Hi everyone... :H
I was wondering if you guys could give me any advice on my little story below:
Thursday morning, I woke up with a deep productive cough and a sinus headache. I've had a cold for about 10 days and rather than clearing up, it decided to travel into my chest area and sinuses. The OTC medications were helping a little, but not so much with my cough. Since the coughing was creating a lot of back spasms, I figured I should give my PCP a call to see if he was seeing any patients on Thursday. The lady I spoke with told me my doctor and his staff were out until Monday, in observance of the holiday. After speaking with the lady, she suggested I go to an Urgent Care facility... as I might need an antibiotic. No problem. There happens to be an Urgent Care facility a couple of blocks from our house... so Mike and I took off for what turned out to be an interesting visit and outcome, with the doctor at the facility.
We arrived at the facility and there was no wait, which was great. We really expected a full waiting room, as most doctors offices were probably closed. A friendly nurse called us back and took my vitals. My vitals were all good, with the exception of my oxygen level... it was at a 95% level. She took me to an examining room and the doctor came in within minutes. He looked at my ears, nose, throat and listened to my back and chest area. He had me cough, take deep breaths, cough again, etc., while he listened to my lungs with the stethescope. After the exam, he told me I had a sinus infection and bronchitis. He suggested doing a breathing treatment in the office to help my bronchial passageways and also wanted a chest X-ray done, to rule out pneumonia. He also swabbed my throat, to rule out strep throat.
The nurse came into the room and took me to get the X-rays and then set me up with the breathing treatment which lasted about 20 minutes. After my treatment, the doctor popped his head in the room and asked me what antibiotics I could take. I told him anything that wasn't penicillan or sulfa-based. He started naming off antibiotics, asking if I could take this or that. I told him (again) that I can take anything that is penicillan or sulfa-based. He seemed a bit frazzled that I couldn't name off an antibiotic for myself, so I told him I had a big case of the "duh's"... due to not feeling well. Mike and I exchanged looks with each other, kind of like... why doesn't this guy know what to give me for an antiobiotic? He then shut the door and came back a few minutes later with the cotton swab he used to take my throat culture. (I thought that was a bit weird, as once you rub the swab onto the culture... you discard the swab, right?). Anyway, he pointed to the swap and told me I didn't have strep, and was prescribing me an antibiotic for my bronchitis and sinus infection. He also prescribed an inhaler for me to use, as needed. He told us he needed to look at my chest X-rays and then we would be done. All was great in my mind... the staff worked very quickly and thoroughly, so I was pleased with the visit. The doctor returned after looking at my X-rays and told me that I didn't have pneumonia... but, he could sure see a lot of hardware in the X-rays. (My T-spine was visible on the X-rays they took). I told him yes, that is from my surgery last year...which I had already told him of at the beginning of our visit. He then said he was going to have the radiologist look at the X-rays to confirm "no pneumonia" and if anything showed up, he would give me a call. Once again, no problem. Mike and I left the facility and we headed home.
Once I got settled into bed, Mike went to get my prescriptions filled and needed to pick some things up at the grocery store. While Mike was gone, I got a call from the Urgent Care doctor. He told me the radiologist confirmed no pneumonia, but the X-rays were showing compressions fractures at T5, T6, T7. He wanted to know if I was aware of these compression fractures and if I was feeling any numbness or tingling sensations? I told him that I had multiple compression fractures from my fall and I was under the impression that my fractures had healed. I am completely fused at T11 and T12... and wore the turtle shell brace for 3 1/2 months to help my fractures heal. I then got a long "hmmmm" from the doctor. He told me to be sure to go to the ER, if I should start to feel any tingling or numbing sensations in my extremities... as the radiologist said the fractures appeared to be unstable. I got a little concerned and asked him if I needed to call my surgeon... if the fractures were showing unstable? He said that would probably be a good idea and he would have the X-ray reading available to send, this Sunday.
After I hung up with him, it felt like my heart was going to jump out of my chest. "Unstable" compression fractures? That is not good... not good at all. I called Mike, who was at the grocery store, and asked him if he could stop in and talk to the Urgent Care doctor... to confirm what the man told me on the phone. He called the radiologist while Mike was there and the radiologist said the compression fractures were stable, but showed loss of height.
I am feeling much better... I don't have any tingling or numbness in any of my extremities.
What I am wondering... is if I should call my surgeon on Monday with what this radiologist found on these X-rays? Are compression fractures still visible after one year or is this something new going on with T5, T6, T7? There was no mention of my other compression fractures that I had from my fall... only these. My hardware and fusion areas look great.
Thanks for any advice you guys might have for me. I'm just scratching my head on what to do with this new information.
Hope everyone is enjoying the rest of their holiday.