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my 360 L4-5 journey continues

jayhawkjjayhawk Posts: 1,032
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Had my 3 month follow up with my surgeon today! He really is great!

He is concerned re the numbness in my right leg. It is the thigh, outside hip and bum. When he did the sensation assessment, I closed my eyes, and it really did seem like I felt it less on my right leg. It is so subjective and I worry about the validity of my interpertation. But, I am sure about the thigh and bum going numb.

He has ordered an MRI TODAY, and wants me to come back in a week for the results (next time he will be in the Houston Office).

I just noticed that my left leg is swollen. I wished I would have noticed it earlier before I saw him. I don't know if it is a concern of not.....I don't know what to do about it....

He wants me to see a rheumatologist. He doesn't think the swelling of my hands is from the neurontin, but that the joints are inflammed ~ and they are. I can't get my wedding rings over the joints... I have had some issues with my left knee and ankle. Just thought it was from aleignment, but now I don't know.

My x-rays do show some fusion, so I am thrilled with that. I talked about suppliments, but he doesn't think that will be needed.

He wants be to join a gym after completing PT, and work on cardio! :) whoohoo!! So I am thrilled with that, that will definately help me to get back in shape. So, I am planning for that at the end of July or beginning of Aug. Hopefully this is realistic!

He reassured me that I am where he would expect me to be, but cautioned me that it will take a year to completely heal.

He released me to go to work and oked me to bend a little as I work on the babies.

I am very nervous for this MRI. I can't lay on my back without padding under my bum and without bending my knees. I wish I had someone who could drive me home, I am so worried about the pain from the MRI.

I don't know what the outcome will be of this MRI. If it is not the spine, weakness, tremor, numbness, swollen joints, fatigue is not a good combination and I fear that will resume the talk about neurology....

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I have this MRI!

Thank you for all your support ! Shari

***DH told me today how much I am missed and how he wishes I was there too!! miracles really do happen!! :)



  • Shari,

    Awww my friend! Seems we have some of the same symptoms. At least your surgeon has a brain and is sending you for an MRI. At my last MRI I was able to get a cushion for my legs but of course, none for lower back. Good luck and I hope it is over quickly.

    Hugs and Hugs :D
  • and they would drive us to and from the hospital if needed. There is a cost but it is not all that much. Is there something similar in your area? Hate to think of you driving home yourself and in pain.
  • Gee I get off work just when u go back! Glad to hear about the fusion. Not so happy about the rest. Any chance this is heat related? Or water/salt issue?

    MRI will be over before you know it. Just imagine being on an island with a margarita!!
  • I hope they give you a pillow under your legs for the MRI and take deep breaths to relax yourself and I hope it's over quickly. Could you make a quick call to the Surgeon about the leg swelling? I wore a TED stocking when my leg was swollen. Prayers everything goes well. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN

  • Hope that your MRI is bearable and that they let you have a pillow under your knees.

    Great news that you have started to fuse! Well done! :-)

    Also great news that DH told you how much you are missed. <:P

    Good that your surgeon is investigating the other issues. Let's hope they get to the bottom of what is going on and can sort it out.

    So back to work tomorrow! I'll be thinking of you and praying for you Shari. Can't wait to hear how you get on. :D

  • MRI is done, the last time I had one it was of my brain, cervical, thorasic and lumbar...so after that this wasn't aweful. I wasn't great but I made it through.

    I put a call in to my surgeon re the swelling. It seems like it's maybe my knee...

    In hind sight, had I known today, that I would have been gone from 7:00 - 4:00, I won't go back tomorrow as I am exhausted.

    The papers are signed so to work I will go.

    Found a dress for the wedding this weekend as none of mine fit..

    I am trying hard to not worry. I so wanted to put all of this (neuro...) behind me and not have to deal with it. But am very thankful my surgeon is proactive!

    I hope everyone is doing well!

  • I'm off to bed now, but I wanted to let you know that I'll be thinking and praying for you tomorrow. Hope it goes well. Make sure that you can rest when you get home. :-)

    Great that you don't have to shop for a dress for the wedding now, on top of returning to work.

