So today is the one week mark since my epidural. I feel some relief, but I'd say overall it is 10-20%. I now understand how narrow my thecal sac is. It is 7mm, normal is 12mm, and at just 10mm it is considered stenotic. My hubby's is at 8-9mm and 3 years ago Dr. IMovedAwaytoTexas was going to do the minimally invasive surgery, now if he has surgery, it will be a bit more than that, he will have a laminectomy but just at one level - and he's been through the gamut of conservative therapy including epidurals. He never got much relief. Monday, I can call my doc with my decision on whether to get another injection or just go on with the surgery, which I know involves a laminectomy on 3 or 4 levels and possible rods and screws. I've gained my weight that I always do when given steroids - doesn't help the back. We all know epidurals provide pain relief but don't 'fix the problem'. Part of this is that hubs and I feel we need to close the book on the accident that put us in such bad shape. The down side of surgery for me is a 3-4 day hospital stay, which sounds to me like a lot of pain and using up my vacation days and possibly needing to go on short term disability for a week or 2 at 60% pay and I"m the major bread winner. Some day, the other driver's insurance will have to pay for that, but until then we play banker for the insurance company. I do telecommute and work from my computer all day for my job. So, for those of you that have had surgeries, how soon do you think I'd be able to do that? Pretty intense work, yes I can get up and take a break, but if I'm in the middle of a report, sure don't want to, basically have to start all over and the more I do, the better it is because I can possibly make a bonus each week. Not making the bonus wouldn't be the end of the world, but not making just the goal would disqualify me from making that bonus for 2 weeks. But I'm leaning towards having the surgery and getting it over with. My hubby doubts his epi will work but is hoping and praying, but will definitely have the surgery if he doesn't have superb results, and he had 3 already - last June, August and in Feb, one week before the wreck. He won't get paid while he is out and he'll be out completely for 2 weeks, and then can work part time and work himself back up to normal over a period of time. I think if I just go on with epidurals indefinitely, I'll be like him and need even more surgery. His doctor even said there is a 10-20% chance he'll need more surgery on the discs above L4-L5 later on, which he'd do if he had to. So I'm at a crossroads. I have to take a vacation day every time I have an epidural, and I'm just a couple days away from not having the required 2 weeks of vacation in order to get paid for the first 2 weeks, so there is that to think about too. I know I've read about people in spine-health having surgery and the overwhelming majority are so glad they did, wish they would have done it sooner, etc. So at 2am, I'm up thinking what should I do, what should I do.
If the epidural would have provided more relief, I'd probably stick with them for a while. The day after was great, but it's been a roller coaster ever since and I certainly can't do all the things I need/want to do, even around the house. Still can't lift my grandbabies - and they only stay babies so long and that's paramount to me.
What would you do, each of you?
I am who I am!