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KimD592KKimD592 Posts: 435
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Chronic Pain
Okay, so I've been in serious pain today. I had my surgery, a two-level posterior thoracic discectomy, exactly 4 weeks ago. Things were getting better day-by-day, until two weeks ago. The discs my NS operated on were herniated to the right and caused mid-back pain that radiated around my ribcage and to the front. So anyway, two weeks ago I developed left sided pain that wraps around my ribcage and to the front. It's a mirror image of the pre-op pain I was having, except it's even worse (to the point it makes me nauseous) and it's on the left side. I should mention that the MRI I had back in November, as well as the CT myelogram on 5/12, both showed multiple herniated discs. T8-9 and T9-10 were the worst, and those were the ones I had operated on. T7-8 was also herniated, but to the left. He said since it wasn't causing any symptoms at the time, he was going to leave it alone. Well, when I was in the hospital after the surgery, they sent me for a stat CT scan because I was in an immense amount of pain post-op. He said the discs he operated on looked fine, but T7-8 has gotten worse in a two-month period. He still said we'll just wait and see, because I wasn't having any symptoms. He said if it came down to having surgery on it, he could try to do it posteriorly, but there was a good chance he'd have to convert to an anterior approach, which is a much riskier surgery.

So when this left-sided pain started 2 weeks ago, the first thing my husband and I thought about was this other disc. I waited a couple of days to see if it would go away, but it didn't, so I called my NS's office. I spoke with one of the NP's, and she felt that it was inflammation that was causing this pain, so she put me on a round of Prednisone. I took the full dose of Prednisone, but it didn't do anything for the pain. In the meantime I was continuing to take 800 mg of Motrin three times a day, as well as oxycodone and flexeril at bedtime. I can only take Motrin during the day, because the other stuff knocks me out, and I have three children to take care of. Over the weekend this past weekend, I felt really good. My mother-in-law took the kids Friday night and kept them all day Saturday. I spent the entire time resting on the couch, so I had very little pain, if any. So I decided to stop taking the Motrin, because it really upsets my stomach. I don't need a GI bleed on top of everything else. I still took the oxy and flexeril at bedtime, since the pain typically worsens by evening time.

Well, Monday comes around and it was back to the grind...taking care of four kids (I'm babysitting my BFF's 8-year old son while she works). The boys are both older, so they were able to help me out a lot, so I was still able to spend most of the day on the couch. I got up to husk some corn, and in the 5 to 10 minutes it took for me to husk the corn, the pain became intolerable. It made me physically sick. I resumed taking the Motrin, and took the stronger meds once DH got home. So what I'm still noticing is that as long as I'm sitting or laying down, I feel fine. But if I'm on my feet longer than a few minutes, I end up with severe left-sided pain. The longer I'm on my feet, the worse it gets. As it intensifies, it wraps around my ribcage to the front, and eventually shoots down my left leg.

I called and spoke with the NP again yesterday, and she sounded truly concerned. I told her everything I just told you all, and she put me on hold to run it by the doctor. she came back on the phone and said he doesn't want to do an MRI just yet, because he thinks it'll just show inflammation. They want me to continue to take the Motrin three times a day religiously, and I am supposed to call on Friday if it doesn't get any better. If I have any increased pain, numbness/tingling/weakness in my legs, or loss of bowel/bladder control, I'm to call immediately. Well, today I had my lift assessment for my new job. My NS gave me the okay to do it, but with a 10 lb weight restriction. It went perfectly fine until I had to walk for 10 minutes on the treadmill. I went at a pretty slow pace, but by the end the pain was starting to get pretty bad. I grinned and bared it, but popped a Motrin as soon as I got home. I layed down on the couch, since both girls were napping, and I figured I'd take a quick nap as well. I thought I'd feel better once I woke up, but nope...the pain was getting worse and worse. I took another Motrin, along with TWO Lidoderm patches, oxy, flexeril, valium, and ultram (spaced out, of course). After taking all of that, you'd think I'd be pain-free, but the pain is still pretty bad...though not as bad as it was.

