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New update on leg shaving fiasco (lol)

LoLLo Posts: 694
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
So, I went to the Neurosurgeon's today to see the Physician's Assistant. My Neurosurgeon wasn't there, but they wanted me to come in ASAP.

He said that he isn't sure the weakness in my right leg and right foot would go away, that it could possibly end up being permanent. He did the normal strength tests and said there is a significant amount of weakness, but it's not completely dead. If it were, he'd have me in surgery tomorrow. But he said since there is a little strength there, that he wants me to come in to see my surgeon on Thursday and see what she thinks.... And to be prepared for possible surgery on Friday. The other surgeon who looked at my films with the P.A. agrees that if it doesn't get better, it should not be left until October 16 (my fusion date). I'm supposed to finish the steroids and then take 800mg of motrin three times a day. So basically if it doesn't get better I'm looking at another microD on Friday, and then having my fusion on October 16, as planned. But apparently I reherniated L4-L5 when I was bending too far shaving my legs... So that was what I felt give in my back. Gotta get up now though, numb foot! Lol.


  • I'm sorry to hear about the reherniation. :/ I hope you get some answers real soon and can get some relief from your problems.
  • Ouch, Lo,

    I am so sorry! What I don't understand, why do you need to have a microD on Friday, and then a fusion on October 16? Can't the microD be part of the fusion surgery, and most importantly, get it over with with one surgery? The PA may be quite good but is not a NS, so it is the NS's call what she wants to do.

    I hope, for your sake, that she can do everything all at once.

    Wishing you the best possible outcome!


  • I am familiar with your story. I wish I could say that my injuries had stemmed from some adventurous lifestyle cliff diving or slam dancing or something like that! I will be following your progress closely if you don't mind. I am in line for PLIF and going to see my doc about scheduling for it on 9/29. If you want to chat about this or anything else I would be happy to offer support.

    One Love,

  • First of all I'd like to say "sorry" about the new herniation, that really sucks. But I have a suggestion that can help to prevent this from happening again, and make your life easier all around. Start getting your legs waxed! That's what I do. I just couldn't handle shaving my legs in the shower anymore because of the pain and exhaustion but when I discovered having them waxed instead, it was like a dream come true. My legs stay soft even when it begins to grow back in again. Good luck and may you have a very succesful surgery!
  • They can't do the MicroD the same time as the fusion because they are using a vascular surgeon along with my Neurosurgeon, so even if they could move all her patients around, they can't really move all his... He's at another practice, not in the group with my Neurosurgeon. So basically my fusion HAS to be the 16th, but they don't want to leave the pressure on my nerve for very long because it can cause permanent nerve damage... The fact that my foot is pretty weak is not a good sign, and they don't want to leave it until next month.

    The P.A. didn't decide about possibly doing the MicroD Friday... The head Neurosurgeon of the group did. He is the one who started the practice. Graduated first in his class at Boston University. He's VERY, VERY good. So if he thinks it's something that needs to be dealt with ASAP, it more than likely does. My Neurosurgeon will basically ask me if it's gotten any better, and if it hasn't, than more likely than not I will end up having surgery Friday. If it doesn't get better I don't want to risk being stuck like this permanently.... It's worth it to have 2 surgeries if it means saving myself from having a foot this weak already at age 22. I can't imagine how horrible it would be to be stuck like this. I am not supposed to drive... Can't really do stairs, because my right foot can't hold me up... I'm constantly losing my balance and nearly falling... And my leg goes numb all the time and I have to get up and walk around every so often. This herniation is worse than my original one... If they could move my fusion up to Friday, they would have, but since it's not possible the Neurosurgeon thinks it's best to get the pressure off this week if it doesn't get better.

    Thank you. I appreciate the well wishes :)
  • It would be a much better story that way. Lol. Shaving my legs.... Not so much.

    No problem at all. We can definitely keep in contact. I will update you on Thursday after I see my surgeon!

    Thank you for your offer of support. I just may take you up on that :) Same goes for you... Message me anytime! :)
  • Thank you :) I appreciate it!
  • Thanks. Waxing is def a good idea... Just can't afford any as of right now :( I'm actually a Certified Cosmetologist with a separate certification in waxing. So if I could buy myself some professional products I could wax my legs myself.... I'll have to keep an eye out.

