On Saturday I started to feel a familiar pressure in my right calf. I assumed I’d overdone it and rested. Sunday I was in Church and found that all I could focus on was the creeping up bad sensation in my leg. Again, I rested.
My leg just started to tingle and burn. I thought well, it will still get better with rest.
Tuesday I had my follow up with the actual Neurosurgeon, not his nutty PA.
He was quite concerned about the ongoing tingling. He put me on a prednisone pack to try to reduce the irritation and wrote me for a follow up on the 7th of April. I will need a new MRI, and it is likely I have reherniated the disc.
In discussion with the Doctor it seems it was highly likely that this would occur. My pars defect has apparently made my lower spine very unstable. The Doctor explained that my original herniation was not due to severe training and the same thing may have happened with sneezing or coughing. He also explained that I was still at risk for this with sneezing or coughing. He really had wanted to fuse the bone, but felt I needed the other surgery emergently. My disc segment he removed was 3 cm by 3cm which apparently is quite large, about 1/3 to 1/4 of the total disk. Usually it’s about 1 cm. It was twisted around the S1 nerve root which is why I had such difficult symptoms. So, he did the right thing in removing it as soon as I would let him.
So it’s now Friday. I fully expected the prednisone to work miracles. It has not. My leg has now pretty much the same symptoms as before, though much reduced. I’ve definitely spent a few nights crying over the situation, because it isn’t just being active that is affected. I am in a low level of constant pain and it is very frustrating. Many people suggest “doing something different” to occupy the mind, but it is really hard to do anything that requires deep thought because of the pain level all the time. I do “ok” at work…but that’s enough for me right now.
On Thursday I kind of gave myself a bit of a pep talk. I realized that to have a spinal fusion I would need about 4 weeks off from work, and I do not yet qualify for FMLA, so I will not be having a fusion until the very least November of this year.
I also realized that I had had pretty spectacular results from the 2 epidural injections I did have, given the size of the disc. I don’t think this disk extrusion is as big since I still have great motor function. So, this may be an option to get to feeling better.
He reminded me of this. He also was in some ways just exactly what I needed. He listed to me very intently…took notes…admitted to some of his own foibles, and made me laugh long and hard.
I am still allowed to swim (as long as I use a swim snorkel) so he is going to give me some swimming lessons and had me order a special mat with lumbar support so I can start to do Abdominal exercises.
So… I feel as if I am back at square one, but, actually I am more like back at Square 2 in a 100 square process. It is still better than when it first happened. I feel as if my life is just completely controlled by my back situation. I’m trying to not let that happen, but well… Coach did say things would improve, so I’m gonna bank on his words…