I'm just not sure what to make of all of this. I feel like I've literally traded one pain for another, and this one is even worse. I know one month post-op is not a long time, but I feel like I should be doing a little better by now. And I want to believe that they are right and it is related to inflammation, but the Prednisone didn't help and the Motrin doesn't even begin to touch the pain. If it were inflammation-related, wouldn't the Prednisone have helped at least a little bit? Then I thought maybe it's muscular, but it's a burning pain, which feels more like nerve pain to me. Does it sound like it's that other disc that may be acting up? Given the severity of my pain this evening, do you think I should still wait until Friday to call, or should I call them tomorrow?

Sorry this is so long. I'm just desperate for answers. I had the surgery thinking it would help with my pain, and now I'm having new pain and taking more meds than ever. I have my own little pharmacy here at home.


  • I feel for you. I am the same time post op as you, 4 weeks. I don't feel any better than I did pre surgery, sometimes worse. I am on all my pre surgery meds ( ER and IR narcotics, valium and lyrica) I know that at my last appointment, last week, he said it takes a lot of time to heel 8 to 12 weeks to know if the surgery helped or not. I know that your situation is different as you are having similiar pre surgery pain but in a different location.
    Please continue not to push yourself, I'm sure it must be hard with little ones at home.Recovery really is a journey, a marathon it seems.Are you able to do a lot of walking in between resting? I still walk with a cane, but am trying to walk as much as I can, between resting.I feel the worst of my pain in the evening/night as well, and getting out of bed in the morning is also quite the event.

    Sounds like you had a pretty good weekend, while you were relaxing. This could be your bodies way of telling you to take it easy, that is what it needs.

    Take care >:D<
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • I try to take a short walk every day, to at least get myself out of the house and get some fresh air. But as I said before, within 5 to 10 minutes, that left-sided pain starts, and it gets bad quickly. My pain will go from a 2 to an 8 or 9 within just a few minutes of being on my feet. I just feel like this can't be normal. I understand that back surgery is a major ordeal and recovery takes a long time, but I feel like I've gone backwards. I was able to walk more the first two weeks than I am able to now. Granted, I no longer need to use the walker, so that's at least an improvement. And the right-sided pain I was having that led to me having surgery is almost completely gone. That, at least, has gotten significantly better. But this left-sided pain is absolutely excrutiating. And once it starts, it's very difficult to get rid of...even WITH the stronger pain meds and resting on the couch. I've been sitting on the couch all evening, since my husband got home from work, and the pain is maybe down to a 6...and that's after taking motrin, oxy, flexeril, valium, tramadol, and two lidoderm patches. I'm trying to remain optimistic, so I keep telling myself that it's inflammation that's putting pressure on the nerves and causing this pain. But I guess I'm starting to doubt that. My husband is furious because he thinks I need to have a repeat MRI now. So I'm trying to remain calm and downplay the severity of it. Lucky for me, I start my new job on Monday. I have two days of orientation, so I'll be able to sit all day, which will be a nice break. Lol, it's pretty sad when going to work is considered a break.
  • So sorry to hear you are in so much pain

    First of all, my doctor told me CT can be unreliable with disc diagnosis and MRI is much more accurate - although I am in the UK so maybe there is a different method where you are so apologies if I am wrong :-)

    Did you have any leg pain on the right side before your surgery? Not sure if thoracic discs cause leg pain normally?

    I have a large rupture much further down at L5/S1 and I get pain under my ribs at night which hurts when I breath - like a burning sensation. Strange that such a low down disc can cause pain higher up so maybe it can be vice versa.

    Are your lumbar discs all ok?

    When the doctor said to call immediately if you get leg weakness, bowel/bladder weakness etc, it is the lumbar discs that cause this problem (cauda equina)

    I would push for another MRI - maybe possible they could have worsened T7/8 during surgery. I know it can sometime take time for discs to leak enough to cause nerve inflammation after injury which would explain why you were feeling better for the first couple of weeks

    There is definitely something going on and I think they should be seeing you asap - if there is any new nerve impingement it needs addressing before it leads to permanent damage

    Good luck and I do hope your pain settles

  • that you probably need to have another MRI to see what is going on. I know that you said that you had one after your surgery and what it showed. This was before you were having the significant pain on the left side.
    I especially worry about you since you are starting your new job on Monday, feeling the way you are. I know financially it is necessary, but I would want to know what is going on exactly in that area before or as soon as possible after starting your job.

    I have the same fears as you regarding my back. My doctor is sending me for an xray, although I really don't know if that is going to show much either way. Xrays don't show the discs or nerves so don't really see the point.

