Well yesterday I had my first appt with a new surgeon. I wanted a fresh set of eyes on my case as I don't seem to be getting anywhere with the original surgeon.
I told him my long and sorry tale. He was seemed to think I should have had IV antibiotics with my initial wound infection and he did agree that my back leaking copiously for 4 weeks and taking 6 weeks to heal was not normal. He was shocked that my surgeon had said that when my scar blistered and then oozed at 9 month post op that it was put down to be a stitch sinus.
The good news is that he thinks remaining infection is unlikely and his review of my MRI (without contrast) done on 11th Feb suggests no active infection. (I suppose I could still have a biofilm infection in a dormant phase but let's hope not!)
I did explain that appart from the bloods taken just prior to my hardware removal that all my bloods came back normal.
There was a "reaction to something" in the disc space at the level I am fused. He didn't know whether it was a bit of remaining disc or what. But there was a flash of white in there.
He has ordered standing x rays (never had those before), new bloods testing for everything again (inc thyroid due to my remaining tiredness), MRI with contrast and a CT.
He wants to check how much I am actually fused. I have been wondering this week if that might actually be the problem as I have had a return of "classic" back of the leg L5S1 pain, whereas post fusion I have had L4L5 front of leg pain mostly. This pain isn't constant but the other morning it felt like something had moved and I could barely put weight on my right leg and I could have drawn a line from my spine to my heel following the pain!
He did say that my reflexes and everything neurological are fine so that is good. Doesn't help with the pain, but it is good!
I will see him again on 5th April so I hope that I might get some sort of answer at that point.
In the meantime I am thinking of taking the antidepressants my GP offered. Maybe the reason I could sleep the clock round is because I am more depressed than I like to admit. I think I try hard to keep myself bouyant, but just like with the whole back problem, I do tend to downplay things. Maybe they would help with the pain too?
Anyway, after my trip yesterday I hurt more. I think the reason I have been managing is because I have been off work and I have been really babying myself. It was only an hour each way and I was at the hospital for two hours but I was exhausted and in quite a lot of pain by tea time last night.
Thanks for listening. It is so good to have these forums to "talk" to. I am sure friends and family get fed up with hearing about it!