. Surgeons can be very gruff and egotistical.

    If you do get to the point that you are considering the surgery, talk to the doctor about also implanting a pain control device. It's something that you would want to schedule at the same time as your other surgery so that there is only one anesthesia, one recovery, etc.

    Here's a link that talks a bit about the procedure.

    Pain Control Implants
  4. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member

    Sorry 'bout the neurosurgeon. Yep, some can be jerks. Sounds like the Ortho seems reasonable. Curious...has any of them suggested Lyrica?
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Thanks to all.

    I have been on lyrica, at what the docs all say is "quite a good dose" for over 1 1/2 years. I absolutely LOVE it. I can walk with-o feeling like I am stepping on ground glass with every step. It also helps with overall pain.

    The general feeling of my docs is that they would hate to see what my spine looked like without lyrica.

    I will check into a pain control implant. I hadn't thought of that. Sounds like a lovely thing to me! I would do almost ANYTHING to get rid of even most of the pain. I truly fear that there will come a day when they cannot do anything more about the pain.

    I see the PT tomorrow. I like this therapy center, they are much more gentle and patient than the other one in town.

    My ortho doctor says that if the epidural works, then we will stick with it. If it looks like the pain is back sooner than 3 months, then we will skip ahead to surgery. He doesn't feel that keeping me waiting for the shot if it wears off too soon is useful.

    I am not a candidate for the artificial disc. Dang it. Much too advanced. But they do a much smaller incision, they don't mess with the throat as much, and they put a plate in there so I won't spend 3 months in a hard collar (those get stinky!)

    I appreciate all your ideas.

    Does anyone have any info on titanium used for plates or whatever? What is the outlook 10 years out? Will it leach anything into my body I don't want?

    OH well. I have time to research this.

    Hugs to all!

  6. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    May the fleas of a thousand camels infest his groin. What a jerk the neurosurgeon was!!!
  7. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

  8. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Your parents are so sweet! I am glad you got some ME time!

    Sounds as if you have enough of a team working with you to figure things out and get on a path to lessened pain!