    Thinking of you Kim, and may we all soon find some relief to our pain.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Yes, I've had numbness and tingling in both legs for a couple of months prior to the surgery. There are parts of my legs and feet that are numb to touch. And occasionally I get sciatica, but it's typically in my left leg.

    I had a lumbar MRI, but it was an open MRI and I've heard the images are not as good with those. And, he only ordered the lumbar MRI in order to use it to count up during the surgery, to make sure he was operating on the correct levels. He didn't mention any herniations in the lumbar discs, but I'm going to ask him about it at my appt on 8/23.

    The loss of bowel/bladder and lower extremity weakness can also happen with thoracic discs. There is not as much space in the area of the thoracic spine, so it is a major concern with the t-spine.

    Surprisingly, I took a lot of pain meds last night and it barely helped. I woke up feeling okay this morning, so we'll see how this morning goes. If the pain gets worse again, I'll call today instead of waiting until Friday.
  • HI,
    Read your latest posts, and in my opinion, something is not right here and needs to be looked at ASAP!
    When you have any spine surgery, it takes a little while for you spine to adjust, but this is not normal...what you are now feeling... You do need another MRI, and hopefully it will be soon. Call and speak to the dr, not anyone else... I must be lucky cause with all the surgeries I have had, if I call, it may be a few minutes, but I speak to the dr in between patients. Do not wait on this... you have a job and family to consider, and do not want to end up with more problems than you are already dealing with! Take care of yourself, do your best, rest and find the answer!
  • Thank you, Frannie. I think I'm going to give them a call today. So far the pain isn't too bad, but then again I just woke up and haven't been on my feet a whole lot yet. However, I do have sciatica in my left leg, and this is also becoming more common since the surgery. The Motrin isn't doing anything for my pain. It was only after I took oxy, flexeril, valium, and ultram (not all at once, of course), that the pain became somewhat tolerable. I ended up having to take a second oxy 4 hours later, and I was finally able to fall asleep. But I was in bad shape last night. Something is definitely not right, and with that other disc brewing, I'm a little nervous.
  • Sorry, I didn't realise thoracic discs could interfere with bladder etc nerves - As the horses tail comes in after L1 I assumed only the lumbar would compress them

    I have read that open MRI's are not as clear so it's difficult to tell from them I think - it needs the enclosed space to get a good image.

    As Frannie said, something is not right but hopefully it is just your spine adjusting

    Hope today is a better day for you


  • I was feeling pretty good all day today, until I got up to get dinner in the oven. I was on my feet for maybe 10 minutes. My husband had already mixed up the ground beef for meatloaf tonight, so all I had to do was shape it and put it in the oven. Just in that short amount of time, the pain hit like a freight train.

    I'm not concerned about starting my job on Monday, because it's a desk job and I'll be sitting, which isn't a problem for me. The problem is being on my feet...that is when the pain starts. And once it starts it's hard to get rid of. The Motrin isn't doing anything, and I've been taking the 800 mg three times a day religiously, like the doctor wanted me to, but I'm still having the pain. So I'm going to call the office tomorrow and let them know that I'm still experiencing this left-sided pain and sciatica in my left leg.
  • I decided to call the NS office today, since she told me to call if I was still having this left-sided pain. I spoke with the NP and she got a hold of the surgeon. They decided to send me for a repeat MRI and CT scan of the thoracic spine, with and without contrast. They know I have other discs that are herniated, so they want to see if it's one of these other discs acting up.

    They are going to fax me the scripts, so that hopefully I can get in next week to have these tests done. They said it's not emergent at this point, but if I have any increased weakness in my legs or loss of bowel/bladder, obviously I'd need to call right away.

    Ugh! I feel like this nightmare is starting all over again.
  • Oh dear

    I hope it all turns out ok for you - at least they are going to do more imaging fairly quickly

    Let us know how it goes

  • Will definitely keep you posted.
  • Here's hoping you get some much needed relief soon, Kim. Hang in there! :-)

  • Thanks Charlie! This is all just so frustrating. To top it off, I'm getting sick yet again. I have a sore throat and chest congestion...thinking it might be the start of bronchitis
  • Ugh.......hope it's not bronchitis. Been there done that, had that after my first ACDF in '07, talk about scary.....was afraid coughing would pop the fusion!