    Looking forward to hearing how you get on. :D
  • Sorry to hear of youo still having symptoms. I hope the mri gives you some answers. Lynette
  • real happy for you that your back is showing fusing,now hopefully the MRI shows why your still having numbness.
    just be careful with that bending at work, tie a string on your finger to remind yourself that your still healing.
    hope all goes well with this MRI and it will tell the doctors what they are looking for.

    take'r easy and be careful :SS
  • Thank you all so much! i have no idea what to think or to feel...His asking for another MRI TODAY really surprised me! I wasn't too worried about the numbness, honestly, I worry more about the swelling and assumed they were related....

    So I will do my best to not worry!

    Tomorrow I go back to work and I am terrified! I am now in my soft brace, which after wearing the TLSO, I don't even feel it!

    After being off for so long and through so much, I feel like I have cobwebs in my brain! I hope I can remember all that I once knew....:)

    I pray that I will be able to sleep tonight! I often don't sleep well when hubby is out of town. My dingo/rhodeshian ridge back is very, very protective when he is gone. Sleeping by the front door and hypersensative!

    Thanks again for your support, I will feel your presence tomorrow as I begin the next phase of this journey!

    With much admiration and appreciation!
  • I just stopped working. No way in the world am I going with you tomorrow!!! I'll be home in your pool - waiting to see how you did.

    Can't wait to hear :)
  • I so hope that you have a good day tomorrow. Please listen to your body, and not do too much.

    My surgeon has an interesting view on returning to work and I wanted to share it with you. He said that I may never be able to return to my job, but that I would have to tell him when I thought I was ready to return to work. Maybe this was because I have an extremely physical job, but it does make a lot of sense. You are the only person that knows if your body is ready for the pace of your job. I just want you to remember that if it becomes to difficult for you. It is not a sign of failure, just that you are human, and the body needs a certain amount of time to heal.

    I'm saying a prayer for you tomorrow :-)

  • Oh my gosh Kris that is so funny!! You have the drinks icy and I'll be there about 4:15 after my first long, hard day!! :)

    I prefer blended, but not frozen! :) HA!!

  • Thank you so much Lisa! Your words are so meaningful as I have contemplated the meaning of failure a lot these past few days!

    That exact emotion has simmered to the top several times recently....I have been reassured by my surgeon, PM, friends (including you) that this is s journey....it is not a straight and narrow path, but often an unmarked trail.

    I am on this trail with a compass but not a map! :)

    Thank you for helping to give me direction!

    I have no idea what the future holds for me....but I will get there, with a little help from my friends!

    Thank you!
  • I never thought of myself being on a "journey", but I like the sound of that allot. I had to give up my job in the government that I worked in almost 8 years. In April I was told by my work comp. Dr. that I'll never be able to lift anything over 20 pounds ever again, so my job has let me go. At first I thought I had failed my family (my hubby is on disability and I carried all the medical insurance),but I'm learning to take one day at a time and not try to figure out how this is going to play out in the end. Somehow good is going to come out of all of this. It's just going to be a journey in the next months. :)

  • Shari,
    Thinking of you and praying that you are fast asleep and resting well ready for today/tomorrow. (|:

    I've already said a prayer for your day today and will continue to think of you. Take it easy! Just ease back in as carefully as you are able.

    I spoke to my physio yesterday again about returning to work, and he said I should wait until September!!
    There are 5 more weeks of this year left and then 6 weeks of summer break. He said I am not ready yet, and my back muscles are still tight and spasming with some of the moves I attempt to do.
    I should just relax and enjoy the summer.

    I'll have to start doing the painting and other craft things I'd planned to do during my recovery.
    It is amazing how little I get done during the day. By the time I've had a leisurely breakfast, showered, done my walk, exercises, been on Spine Health to say hello to my friends, done the laundry, a little bit of cleaning etc. Wow! Is that the time?
    Hubby is home and it's time to prepare the evening meal.

    I'll be waiting to hear how you get on my friend. :H
    Remember, you be careful, but enjoy being back with all the babies and their mums and your work friends. I'm almost jealous! ;)
  • Hello Shari,

    I just caught myself up reading your posts and to my understanding you were going back to work today.

