Tuesday, June 22, 2010

this is where the healing begins....

so, i know i haven't been around daily, as usual. it's CHA time so that means many hours logged in the studio. :) i can't wait to start showing you the new products that are coming out!

anywho. as promised, here's an update.

if you remember, last thursday, i met with the neurosurgeon and this is what i learned....
  • i have degenerative disc disease in my lumbar vertebrae and sacral illeac joint--i already knew this.
  • and quite possibly the same diagnosis of degenerative disc disease in my cervical vertebrae (yet to be confirmed via MRI)
  • i have bulging discs and a central annular tear in two discs (lower back) and a disc starting to slip.
  • i also have an inflammed nerve root branching from L4/L5, giving me the symptom of sciatica because of said bulging discs.
  • there is beginning evidence of degenerative disc disease in my midback and also quite possibly referred pain in my midback coming from my damage to my cervical vertebrae.
  • when i mentioned the right handed weakness and dropping things frequently, he did his clinic examination and concluded that i needed a nerve conduction study done on my arms and an MRI on my neck.
  • he can tell by tapping on different points on my arm/wrist that i have what's called entrapment neuropathy since it goes immediately numb and tingly and suspects it's coming from a pinched nerve coming from C6/C7 vertebrae.
  • to me, this feels much like carpal tunnel syndrome i had when pregnant with spidergirl.
  • he can also tell just by looking at the anatomy of my arm there is nerve damage.
  • lumbar radiculopathy & entrapment neuropathy is what i'm labeled with now.

so what does all this mean?

well, he said since i've tried every thing he normally suggests to a patient with these issues, he thinks that surgery is a reasonable option.

BUT, he's not sure which surgery to schedule me for without doing more diagnostic testing.

the options would be...

spinal fusion: they remove the disc and put a bone graph in it's placed so the vertebrae fuse to the bone inserted.

lumbar laminectomy: removes small portion of bone over the nerve root. (more invasive than the microdiscectomy.

microdiscectomy: removal of small portions of the bone and/or disc to relieve the pinching on the nerve.

we didn't talk about these procedures in depth yet because of the need for further diagnostic testing.

so, for now, i wait to hear from the scheduling coordinator to go in to have a discogram performed and a nerve conduction study. during the discogram, they will inject saline and then dye into the affected discs and the ones immediately above and below to determine where the pain is originating--from the disc or the nerve. this will tell the neurosurgeon which surgical procedure will give me relief.

he did mention that after surgery, 90-95% of patients have substantial relief from their chronic pain. i'm finally hopeful i'm hopeful that i'm on the right track.

this is where the healing begins.....


  1. Good. And what I mean by that you have answers AND a plan. So now you can truly HOPE. I am so glad to hear this.
    I too got severe carpal tunnel during my pregnancies. In fact, when my third (and LAST) boy was born, my hands and forearms were completely numb. I remember practically screaming at the doctor "How am I to take care of a baby if I can't FEEL him???" I was a bit panicked ... I had always recovered the feeling in my hands a day after giving birth. This was on the third day and getting ready to go home that I still couldn't feel anything. It lasted for over a week. Sorry to ramble, but my hands still get numb while driving all the time. It sucks. LOL. Hugs to you!

  2. Hope all goes well for you and you make the right decisions.

  3. Whoa. Well that's just plenty to deal with, isn't it? ;) So glad you might finally get some relief! Will pray that the diagnosis is clear and makes the procedure decision an easy one.

  4. I am glad that you are getting closer to figuring out: how, when, and why about your treatment. I had a fusion done and I had immediate pain relief. The only pain was from the incision. Mine was good for 5 years and the reason being I went back to work as a nurse...all the pushing, lifting, stretching, twisting, leaning over has hurt my back again but not bad enough to have another surgery. No one told me that the lifting, twisting and what not would hurt the back again. I didn't have the numbness in my arms or hands it was down my legs and into my feet which cleared up with the surgery.
    I wish you the best!!


  5. thank you so much for sharing your experiences!

    martha...i don't necessarily have numbness/tingling in my legs, but more like shocking waves of pain from my low back, across my hips and down the outside of my thigh, crossing over to the inside of my shins at the knee and ending in the big toe. sciatic nerve pain basically. and lots of weakness--right leg gives out on me frequently.

  6. Not fun at all.

    Big hugs & prayers for you to get some relief soon...

  7. It's always good to get all the information.
    If anybody deserves some hope & pain relief it's you.

  8. I hope this means healing for you dear friend! Oh how I miss CHA we had good times! -n

  9. My husband and I just got home today from his 3rd lunbar fusion surgery. He has also had a cervical fusion. He has Marfan's syndrome which can cause his heart problems and the disc issues. He too had a discogram last summer. I feel for you and what you are going through as I have been by his side for 10 years watching it ravage his body. I too have had a thoracic fusion at 16. If I can ever answer any questions from this side of the knife, please email me! Best wishes for relief!!

    Sammye jo
    sammyejo at 62cards dot com

  10. oh,Tania. My thoughts are with you.

  11. Oh my I guess that surgery will give you relief and it's good to know finally what is going on. Sorry to hear about all of this though. Wish I lived closer so I could do something for you. Right now prayers it will be.


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