    Hoping youre doing better!
  • you all the best on your first day at your new job Kim! Let us know how it went.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Hey everyone! Well, it turned out to be a virus...not bronchitis, thank goodness. I had a fever for about a day and a half, along with body aches and chills. Everyone kept asking how my back was, but with the body aches, I couldn't tell. Plus, I spent the entire weekend in bed. Good thing because I woke up this morning feeling good as new, aside from the back.

    So anyway, today was my first day of work. Today and tomorrow are hospital-wide orientation, so they are two full days of routine getting-to-know the hospital type stuff. It's pretty standard for every hospital you go to. I was doing pretty well for about half of the day. By lunchtime the pain kicked in, just from the short walk to the cafeteria and then standing to get my food and standing in line. Plus, the chairs in the conference room we were in were not that comfortable. Prior to going to work I had taken a Motrin 800, and I brought 3 with me just in case. I ended up not taking them because I'm finding the Motrin does NOTHING for me except upset my stomach. I managed to get through the rest of the day. I got home and popped TWO Motrin (bad, I know), and even that didn't help. So I caved and took an Oxycodone about 45 minutes ago. That's finally helping a little bit. The pain is absolutely excrutiating. I feel like I've traded one pain for another, except this one is worse...MUCH worse. In some ways I'm regretting having had the surgery, although perhaps eventually this would have happened anyway, if it is, in fact, another disc acting up.

    I had the MRI on Saturday (no results yet) and the CT scan today. The CT scan was with and without contrast and was just on levels T8-T10. I guess he also wanted to check the surgical site, which the CT scan will give a better picture of. Apparently the MRI, at this stage of the game, will still show a lot of inflammation. I requested the results of both the MRI and CT scan be sent to me as well. I'll keep you posted.
  • Okay, so I've had both a t-spine MRI and lumbar MRI in the past. The t-spine MRI showed multipled herniations, big and small, from T5 all the way down to T11. I just went for a repeat t-spine MRI on Saturday, but I don't have the results yet. While I was there, I was able to obtain a copy of the report from the lumbar MRI, and it was completely NORMAL. I have to admit I was a bit surprised. From everything I've read, it seems lumbar and cervical tend to be the most common areas to have herniations. Due to the thoracic spine having the ribs attached, it is typically more stable, so the likelihood of having a herniated disc in that reason, much less one that needs surgical intervention, is much less. I've never had a cervical MRI, but I have no neck pain whatsoever, so I'm guessing all is fine in that area.

    Anyway, I guess I'm curious as to how it is that I could have so many thoracic herniations, yet my lumbar spine is completely fine. And this all started after I lifted my daughter that fateful day in October 2010. I don't remember exactly how it happened. I may have done a slight twisting motion as I was lifting her to put her in her highchair. All I remember was hearing/feeling a pop...and so my journey began. I have a hard time believing that my improper lifting technique could have led to THAT many herniated discs in the t-spine. The first NS I had seen (not the one who performed my surgery) mentioned that often times people with multiple t-spine herniations, like myself, are later on diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, but I have yet to read any literature to back that up. I'm going to ask my NS at UPenn about it at my follow-up appt on the 23rd, unless my appt gets bumped up. I already set up an appt with a rheumatologist, but it isn't until mid-sept. And if the surgeon at UPenn doesn't think I have AS, then I'm not going to waste the money seeing a rheumy.
  • sorry, posted by mistake!

  • Hey Kim..I read both posts..and the one about being in so much pain after going to work yesterday...

    You are only ONE month out of surgery!...I personally think you are trying to go too fast and may end up harming yourself in the long run by not giving your body enough time to recover from that type of surgery..

    That's why you are in so much pain...even worse than before the surgery by the end of the day...

    And even though it's a bit odd...but what wonderful news that your lumbar and cervial regions don't have any issues! That is a huge blessing!

    I wouldn't try to worry about figuring out the 'why'...I would just concentrate on healing from this surgery...and then doing things down the road that can keep your back strong..Especially focused on keeping the abdominals strong...Doing yoga/stretching...all the types of activities that are good for your back but ONLY when you are cleared to do all of those..

    Again..you really have to look at things long term here...If you don't let the surgery heal properly...you could get more adhesions (scar tissue) because you are stressing the area too much too soon...and then keep irratating the nerves and cause permanent damage...All because you are rushing back to work only a month out..

