Thursday, May 6, 2010

Gonna Go Through Hell Again...

A year ago in April I shared about a procedure/test I had done called a Discogram, it was used to determine if a herniated disc I had was causing a breakdown of the disc and based on this test they would decide course of treatment. So when I had this procedure/test done I swore I would never do anything like that again....

I first posted about this here and had hoped to get the answers I needed to correct my back pain. After I had the procedure done I was informed by a nurse over the phone that the test came back A-OK, which I was a little shocked by due to the pain levels I was having but I just chalked it up to my back injury and figured it would get better. Up to this point I had done 2 nerve injections, physical therapy, muscle relaxers and nothing worked. So I continued on living my days half-assed because that was the only way to keep the pain at a minimal level. About 8 months ago the pain started traveling down my right leg and so I went to see my PCP who basically told me I was fine. Again I waited another 4 months trying to manage and then returned again. His answer was to send me to pain management...My question to him was "what are we managing"?! I don't want to manage pain, I want to know what is wrong! So he set me up with an Orthopedic Specialist who is supposed to be the best of the best and well that shows because it took 2 months to get in to see him! So finally at the end of March I went to see him, I had to take in my MRI which was 2 years old at this point and the results of my discogram. The discogram that I had never seen the report of until I picked it up the day before my appt to find that the report did indeed say I had a positive reaction at the L5. So finally I see thhe new DR and give him everything and he basically said these other DR's were moron's since they couldn't piece this obvious problem together. My MRI showed a herniation at the L5 and my discogram showed positive results at the L5 meaning the 2 show something wrong there!! Then to top it all off after he looked at the hospital that I had the discogram at he asked if I was given anything to sedate and help me through the procedure and I told him only a tiny bit of valium that I had to beg for and it wore off before they even started and his response to all of that was "he would NEVER send a patient to that hospital for that exact reason, all of their patients are heavily sedated through the procedure as it is so horrifying and there was NO reason for them to not sedate me"!! OMGosh I was so mad!! Seriously all of that pain was unnecessary?! Now the sedation they give is a conscience sedation much like I had with the nerve injections and it does work wonders. So anyhow he sent me for an EMG and a Nerve Study then another MRI to see if the herniation was better/worse or if there were any pinched nerves. I wasn't able to get back in to see my DR for another month after that so finally last week I went in for my results.

The findings were good and bad. They did not find any pinched nerves or nerve damage which is good, the L5 disc herniation is better however I have a new herniation at the L1 but he is not concerned with that at this time. And what was revealed through the MRI is that the L5 disc has degenerated, it was visible on the MRI 2 years ago and the discogram last year so guess what I have to do now...Another discogram!! He needs to pinpoint how bad it is to move on to the next level of treatment. He has promised me that I will be heavily sedated but awake of course and the downfall for after the procedure this time is I am to expect the pain to be severely worse due to the further degeneration :( I am scheduled to do this discogram on Monday...

Because I have already done all of the other treatment options if they do indeed decide the disc has gotten worse he will want to look into surgery to replace the disc with an artificial disc. He is optimistic that I would be a good candidate for that option over fusion so that's better. I am not sure at this point how I feel about all of this but I do know I can't live like this forever! I just want it over with already!!


16 comments:

  1. MY DIL had damage to more discs but was/is too young (early 20s) for the replacement surgery. She had to have fusion done. I hope you can have the other, because fusion is just not an ideal solution, especially when you are young and active. I hope all goes well for you.

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  2. OMGOSH nothing like living with pain and you know something is wrong! Good for you for standing up to your PHP and getting answers.

    Good vibes, thoughts and prayers to you!

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  3. What a pain! (Literally!) My Uncle, BIL, and Grandmother have all had various degrees of this. My BIL worked for GM and was injured on the job, what do you think they told him? Too young for surgery lets do pain management. Pain management that led to 10 years of being heavily addicted to pain pills, he had to go to rehab. It irks me SO much that they will NOT find the root of the problem unless you fight, and will happily put you on ridiculous amounts of pain killers for the rest of your life. I get so sick of the medical field and pharmaceutical industries. I'm surprised they didn't tell you your pain was due to acid reflux, which is another one of their red headed step children. Grrrrrrrr - soap box!!!!! :) Anyway, I will be praying for you, and thinking about ya Monday! It sounds like you have a really competent Dr. and we know we serve a beyond competent God!

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  4. Isn't it amazing that they would rather manage your pain then determine what the problem is! Praying for healing!!

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  5. Praying for you! When my mom was expecting my youngest bro he was carrying low and pinched the nerve that for the life of me I can't remember what it's called... Lower back and runs through the leg. She was flat on her back for like 12 weeks, I had to run the house and take care of the other little bro who was still in diapers... I was 11 years old... SO anyways yes I am familiar with back pain and I hope hope hope you get this taken care of!!

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  6. I will pray for you that you will soon find relief.
    I know how it is to have a back problem and living with pain everyday.
    I feel for you. Glad that you finally found someone who can help you.
    Best wishes

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  7. I feel for ya. I know what you are going through. I had to have surgery on my neck, and I still have degenerative disc disease in my lower back. I will say that surgery was the best thing for me...no more PAIN! I went through the whole routine, even the cortisone shots didn't help. Good luck to ya.

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  8. SO sorry you are going through this. Glad you are finally getting some answers, and will keep you in my prayers!

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  9. Oh Michelle, I know about back pain. I had 3 herniated discs and was told needed surgery, but I wasn't having that, so was on total bed rest for a month, and that did help. Had a numb leg for 3 months, which scared me. I still have trouble if I do too much lifting, so know when to stop doing too much. This was over 15 years ago, so I did avoid surgery then. The doc said I'd be back for surgery, but I chose not to then. Good luck to you. Back pain is terrible.

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  10. What a nightmare. As if the pain you have been in wasn't enough to have to deal with.

    Sounds like you are on to a good doctor now though. Best of luck getting everything taken care of and getting back to normal.

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  11. Michelle - keep the fight going! Pain wears on a person :) it can only get better! Hope you send good news soon -

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  12. I am so sorry Michelle! I know what it is like to have doctors telling you that nothing is wrong and just give pain pills to cover up the pain. I dealt with that with my knee for years! I was finally sent to an orthopedic surgeon who gave me answers!! And surgery! But it worked!
    I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and hoping they will find out what is going on! I am so sorry you have to go through the discogram again, but it sounds like this doctor will be doing it the right way, exactly how it should have been done in the first place!

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  13. I just wanted to add to the others that I'll be praying for you, and I'm sorry to hear that you've had such a bad time with all this. I am fortunate enough never to have experienced this, and I don't want to, it sounds very painful. You are in my thoughts and prayers, keep us posted. Much love to you.xx

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  14. I stumbled across your blog and just wanted to comment on the 3 min ride video. I think we can all understand that, and I was laughing remembering my rides such as that.... thanks for posting.

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  15. I really hope you get feeling better. This just seems to be awful, and no one should have to live life at the minimum and not the max. Good luck!

    www.cdycattle.blogspot.com

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  16. Hey, I tagged you at my blog!!

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