This has been a rather amazing week so far where diagnoses are concerned. I've been looking for answers so long that I thought there were none to be found.
First, I found an new gyno and after several years of being told it was all in my head and was told that I have an extensive confirmed problem with extreme yeast sensivity that they have agreed to treat very agressively. It's been going on for years and I have had every test I could think of, but all the female gyno's I have seen made it look like I was just exagerating and it was nothing. They could not have been more wrong!!! Yeahhh....answer number one!
Second, the same new gyno tells me that I have a very serious problem with my bladder dropping into a cavity where it should not and of course leaking terribly (which has been a serious problem for me for several years now).....he also tells me he is the first surgeon to bring a dramatically different procedure to the area and has therefore done literally thousands of bladder tacks with great success. The procedure lasts approximatly 7 minutes (under general anestesia) and is covered completely by insurance as an out-patient. I've needed this surgery for so long, but I didn't want to have a very invasive surgery with a long healing time. So my "final" test is next week to determine exactly which one of his two procedures will have the best success rate. One requires two small incisions in the creases of the legs and the rest internal. The other requires a slightly larger incision in the area above the pelvic bone and the rest internal. The hospital eval is the day after the test and surgery is already scheduled for the following week. Answer number two given.....yeahhh!
Last, and certainly not least, I did go take the CT this AM (without contrast and no myleogram) and I saw the Ortho this afternoon. This WAS exactly what we needed to see why I hurt so badly. It was SO clear on the CT that I could see it with the naked eye. Apparently what the radiologist was interpreting as a bulging disc at l5-s1 was actually bone bulging. The morselized bone and growth gel did grow, however, they did NOT grow as they should have and now I have S1, then a small open section, then a bone that grew out of place, then another small open section, then L5. So instead of a solid fusion, I have three bones now with two small open spaces between them and a bone bulge out to the side. The rods and screws are still in place and keep the entire area from collapsing.
There was no question in his mind that this is the cause of my pain in my back and that all the other smaller bulges were minimal in comparision.
He suggested I "try" to hold out as long as I can tollerate the pain (using pain management....to whom he will be sending a copy of his report) and pray that more bone grows within the next year to bond the fusion together. Otherwise, we will likely have to go in and fix the problem. We cannot go in through the back again because of all of the hardware and would have to go in through the "front" (as he put it), which will be a very different surgery indeed. No additional suggestion of the SCS was even discussed. Answer number three ! He basically said that he could not criticize another Dr, but would have never done this particular surgery this way. He also said that he could not call it a failure, but that it was definitely not a success...and then he showed me the CT films. Boy were they clear. You could see exactly what he was talking about. We don't have follow-ups because there is no need until I decide I cannot live with the pain in my back any longer.
I realize none of these things are good, but they are answers I did not have before. It felt really good to have answers! I hope the reumy finds her answers soon too and that PM will agree with what the ortho had to say. It would be so nice to have everything under control and working toward a common goal for a while.
All my best to all of you!!!
Thanks for everything guys!