So I finally saw the Orthopedic surgeon today. Kind of. I actually only saw his PA, but I still got some answers at least. Although they're not quite that helpful long term, really.
The PA told me that I had a 'huge' herniation that was impinging my nerve root on L1-2. She acted as though they had thought of surgery, but she noted that surgery would be very complicated. She didn't actually say I could NEVER have surgery done, but that it would probably be very last resort (if that, even).
I guess the problem is that the herniated disc is right where my scoliosis curves the most. Right where the farthest degree of it goes, and it is basically bearing most of my weight--which is likely why that particular disc herniated first. So, surgery--she said--would be very nasty because if they simply removed the disc the rest of my spine would be ridiculously unstable and would require 'massive Reconstruction'.
So instead I'm being put on oral steroids (Medrol). Then I am to see a pain management specialist who they want to try some injections on me.
So the good news is they didn't jump in to just do surgery...but that's also kind of the bad news, I guess. This isn't a quick fix. So now I have lots of questions which I felt like I should have asked then, but didn't. I guess because I was so caught up on surgery that when I didn't have it looming over me so much that I kinda forgot about
the rest. I did ask if this would be a long term thing, and she said that if I can control the pain I can go back to my normal routine.
But I do want to ask what the long term effects of this could be. I mean the herniated disc would still be there regardless of how many drugs or injections I take, right? I just want to make sure I don't cover up my pain and then run into something even worse or something like that. The other question I have is even if this does help short term, say, what if it flares up right after? The fact that this particular area of my spine is bearing this weight makes me feel like it is at risk to happen again. So I want to ask about
So I have to wait again, basically.
Still no idea if I can go back to school this fall, or work. Or if I should even plan to. That's the worst part for me right now, this uncertainty. If the pain subsides I can do normal things, so I hope one of these things DO help. The pain drives me crazy and keeps me up at night. My life has been altered so quickly, it's really hard to adjust to this stuff all at once. So if I get any relief at all, I'll be grateful, even if I still have trouble with my normal routine. Some help is better than none at all. I still worry, though, of being stuck with this pain long term.