I am so sorry to hear about everything you are going thru. I know its scarey and at the same time very frustrating to say the least. I see PaLady has been helping you out here and giving some great advice.
I have seen lots of different kinds of surgery because of the line of work I was in. What your dr told you about the surgery is very true. I know that what he told you also was not what you really wanted to hear. You should appreciate his honesty. I know if a dr told me if it was him, he would not have the surgery, you can bet I would not either. Your situation is a little more complex because of the fact you have 4 bad disc instead of the usual one or two. That puts a whole new spin on things. What he said about fixing the bottom two then the ones above getting worse and causing alot of problems has a great potential of happening, I have ssen this happen not only in necks but in the lumbar spine too. Also, if you have alot of nerve problems going on surgery cannot correct that, they have to heal on their own. They may heal or they may not, no one can predict this one, Somtimes waiting too long to have surgery can cause irreversible nerve damage. Its really complicated.
It does not surprise me what he said about taking pain medication either. He is not into pain mgt so he has no clue about that area. A pain good pain mgt can do many things for us to relieve pain that the specialist can't. Most drs unless they are pain mgt drs do not want patients on pain medication, but then thats not their specialty either. I would not pay any attention to him in that department at all. But, I sure would get myself a referral to a good pain mgt dr. There are two types of pain mgt drs, one does injections and procedures and does not give medication. The other kind does this plus give medication. Be sure you get into the one that does offer pain medication. Before any appt is made be sure to ask if this dr does offer pain meds if he feels they are needed.
I think its good to get a secondd opinion here also, But keep in mind what Palady went thru in doing this too. Sometmes surgery cannot fix things.
I think the least you talk to people about this like friends and relatives the better off you will be. They do not have the proper information to really give you sound advice. Instead, you will end up being more confused than ever. Sure its easy for someone to say oh, get another dr to do your surgery, but its not that easy by a long shot.
I would not schedule surgery with the dr you saw first, There is no way I would let someone cut on me when they tell me they would not have the surgery if it was them. I would run as fast as I could from that guy. Please take care and keep us posted on how you are doing. We are here to help you in any way we can.
Moderator Chronic Pain
crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & decreased circulation in both legs. Swveral other health issues just not enough roo to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 16 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.