Sciatica and the Episode of my failing back!
I've been battling sciatica since August. When it first crept up on me, I didn't know what the heck was going on and it hurt so bad that I called the doc right away. They took x-rays, and found that my L4 fell on top of my L5. Now ordinarily that wouldn't happen because you have tissue between your vertebrae, but because of my early degenerative arthritis, the tissue is gone.
Here is a diagram of the sciatic nerve I pilfered from the web. This could be an image of me, and how my damn ass and leg feel every damn day. My sciatica isn't kind enough to stay in one leg, it wanders over to the other leg, gives my right butt cheek and leg a pain workout that just possibly couldn't get worse, then it starts traveling back to the other leg.
I've done my rounds of doctor visits, 3 epidural shots in my spine to maybe perhaps help the inflammation go down which should have in turn stopped whatever was pinching the nerve, but that gave me very little relief. The pain management doctor started grasping at straws and wanted to do a series of injections into my sacro iliac joint, saying that "might" help. Insurance denied the pre-registration for this procedure, they said those injections won't do anything for where the pain is originating from: my collapsed vertebrae.
So I made an appointment with my family doc again, and asked what the next step is, since the pain management doctor didn't fix me. He reviewed the x-rays again, and said he agreed with the insurance company, the sacro joint injections will do nothing for my condition. That part of my spine is aOk.
Off to the orthopedic doctor, carrying my x-rays and MRI dvd. My appointment with the surgeon didn't go so well, first off, he has a PA (physicians assistant) doing most of the work he should be doing. The PA put my x-ray up on the viewing box and showed me where the problem is, it is very obvious looking at the film, why I hurt so much. The PA went on to explain my choices: 1. Learn to Live with it. 2. have a spinal fusion that will fix it. At this point the surgeon walks in, apologizing for being late for my appointment, saying he had a dental emergency (I understand that, I am a dentists wife after all) and wanted to know what the PA had told me already.
As he's explaining the pros and cons of the surgery, he isn't making me feel very good, he tells me there is a possibility that these god forsaken jolts of pain running down my legs to my toes could possibly become constant, if he accidentally nicks the nerve. OK... guess what? YOU aren't touching my back.
So I posted on Facebook about my terrible pain and trouble and visits to the surgeon and one of my friends recommended a neurosurgeon, a really good guy, excellent reputation, people love him, good results, yada yada, she sold me, so I called my family doctor and told him I wanted a referral.
Dr. Beykovsky was wonderful. He explained the problem. Not only do I have collapsed vertebrae, I've also got a FRACTURE in one of them. He said, no wonder you are in such pain, and "I can fix you". Michael and I had already bought and planned 2 trips in February, so I asked him if I could wait till March (part of me is still hoping it will go away on it's on). He looked incredulous, and said "you are traveling in that condition?" Hubby explained that he would make sure I get wheelchaired through the airports and that I would arrive at our destination (puerto rico) with minimal effort. and after all, i can be in pain here in -7 degrees, or there in 80 degrees and maybe that would help. It didn't.
Going to Puerto Rico with a bum back was a stupid idea. We did nothing but lay by the pool, and gamble. We did absolutely zero sight seeing, because I can't walk very far. Ok yes, it was fun, yes I am glad I went, and my only regret is that we didn't get to tour the island, but it was a winter getaway, and room service is so cool, and well, yeah, i wish we had just stayed home, because i am a bitch now. living with this god forsaken pain every minute of my life since august is wearing me thin. I'm at the point where one vicodin isn't working, and since august I've been taking 4 anvil and one vicodin every 4 hours and that just can't be good for me.
When we came home, the surgeon's assistant called me to schedule the surgery. We decided to go for March 30th, after our next trip, and a little time to prepare before. We had planned a week trip to our New Mexico home, and this time we were bringing my daughter and her bambino and I've been trying to get her to go along to NM for years, I know she would love it. When I suggested to hubby that I just cannot do another trip, his reply was "we are NOT canceling our trip". I was thinking WTF? you are going to drag me on another excursion while i'm in excruciating pain? i don't think so. then he explain that he thought nikki was canceling the trip, and even if it was her and not me, WTF?
Now don't get me wrong, he is a saint, he's been listening to me gasp in pain for the last 5.5 months, he's taken me to every appointment with every doctor, he's right by my side in everything, but every once in a while he gets a bug up his ass and this was one of those times, he apologized, but i still here the words. Yes, we cancelled the NM trip.
Surgery is now scheduled for 2/23. I'm hoping beyond hope that the next 12 days go by quickly. in the meantime, anyone have any oxycontin they can loan me?