Well, it has been months since I have posted anything. This is mostly due to the fact that the lumbar spinal stenosis became increasingly severe and I could not spend more than a few minutes sitting at the computer both at home and at work.
So I finally found, via my podiatrist, a real pain management physician
and a real neurosurgeon
When I left off I was probably still in the care (if you call it care) of a inept neurologist and his partner the inept pain management doctor. And through it all my GP just kept trying to help in his way with pain medications and moral support.
I had a conservative decompression of the L4-5 level called a "Port Hole Decompression" where the spinous processes is maintained and only small holes are incised in the lamina to get to the foramen and remove the osteophytes (bone spurs). First week was hell and I thought that the surgery failed because the pain increased in that first week post op rather than decreased. But this week, which is the beginning of week 3 post op I am much better, no leg pain, no butt pain. Ah, little back pain but the surgery is not for the back pain only the butt and leg pain. Incision is a little sore and the muscle spasms from the incision are frequent and pretty painful at times but the relief from the leg pain and butt pain has been well worth it. I was at a point where I could only stand for about 5 to 10 minutes before severe pain would set in. Yesterday for the first time in several months I was able to grocery shop from one end of the store to the other without severe pain. The surgeon just kept telling me after the surgery that it was a "very, very tight space". Flexiril and percocet are taking pretty good care of the muscle spasms.
The new pain physician gave two sets of pain injections in the lumbar spine at L4-5, bilateral (he actually acknowledged that I had bilateral pain which shocked me, he validated my pain), at the second set he sat with me, we went over my MRI report and he circled the section with regards to the nerve root compression and said "this is a surgical lesion" if this does not work I want you to call me and I will make a surgical referrel for you". I was in shock I had seen a neurosurgeon at the the recommendation of my GP and she wanted me to do PT again and pain injections, yet again. This guy was quick with his decision, he never questioned my pain description and sent me promptly to a neurosurgeon who actually agreed with the surgical referrel. All this was accomplished within the span of 30 days. Anybody in NE PA who needs to know who these great guys are just contact me off list and I will give you the information. I trust them implicitly.
Now I am going to have the new pain physician take a look at my C-spine problems. I had RFA (radio frequency ablation used to create a lesion near the nerves which can temporarily stop the pain signals) done in January/February that did not work and without any further ado the old pain guy
put me on Neurontin and then canceled my followup app and rescheduled for 2 months out.
I have noticed over the past couple of months a funny feeling in my throat sometimes when swallowing and I am not sure if it could be the result of the RFA procedure or if these nasty little osteophytes are growing and are causing a swallowing issue. Of course it could be my thyroid nodule which may have decided to grow a little. But I will have the new pain physician address this when I see him next week. Headaches and neck pain are returning in spite of the Neurontin. Could increase the Neurontin but medication is not the answer and at the higher doses I have quite marked edema in hands and feet.
Have just had blood work done due to pre op testing, liver numbers are elevated, not much but enough so that my GP has sent me for blood work to check liver, sed rate (good old sed rate never above 7), ferritin, Iron IBC, TSH 3rd Generation and Uric Acid, Hepatitis and so on. So I think it's the ibuprofen and combunox I was on pre op then had to quite that prior to surgery so exchaned those for percocet.
Anyone interested in more specifics on the surgery and recovery all you need to do is ask me.
Making a comeback,
DX: Osteoarthritis, C-spine; multi-level spondylosis, foraminal stenosis by osteophytes C4-C5. L-spine. The only good part is L1-2 which are normal. "Multiple Pain Syndrome". Bilateral Carpal Tunnel Release.