    Just my thoughts...obviously it's up to you and your Dr.:) I just want to see you get better and heal well!
  • I would stay out longer if I could, but financially we are in a bad spot and we really need the money. My income is the higher of the two, between my husband and I. It's amazing we've survived this long without losing our home, but we've had a lot of people helping us. There have been weeks we weren't sure how we'd pay for groceries. However, the good news is that sitting down I feel fine. Today was my second day of orientation, and I felt completely fine all day. I only had a short walk from the auditorium to the cafeteria, and it didn't bother me. It wasn't until I picked up the kids from my mom's house and got home that the pain set in. And once it started, WOW was it BAD!

    In other aspects, however, I am taking it easy. My husband does all of the housework including cooking dinner. During the day I'm home alone with the kids, but my 10-year old son is a big help, and my best friend comes over on her days off of work to help me out. Once my husband gets home, I take my meds if I need them, put my feet up, and simply relax. Tonight he sent me up to bed, so I'm sitting her with a comfy pillow behind my back, typing on my laptop. However, the pain got to be so intense tonight, that even after taking Oxy IR, flexeril, valium, and Ultram, I'm still hurting! The pain is physically nauseating. So honestly, being at work is probably best for me right now, because I am able to sit and relax at work. The pain only starts after I've been on my feet for longer than about 5 to 10 minutes. When I'm home, I'm chasing after two VERY busy toddlers all day and, on occasion, lifting slightly more than I'm supposed to.
  • As I said previously, I was fine at work all day today, as I was sitting down. Once I got home the pain quickly intensified, as I was on my feet. It got to be about a 7 or 8 by the time my husband got home, at which point I took Oxy IR, valium, flexeril, AND Ultram together. Yes, I know...way too much. Please be kind, though, as I don't need lecturing right now. I was desperate for pain relief. NOTHING is helping. It brought my pain level down to maybe a 5 or 6, but within two hours it's back up to an 8 or 9. I just don't get it! I shouldn't have had the effing surgery. I should have just learned to deal with the right-sided pain, because that was CAKE compared to this left-sided pain. I feel like I really made a big mistake. I wish I could rewind the hands of time.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    but when you get to feel as badly as you describe and wanting to take additional medications, it would be much better off going to the ER.

    Anytime a pain level starts to exceed 8, its time to think about going to the Hospital
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Being able to go back to work after 4 weeks after surgery is a blessing itself. And being able to make it through the day without any serious pain even if its a desk job is also a bonus. That means you was able to at least be on your feet long enough to get ready for work and drive to work and still was able to prety much get your job done and get back home.

    Not many people can say they can do that 4 weeks out of surgery. So i think it would be premature to say should not of had surgery. If the pain is increased by the time you got home that would be totaly normal and best thing would be by then is rest.

    And i dont agree that if kim is able to return to work and able to do her sit down job that thats going to cause more damage or create more scar tissue as someone stated. It is the total oposite. Its the activity that helps prevent scar tissue from forming and growing in the wrong place. Thats why they send people to pt. Soon as they are able to do it.

    She could not of gone back to work without a dr releise i am sure so why assume that geting back to normal activity will cause further damage? Its not like she was sent back to a construction job lifting all day long. The pain might be recovering pain and it should get beter week by week hopefully. But by the end of the day and being on your feet catches up to you then i woukd lay down to bring the oain down instead of taking all the meds you describe all at once.

    Thats my opinion and i am sticking with it. Good luck and stay strong its only been 4 weeks
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • The thing is...it's not just by the end of the day. It's any time of day. ANY time I am on my feet for longer than 5, maybe 10, minutes, I get this left-sided pain, which is completely new for me. I didn't have this pain prior to the surgery. It's a burning pain in my back that wraps around my ribcage to the front. It is a mirror image of the pain that I experienced prior to the surgery, except it's on the OTHER side. It started about 3 weeks ago (2 weeks post-op). They tried a round of steroids along with high dose of Ibuprofen, since it's an anti-inflammatory, but it did absolutely nothing for me. They've given me muscle relaxers, in case the pain is muscular in nature, but they do absolutely nothing for me except make me sleepy. Okay, so I guess you can say they work because they make me tired, I fall asleep, and I wake up feeling okay until I'm on my feet again. As I've said before, I have 3 children to care for, so I cannot take anything more than Motrin during the day. I need to be clear-headed being that I have two toddlers and a 10-year old to take care of. Luckily the 10-year old helps me a lot. Today my BFF came over and is helping me out, so I'm spending the day on the couch.
  • oh and Ron, I appreciate your advice. However, unfortunately the ER is not an option for me unless I'm on the verge of dying. My husband's insurance is not the greatest so I get hit with a $200 co-pay every time I go to the ER. I still have co-pays from April that I am unable to pay. Plus I just got billed over $800 from the surgery (anesthesia and the surgery itself). And that doesn't include the other stack of medical bills I've got that piling up.
  • that you are able to take a day today to relax. Take advantage of the time you have with your BFF being there to get all the rest that you can, with walking in between.

