Monday, October 1, 2012

Light at the end of the tunnel...

Wow... I finally saw the neurosurgeon today. I was concerned. Actually, I cried in his office because I felt "good" today.

What I mean by that, is I didn't have any pain... even though I purposely didn't take my meds and I had minimal numbness in my lower leg. To be honest, I haven't felt this good since the first week of my injury and I was on the prednisone, valium, tramadol and advil. BUT yesterday, I woke up in SOOOO much pain that I was crying... took a double dose of my valium (which was OKed by the doctor) and sat in the recliner with feet elevated and minimal movement ALL day.

I was so afraid that he would think that I was making this whole thing up and wasting his time. He checked my strength in my lower leg, foot and ankle and noted a significant decrease... something I need to work on. He stated that I definitely have an issue that we have to deal with... and then he offered to show me my MRI results (actually, one of the images).

Holy Crap!!! He told me that he wasn't sure what the radiologist was thinking when it was noted that I had slight herniation. He said that if he had to describe it, it would be Huge or Enormous... yeah! I've been walking around and working, and trying to do all of my normal day to day stuff with an ENORMOUS disc herniation. This was a little shocking... but I was actually relieved to know that I wasn't a "head case".

This is an image of a disc herniation to give you idea of what is going on...

Taken from: http://lisavandore.com/2011/07/22/ab-dos-and-donts/
 Mine is more significant, but this shows what is happening.

Well, I walked in to discuss a plan and boy did I get one... I'm scheduled for surgery in 8 days! BUT I will only be out of work for 4 days and then I will be cleared for full go for Kenpo, MMA, lifting, coaching, Athletic Training... anything I want to do within 4-6wks! That's awesome!!!

I am actually extremely more stressed out by missing those 4 days of work than I am about having the surgery. I did my research. I asked around. I know that this surgeon is good. Of course, there are some people who have had bad experiences... there is NEVER a 100% guarantee and the individuals' follow through after a surgery can greatly effect the results.

I figured that I've already explained my procedure to many people and I googled it to put it here... I found an explanation that is very much like what Dr. Marcovici explained to me. I really wish I had my image, but maybe I can figure out how to post it when I get my CD back...

"A discectomy (also called open discectomy) is the surgical removal of herniated disc material that presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord. The procedure involves removing the central portion of an intervertebral disc, the nucleus pulposus, which causes pain by stressing the spinal cord or radiating nerves. The traditional open discectomy, or Love's technique, was published by Ross and Love in 1971. Advances in options have produced effective alternatives to traditional discectomy procedures (i.e. Microdiscectomy, Endoscopic Discectomy, and Laser Discectomy). In conjunction with the traditional discectomy, a laminotomy is often involved to permit access to the intervertebral disc. In this procedure, a small piece of bone (the lamina) is removed from the affected vertebra, allowing the surgeon to better see and access the area of disc herniation"

Now, the way he explained it, they are only removing the portion of the disc that is herniated and leaving the portion that is properly positioned between the vertebrae intact. There is only a 1" incision and he actually said that the surgery I had to remove my gall bladder last summer, was more invasive than this procedure. This really makes me happy since I was off all meds and trying on dresses only 3 days after that surgery :)

If you could say a prayer for me though, I would greatly appreciate it! I can't wait to get back to Kenpo, MMA, running, and actually being able to demo stuff as a Physical Education teacher and coach!! I think that is more exciting to me than Christmas EVER was!!

Wish me luck :)

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