My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

my latest dr appt

Not to bore you with the gory details… but I know that my mother hens and blogger babes & buds like to keep tabs on me…
I went to see my nurse practitioner at the “regular doctor” office this morning. Kudos to her for ordering the spine xrays last week, otherwise, I’d still be at square one.
I told her I was concerned last week that I was overlapping by seeing her before we had results from the urologist… she said it was wise to do that and it helped us get closer to a resolution.
A lot of what she said was just a confirmation of what the urologist had said. There is osteoarthritis … which… could be from a lot of things… isn’t particularly uncommon and is not necessarily a big deal.
There is the “spondylolisthesis” (which I have finally learned to say) which is an overlapping of the vertebrae. The overlap is small – 3mm – but definitely causing problems.
Oddly… I have an extra lumbar vertebrae. There are usually five – I have six. This is a congenital defect (in other words, I was born that way).
(between the granulomas that keep popping up in odd places and the extra bone in my back… I have to wonder if we lived close to a power plant or something…)
The extra vertebrae is labeled, “L-6” and the overlap AND damaged disc is between that one and the highest sacral vertebrae “S-1”
Your lumbar spine connects with your sacrum at your lower back…
This is causing a few problems… the nerves are being compromised, the muscles are being stretched …. Because the problem area is in my low back, sitting is painful.
Because it’s compressing nerves, I get odd pains and sensations in other places than right at the spine which is why it initially looked like a kidney stone.
The plan is to have me do physical therapy to stretch the muscles and solve that part of the problem. Because some nerves are compressed, it’s likely that the PT won’t solve all the problems… but we have to start with physical therapy to satisfy my health insurance company.
After attempting physical therapy, the next step is a referral to a neurosurgeon… not because it’s necessarily a surgical issue, but because it’s a nerve issue.
She prescribed lyrica – supposed to help with nerve pain.
This is something that won’t ever really go away… losing weight will help as it will lessen the load on my spine. Physical Therapy will help with the muscle spasms. But mostly… it will be something I live with.


Janis said...

So sorry to hear - I believe back pain is one of the worst and most annoying issues to have. I have some back pain that I have been dealing with on and off for about 20 years- mine is due to the weight as well as the fact that my lumbar area curves more out rather than in. When I was doing physical therapy after my knee surgery I realized after a few weeks that my back didn't hurt. Sadly when insurance stopped paying for my PT a few weeks later I started having back pain again. Not sure if that will work with you but I hope it gives you some hope about the PT. I wish I could go back but $$$ is not there at this point. You're in my prayers!

Anonymous said...

Just think ~ you've lived 42+ years with this defect and it has just now (okay, maybe within the last 6 months or so) really caused you problems. Once you get this episode under control, you will be able to manage it. :)

Anonymous said...

okay ~ I claim that last comment ~ no clue where that odd name/number came from

Anonymous said...

You know I am a pro as a back pain sufferer for the last 24 years. I have 9 different diagnoses one of them arthritis (DJD) thru my whole spine. I eventually will need neck surgery but I'm putting it off as long as I can. After my
2nd surgery, my neurosurgeon told me my spine will eventually collapse. I've had 2
L4-L5 surgeries, 1 L4-L5 scar tissue removal surgery, tons of P.T., spinal decompression treatments, T.E.N.S, cortisone shots, epidurals, and chiropractic treatments. I had no choice but to have the surgeries because of very large disk herniations, scar tissue had to be removed so epidurals could have a chance to work. P.T. and epidurals only work for me a very short time like a couple weeks. Spinal decompression made me hurt worse. T.E.N.S did nothing. Cortisone helped a little for a few days. Chiropractic treatment helps ALOT along with back exercises and pain meds. I now see a pain specialist and will the rest of my life. I know how nerve pain feels. It's the worst. Not even pain meds touch it. Have you tried a chiropractor? My spine is very curved in and having it stretched out by a chiropractor helps so much. My problem now is my insurance doesn't cover it. When I was going to one, I was 80% pain free. That was 8 yrs. ago. Hope you feel better and will be praying for you. <3