    I do hope you are taking it slow and easy, don't have to be superwoman on the first day. I hope your colloegues are friendly and helpful to you. I hope at the end of your work day that you feel good about yourself for getting back to work, thats a huge accomplishment! Be very proud of yourself to have reached this goal.

    I will keep you in my prayers that your MRI comes out ok for you. I hope this neuro stuff doesn't signal anything serious for you. You have been through so much that no more bad news is in order for you, its going to keep getting better.

    I am happy to hear your husband is missing you, I truly hope things will just keep improving for you and you start to feel a whole lot better. I wish I had some magic words, but please know I do care and sending you gentle hugs and prayers.

    Jelly - I read here that your doctor has told you September for going back to work, that makes good sense since you school is so close to the nend. I laughed at the way you desribed your day, boy isn't that the truth!! LOL I have been off work for a month already and where did all my time go???

    You guys are the best support network and we all really need each other and I am glad wehave each other, and we will always be here for each other. I will answer about my surgery on my post so I don't take up all Shari's!!! LOL

    Sending you angels Shari,
    Sandra xx
  • Yesterday when I was given my work release I quickly glanced at it. I was more focused on the MRI.

    Today, my director noticed that the date to return is 16 JUL 10!! HAHAHA!!

    HR sent my thankful booty home! :) woohoo! My surgeon is in surgery today and Beumont Texas tomorrow at his office there!

    I have called and left a message early today. Called again a few minutes ago. I kid you not, they are having problems with their phones!!! They anticipate having them fixed later today! I promise I am not kidding!

    YEA HA!! I wasn't able to get my errands done yesterday as I was at the hospital all day. So now that is done, I am going to take my daughter and her friend out for lunch and then work out in the pool!!

    Finally, the ball rolls my way!! Even hubby isn't upset, saying, "it's an honest mistake!" I love my skip day!

  • Hey Shari,

    What a wonderful gift! An extra day to get things done. You enjoy it girl!! :D

    Have a drink by your pool for me! We could do with a pool here today. It is just glorious. Clear blue skies and warm sunshine. Just how I like it. :-)

  • The age old saying of too much time on your hands leads to no good. While I am waiting for a return phone call from the surgeon, I put in the CD of the MRI yesterday in atttempt to self diagnose...bad Jayhawk, bad!

    There definately seems to be a possibility of an issue at L3-4 but who knows if it is significant or not.

    I thought I would be too busy to worry, but now with time on my hands and needing to wait by the phone, I am worrying.

    I am also very tired and have had a rough pain day. I am really having a hard time adjusting to my new soft brace. It rubs on the bone graph and is quite painful.

    I am kind of sad and weepy....Wish I didn't have to wait until Tue night to find out! Although a week turn around is very short for my surgeon. In the past, there is a wait for the hospital to get the referral, then for them to schedule, and after it is finished, then a wait for a follow up.

    Not sure what to make of the fact he wanted such a quick time frame.

    Too much time to think and worry. Thank you for letting me vent....hurry and wait......watching for the kettle to boil....
  • Sending you some O:) O:) O:) O:) to watch over you and bring you some peace as you wait for your MRI results.

    I am seeing a rheumatologist next week (waited three months for the appt.) to try to find out what's going on with my body. Every since I developed sciatica in 08, I've had fatigue and joint issues. This woman doctor comes highly recommended and I have hopes that she will find out what's going on.

    Anyway, sending you good wishes for less painful days, a smooth entry back to work and stress free days ahead.

    Take care,

  • Thank you Judy! I hope your appointment goes well next week, I will look forward to hearing how it went. Hopefully she will be able to help solve the puzzle!

    It isn't fun to have painful joints on top of back pain. Seems like you should only have to suffer from one or the other!

    Wishing you the very best and thanks for your kind words! :)
  • I hope there's nothing major on your MRI. Prayers for you. What a nice surprise about your work start back date! Hopefully some time spent relaxing and getting yourself stronger. Best wishes. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Thank you Charry, you are always so thoughtful and kind. When I see your name next to a post, I look forward to reading it! :)

    It seems crazy to think that I could have an issue already...it's only been 14 weeks.