    I can't shave my legs in the shower, either :( I sit on the edge of the tub and lift my legs up one at a time. Seems to work.... I still shave that way but I don't bend anymore. I fill the tub with more water so I don't have to reach anywhere. Men are so lucky they don't have legs and armpits and whatnot to shave. Lol. I'd rather just shave my face!
  • so sorry to hear about your reherniation Lo. :( Sounds like your NS is on the case though - good luck for Thursday and let us know how you get on.

    Leg wise I lie on my back and bend one knee and then hook the other foot over like I am doing a piriformis stretch - kills two birds with one stone - I dont bend and I get a stretch in too!


  • Lo, I understand the rationale for the two surgeries, but that just seems too much to put a person through. I mean twice the anesthesia, etc. I have worked in a hospital for 21 years, and believe me they squeeze people in, move people around, all the time, no matter how many surgeons are needed. Trauma for instance from a car accident, gunshot, whatever. So it seems to me if you need an urgent procedure they could pull some strings to get it all done at once, especially since you are having 360 fusion anyway, so they were going to open your back regardless for the fusion. It just doesn't make sense to put you through that due to the general surgeons scheduling conflict. Who knows, sounds like they haven't even asked him yet so maybe something could be worked out. I would really push for that if you end up having to go in this week. I know you trust your surgeon, but two seperate surgeries is two seperate surgeries, which means more risk. Actually it is more like three surgeries since they will be opening your back again with the fusion. I hope it all works out for you, but just know that they change schedules, add people on, do Saturday surgeries for emergencies, all the time. Good-luck, Sue
  • Thanks :) Sounds like a good idea. Killing two birds with one stone is always the best way to go! :) Either that, or I will make my boyfriend shave my legs from now on. Hahaha.
  • Thank you for the input. I really appreciate it.

    I do understand what you're saying... Definitely. The only thing is that if they can't do them both at the same time, I'd most likely end up opting to have them decompress my nerve Friday... It's terrible being so weak and it's not safe being home alone all day living on the second and third floors, with my son to take care of, three cats, and a snake. Haha. Snake is easy, though :) They gave me the steroids and said there IS still a possibility it could be better by Thursday. I think the P.A. is going to ask the Vascular surgeon if he would have the availability to do it, but he told me that it's most likely not going to happen. My Neurosurgeon is affiliated with two hospitals, but one of them I refuse to go to. It's in a really scary city, and it's not a good hospital in case of emergencies or traumas. My cousin told me today her friend had her baby at that hospital and the anesthesiologist screwed up her epidural and she is now paralyzed. I realize it's not the same thing, but with my Generalized Anxiety Disorder and OCD, it could end up being more detrimental for me to have the stress (which gives me physical chest pains, and since my dad died at 49 from a heart attack, they medicate me to try to avoid stress related chest and heart pain) and the anxiety. So I guess it may end up being a weighing of the pros and cons. My Neurosurgeon will be back on Thursday, and when I go see her I should know for sure what the plan is. They would give me the choice, if I wanted to wait until the 16th and just have the one surgery, but if my foot doesn't get better I just can't bring myself to go three more weeks like this, and to risk it being permanent. I am hoping the steroids help a bit, because next week I have my son's appointment that he HAS to go to if I want him to stay in school, since it couldn't be done over the summer. The day after that I have my appointment with the Vascular surgeon who is assisting in my fusion, and the day after THAT I have my pre-op testing appointment at the hospital for my fusion 13 days later. If I end up having surgery Friday, I won't be driving by next week so I'd need a great deal of help to get all that stuff done. But who knows. God's plan will unfold, no matter what I'd like to happen. He knows better than I do so I guess I just have to pray and leave it in His hands.

    I will let you know what they say on Thursday, and I will ask about some of the things you brought up and see what they say about it and try to find the best plan of action. Thank you again for your advice. I appreciate it lots! :)

  • I'm so sorry to hear what you will have to go through! Please know that our prayers are with you. Hang in there girl!
  • Not just thinking of you, drawing off of your tenacity, dealing with your physical troubles, raising a baby..I bet your mom is proud of you! I would be if you were my daughter! Take good care....Sagehen
  • Thank you very, very much. >:D<
  • Thank you :) That means a lot to me. That actually made my day. I appreciate that very much.

