Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Herniated Disc Update #5

Well it's after 4:00 pm on a Tuesday and I just remembered that I hadn't written, or even started, a post for the WWU.  That's unusual for me but I've been even more scattered than usual because, drumroll please...I'm scheduled to have surgery on Monday.

I guess from that announcement you deduced that my visit with the neurosurgeon last week went well.  It did.  Jeff went with me; we first met with the PA, who was super friendly and informative.  Before he came in the room he went over the paperwork that I'd brought, checked my MRI, and said that all I needed was to have the disc fragment that is pressing on the nerve removed and I'd be back to my old self once I'd recovered from the surgery...with no nerve pain.

No. Nerve. Pain.

Of course Jeff and I had a lot of questions, starting with how successful is this surgery?  The PA said very successful.  We asked what would happen and learned about the procedure and how they would only work on the left side, with the actual operation taking about 30 minutes.  It would be done on an outpatient level, at one of the local hospitals.

After more questions (what would the restrictions be, what is the recovery like, etc), I asked one last question:  did I need to have the injections and pain management and physical therapy, then, if this surgery is so successful?  Because I was wondering, what the hell, did I just waste five months with that when I could have had surgery right away and avoid being in pain all this time?

No.  He said that even if I had presented to them back in April, with the MRI and extreme pain, they still would have had me go through pain management because sometimes the epidural steroid injections can give enough pain relief while the swelling is going down for the disc to shrink and/or move away from the nerve...and it might not be an issue after that.  They don't do surgery unless other options to fix this have been exhausted.

Hearing that was confirmation that I hadn't been foolish in trying to get the herniated disc healed without jumping into surgery.  It made me feel good, plus made me feel like I'd gone to the right neurosurgeon.  He was recommended by pretty much everyone when I was asking who to see, from healthcare professionals to friends who had used him, but still, you don't know until you actually meet with the person.

When the surgeon came in, we liked him right away.  And then peppered him with questions, LOL.  Jeff the statistics person asked what percentage success rate did this particular operation have:  92 - 95% was the surgeon's response.  Well, we were both leaning toward the surgical option, but hearing that was the final kicker toward doing it.

The thought of getting my life back is very appealing.  Obviously I don't want to do anything impulsive just to have that, but after more than six months of hurting, I'm at the point of being willing to try something different.

Oh, speaking of being scattered, the other great news is that the surgeon said I can stop taking Gabapentin!  Really happy about that - I might get my brain back to normal.  Or at least normal for me.

25 comments:

  1. Oh wow!!! I am so excited for you! Not that you are having surgery but that this surgery should give you your life back!!! I will be praying for ya!!!

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    1. It is - I'm getting more excited and less nervous - at least now, LOL. Talk to me on Monday and it might be a different story.

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  3. Awesome! Good luck on Monday! I would have had the same question about everything you just went through for the last five months. I'm glad to hear that that is the normal procedure (makes sense - they always want to avoid surgery as a first option, I bet). Glad you can get off the Gabapentin too! Yay!

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    1. Jeff is really happy that I'll be off Gabapentin soon - I think he's tired of my brain being missing in action, LOL.

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  4. So exciting to think you will have your life back after healing from this surgery! Great that it is out patient too! I think you asked all the right questions. I know I would have wanted to know exactly what you wanted to know was PT necessary first?
    I will be praying for you and wishing you all the luck with both the surgery and the healing up.

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    1. Thank you Susan, I am so hopeful for this to work.

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  5. I am excited about your surgery and will be anxious to hear how you feel after!

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  6. Hallelujah!!! Surgery sounds scary, but this is a blessing.

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  7. Yay!! Glad to hear there is a light at the end of your pain tunnel! :)

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  8. So glad that is sounds like this may be a permanent pain-relief option! It was so smart of you to ask if everything leading up to this was unnecessary, because I would have been kicking myself, too, if I'd gone through all the icky for no good reason. Sounds like you've found another great medical team to work with. Can't wait to hear how everything goes and will be thinking happy, healing thoughts for you on Monday :-)

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    1. Thank you, Emmaclaire! I sure hope this is permanent - I believe that as long as I don't do anything crazy, this won't happen again. HOPE.

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  9. I'm so happy to hear this, and so happy that you'll finally get your life back! What will your recovery look like? Will you need to do more PT or anything like that? I'll be thinking about you on Monday and I hope it's all smooth sailing from here on out :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm not to do any PT or workouts for two weeks and have restrictions on twisting and bending, but after that I should be able to exercise - still with twisting and bending restrictions, but eased up. At six weeks I should be good to go. Not sure if I'll need PT since I know what to do but I'll cross that bridge later.

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  10. I guess that means we won't get a post on Monday then? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    So glad you'll have better things to do. Let the healing begin!

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    1. I hope everyone survives without my epic blog posts, LOLOLOLOL. Old Shelley actually would have written something this week and scheduled it for Monday, but New Shelley is too scatterbrained to do that. Plus I want to play my video game - ha!

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  11. This is great news - I'm glad you are going to get your life back. I think I mentioned to you before that my FIL had surgery for a herniated disc after YEARS of pain. It was instant relief for him. Wishing the very same for you.

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    1. You did, and that was one of the good stories about surgery that I've tucked into my "this is a good idea" folder.

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  12. I had a decompression surgery a while back and recovery was easy peasy. I had a lot more problems to deal with, but it has kept me away from more serious surgery for five years now. I think you will be pleased with how quickly you will heal.

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  13. I have to say that I'm glad you are going to go ahead with this procedure. I know you will do well. Make sure you ask for double the anti-nausea meds and make sure you get the neck patch for that. We are rooting for you!

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  14. This is good news! You'll be back to your regular self again soon. I'll be thinking of you!

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