    When I look at the MRI, it is amazing to me how clear many of the images are!

    It is also startling to see the amount of soft tissue imflammation there is. It helps me to now understand why it is still "so early". There is a ton! And you really can't tell from looking at my back!

    I hope you are doing well! I hope you are finding some relief from your pain! Thank you for your support!

  • So sorry that you had a rough pain day yesterday. :-(
    What a good thing that there was a mix up with the return to work date. It gave you an extra day to rest and relax (and have fun with your daughter and friend).

    Try not to stress too much about your MRI scan. Stressing won't change anything. Easy for me to say!!

    Perhaps your soft brace needs to be checked to make sure that it is a good fit. I don't wear a brace, but if it is hurting you, that doesn't sound right. Is it the site where your graft was taken from your hip that is sore?

    Try to focus on the things that you have going on between now and Tuesday, rather than the doctor's appointment. You are going to a wedding this weekend, aren't you? Tell me about what you are going to wear. :-)

    You know, my friend, that we are here for you to support you through whatever comes along. :D You are not alone.

    God is in control! :)
  • Thank you so much my sweet friend1 :)

    I was so blessed to be able to have yesterday to spend with Vivianne and her bff. Her bff is from Swedan, so in a week she will be going back for the summer. I know it makes my daughter sad. I feel for her and I worry as she is an only child. We are trying to let the girls spend as much time as they can together.

    I feel better today, the sun is shining. Endurance is going to be the key to getting thru the week and I just don't have as much as I need.

    I bought some tylenol pm yesterday, to take if I have trouble sleeping on a work night! I slept great last night! I didn't move all night! :)

    I am looking forward to the wedding! I just worry that it will all be too much.

    I have 3 choices for the wedding, as I am not sure what to wear.

    It is a 2nd wedding for both so it is very casual. It is also outside at 2:00pm in the heat of the Texas sun! :(

    Sooooo, it creates quite a bit of delema. I don't want to be overdressed or dressier than the wedding party.

    I have a causal dress that I love for the reherssal dinner party. Hopefully after that I will have a better idea,

    My dear, dear friend (20+ year friendship) will be in a near by city for business. He will drive down here tonight or tomorrow, pick up his 7 year old son, and myself and V. and will drive us to Austin. I'm not able to and hubby is still in Vegas.

    The bottom of my brace sits right on the top of the bone graph site. It is so tender on it's own. I couldn't figure out what it was, my surgeon said "oh, that? It the bone graph!"

    The brace just really aggrevates it. Hopefully, I can figure something out!

    I hope you have a wonderful day! I'll check for you on FB and here when I get home around 4:30 CST.
  • on your journey to the wedding, but do try to relax and have some fun. I hope you enjoy it and just make sure you are able to sit and take breaks to get some rest inbetween times so that you can make it through the day.

    I am glad your dates were wrong on the work release, hee hee, nice one! I hope things are going to work out good for you when you get back into the swing of things, just take it easy and rest when you get home.

    Keep us posted on the MRI results, you know how much we all care about you and we are right here waiting right along with you!!

    I wish we could all do more to help each other, but just know your not alone, we are all on this journey with you.

    Sandra xx

  • Wouldn't it be great if we could all meet up and have a spiney party. <:P <:P <:P <:P <:P

    We could meet around a pool to help with pain, with comfy sunbeds and lots of pillows.
    Ice and heat pads at the ready.
    Lots of healthy food, lots of water to take our pain meds!!
    Perhaps some not so healthy food and cocktails too!!
    8} @)
    And the most amazing company :D

    Take care all
    Have a good day :-)
  • That sounds great...doesn't Jayhawk have a pool? Wish I did..but living in wisconsin we don't get too many really hot days. Ahh..laying on a floatie with a drink in my hand..sounds nice!!!
    Would be a blast to meet you all.

  • i'm all for the not to healthy food and cocktails. :D

    would they have like a coat check where we could leave our walkers and canes. :))(

    just a thought.
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