    Sounds like you've got quite a bit going on for you! Pets are like children... Especially dogs. So you've got yourself three babies! I have kitties and a snake. Lol. My kitties don't require too much, nor does the snake, but they are still my babies :) Sometimes people ask why I have pets when I have back/sciatica issues but honestly... When you're stuck at home a lot, it's nice to have the company. My Ball Python will just curl around my wrist or fingers and hang out with me and watch TV. And my cats are just entertainment. They are insane. They came from two different places and HATED each other when we got them... Now they are inseparable. I've never seen two animals so attached to each other. Lol. They sleep together like... Kitty-spooning EVERY night.

    How's the hot tub make your body feel? Sounds like it would be a huge help. I need to go make friends with someone with a hot tub ;) Lol.

    Thanks again! :) :D >:D<
  • Omg Lo I know what you mean about pets - I would love to have a dog to keep me company - I have seen the cutest black pug puppy and I have to resist getting it but I want it so badly! But people keep reminding me picking up dog poop wouldn't help my back. :(

    Having a snake sounds awesome tho!
  • You know how they have grabbers for us to use to pick things up? WELL, they have dog poop scoopers like that... So you don't have to bend down. Haha! My mom used to have one, cause she has back issues, too. Lol

    I find pets hard to resist, too. I always want to save them all. We took in a bunch of neglected and abused cats. Found homes for some of them, but that's how we got stuck with 3 instead of just my 12 year old cat from when I was younger. One kitty was only 4-5 weeks old and I had to give her kitten formula. The other was so abused she hid under my dresser for a week or so. Poor things. They're energetic cuddle bugs now :) My boyfriend has to keep reminding me that we literally can't save every cat, so I need to stop finding them... I have the hardest time saying no. Lol.

    My snake is adorable. His name is Cupcake. No reason, really, other than my liking cupcakes. You can borrow him for company :)
  • Sorry about this and sorry about your dad passing away so young. You have had a rough time in your short 22 years...but you seem to have an amazing attitude and a great personality.

    You are going to do well and don't accept anything less.

    I had two surgeries a day apart and I also had a vascular surgeon open me up in front for the first surgery. Yeah some pain, some annoying stuff, some frustration.....but really no big deal and it is behind you before you know it. You must address this soon like they say.

    Can they not do the ALIF on one day and the PLIF or the microdiscectomy the next day or two days later while you are still in the hospital? I was originally going to have my PLIF 2 days after my ALIF...but they woke me up the day after my first surgery and told me I was going in again. It was not all that bad.

    I also had the issue of losing feeling in my foot and I was tripping over stuff because it did not lift up properly etc etc. I had the same discussion with my surgeon about the nerve damage maybe being permanent.

    You are young, you have a lot of living to do and a lot of mom work to do.....go have your surgeries and get well Lo...keep your great attitude going it will help your recovery...don't let negative stuff mess it up.

    Tell BF to go get you a Gillette Fusion and that he needs to get used to his new duty. :D
  • I am so sorry to hear it is a reherniation. And it's scary that it happened when it sounds like you were careful. You were even sitting on the edge of the tub, and all you did was reach? My gosh, that could have been me or any of us. My thoughts and prayers are with you!
  • Hahaha! Your last sentence made me laugh out loud. Good idea!!

    That means a lot to me.... It really does. I appreciate the encouragement more than you know!

    I remember you having two surgeries close together. I couldn't remember exactly how far apart, though. I'm not sure if they can change the fusion surgery line up. Maybe? I find out tomorrow if they're going to do surgery on Friday, or if they think it's improved enough to put it off until the 16th. It does seem to have gotten a bit better with the steroids! I can lift my foot back now, whereas I couldn't before... But I still can't stand on my right heel or pull my right foot up while standing up. It might be enough of an improvement for them to only have me go through the one surgery and skip Friday. Maybe! I've been praying and trusting that God has a plan and whatever that plan is, is going to happen either way!

    Thanks again for your kind words :) >:D<
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