    When is your surgeon going to go over the results of your ct scan and mri? Did you get the reports, is that how you know some of the info? Will your doctor actually go over the images himself or does he rely on the radiologist's report?

    Hope you have a pain reduced day today.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • I got a copy of the report, but my doctor's office hasn't gotten it yet. However, I'm leaving in a few minutes to pick up the images. I just don't understand how just a month ago I was told, based on a CT scan, that T7-8 had gotten worse, and now it's magically disappeared? Oh, and I was told I had multiple other herniations, small of course, from T5-6 all the way down to T10-11. But the MRI report only talks about multilevel facet disease (arthritis) and T9-10. No mention of the other level, T8-9, that I had operated on. Oh, and apparently there is a small re-herniation at T9-10, but it's not impinging the nerve root and is slightly indenting the ventral cord. However, I'm not having right-sided pain, so I could care less about that. I just want an answer as to why I'm suddenly having this left-sided pain. It's worse than the pre-op pain was. I really feel like I shouldn't have had this surgery. I was better off beforehand.
  • Oh and if they tell me it's muscular or inflammation, I seriously might freak out. Because I've been on two rounds of steroids since leaving the hospital, PLUS, I was taking up to 3200 mg of Motrin, which is an anti-inflammatory as well, per day. If it were inflammation, wouldn't the Motrin offer at least a little help, other than a potential GI bleed? It didn't help with the pain at all. The one day I had only taken one 800 mg Motrin in the morning. When I came home from work at 4:30, I was in severe pain so I said, screw it, and I took TWO 800 mg Motrin. I figured that HAD to help with the pain. NOPE! It didn't. And I'm on Valium AND flexeril for muscle spasms, but neither do more than knock me out. The pain I'm having is a burning pain, so it has to be nerve pain. Doesn't it?

    I'm just so tired...physically and mentally drained. I was sick over the weekend with a pretty high fever (up to 102). It finally broke Sunday night, and I woke up Monday feeling okay. Now, since yesterday, my glands are super swollen to the point it's hard to swallow. I'd call my PCP, but I don't even have the energy to drive to his office. I'm leaving in a little bit to pick up my films from the MRI, so that I can bring them with me to my appt with the surgeon on the 23rd. Ugh, that seems like so far away!
  • So, my NS's office called me and said, "good news, the MRI showed that you didn't re-herniate." Um, okaaaaay, so what about the excrutiating left-sided pain that I'm having that is making me regret having had the surgery? So then she says, "oh, well you'll have to wait until your appt on the 23rd and talk to the doctor about that." Seriously?! So I was just stuck SEVEN times (needed IV contrast) for TWO tests (MRI and CT scan), only to check to see if I re-herniated? I could have told them I didn't reherniate and saved my insurance company a few hundred bucks AND avoided having a few extra holes in my body! So in the meantime, I'm left continuing to suffer with this left-sided pain. It sounds like the radiologist who read the MRI didn't even look at the other levels. I guess they just wanted to look at the surgical site and make sure I didn't reherniate, which answers my question as to why there was no mention of any of the other herniated discs I was told I have.

    If the pain gets to be as bad as it was last night, I'll be going to my local ER, telling them I just had back surgery a month ago, and that I'm in excrutiating pain. I'll bring my recent films with me, and hopefully they can get to the bottom of it. The NP apologized for the fact that I'm in so much pain, but said that basically her hands are tied if I'm unable to take the pain meds except at night time. So their solution is just to push meds at me and not figure out what's causing the pain. I mean, I understand that to her 13 days doesn't seem that far away, but when you're in pain, 13 days is an eternity.

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