Saw the second neurosurgeon yesterday, and I liked him MUCH better than the first guy. This NS actually really took the time to go through my history, scans, and do a good PE -- as compared to the other NS who spent only 2 minutes with me (and felt extremely rushed the whole time), and didn't even examine me at all (although his PA did before he came in the room).
This NS wants me to try an epidural first. He said that I very likely may still end up needing surgery, but that he doesn't want to rush into it. I do have a slight foot drop and moderate weakness in my left leg, but because it hasn't continued to progress, he said that we still have time. He is concerned though, that in addition to the marked bilateral nerve root compression from the herniation at L5/S1, that I also have a free-floating fragment of disc material within the spinal canal, because I can barely lift either leg without getting severe pain down my left leg. Apparently CT is not ideal for seeing fragments in the canal, but he is going to have his neuro-radiologist re-read my scans anyway, because he wasn't happy with the radiology report (I must admit, I wasn't either -- it was one of the most poorly written reports I've ever seen).
The hardest thing to hear from the new NS, though, was that either way (whether I end up needing surgery or not), he didn't think that I'd be able to have a career in large animal, because I'd probably just re-herniate, and could end up destroying my spine. It wasn't entirely unexpected, but was pretty devastating all the same. I pretty much spent all day yesterday crying. But today I'm trying to think more positively. I've already overcome a ton with all my health problems, and I haven't given up yet. And I'm so close to reaching my goals, so I'm not about
to let this stop me now. It may end up being that I do have to re-think my career plans, but no one can predict the future, so for right now, I'm not going to let it get me down.
I was really hoping that the ketamine infusions that I had last week would help with my back/leg pain like they do for my CRPS, but they did not. I got some relief during the infusions, but once the ketamine was stopped, the relief did not last. If anything, my back/spinal pain (presumptively due to muscle tension/guarding) has gotten a lot worse over the last two weeks, to the point where sitting is now getting really painful, too, which sucks.
Anyways, for now I have an appointment scheduled with my PM for the epidural on Friday. We'll see what happens. Given my luck, I won't be surprised at all if I still need surgery. But hopefully the epidural will at least buy me a few months, so that I can get through the rest of classes and boards, and be in a better place for surgery. And hopefully if I do need surgery, I can work things out with my insurance so that I can have it done with the second neurosurgeon, as I trust him a lot more than the first guy!
PS: Karen -- I'm glad to hear that Molly is still holding her own. I know what you mean about
you and her being as one. I feel the same way about
both my dogs, but especially one in particular. I don't know what I'll do if and when anything ever happens to him. He is my soulmate, and there is no way that I would have made it this far in life without him.
Post Edited (skeye) : 3/22/2017 2:58:05 PM (GMT-6)