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So much worse than I thought :(

LA_runner_chickLLA_runner_chick Posts: 91
edited 08/10/2012 - 9:38 AM in Depression and Coping
I had a CT scan last week, and have an appointment on Monday to go over the results with my surgeon, who wouldn't give them out on the phone. I was in the area and stopped by my hospital medical records department to get a copy.

A part of me was like, "Wait! Don't! It's a beautiful Friday before a fun-filled weekend, don't spoil it with potentially crappy news -- and it can't be that crappy after all, I mostly feel ok, but wait till Monday!"

Of course I didn't.

My back has gotten so much worse in the 18 months sine my last MRI. I thought I was just dealing with DDD, stenosis, a pinched nerve and spondy at L5/S1 ("just" -- ha ha, like I'm just dealing with a hangnail or a cold), and instead, I have moderate to several stenosis at L4/L5 and L5/SI, moderate stenosis at L3/L4, and a bunch of other stuff that sounds terrible. Sorry for being so imprecise, but you get what I'm saying.

The thing that baffles me is that I'm not in any pain -- I get a little discomfort from my SI joint problems, but on a bad day, that's maybe a 2 or a 3.

My only symptoms are slight weakness and a minor loss of reflex in my foot/ankle area (which is devastating enough, because I love running).

I guess my freakout is premature; I am sure my doctor will offer me a perspective and solutions on Monday.

I'm trying to stay upbeat, and count my blessings -- and I have so many! But right now, I am caught in that self-pitying spiral: Why me, God? Haven't I had enough misery and pain in my lifetime? How can this happen to me after I've taken such good care of myself? What's going to happen to me?

I don't want to feel crappy. I am generally good about staying upbeat and on an even keel with stuff like meditation, mantras, doing a gratitude journal, and doing stuff that brings me pleasure. But these feelings are so big and so real, I feel like I would do myself a disservice if I just kept going on, like "LA LA LA LA LA."

So yeah, that's where I am right now. I wish I had waited till Monday. :(

Sorry for rambling.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,832
    edited 08/10/2012 - 7:38 PM
    Many times, the reports and images can present themselves with a bigger problem than there really is. I am not saying
    that your reports are incorrect, but when I read something for someone like yourself who is upbeat and positive, I just want to see that trend continue.

    There really isnt anything you cant handle. You talk about the pain levels and that is good, so sure the stenosis, DDD, and whats next will present their challenges.

    I believe in traditional medicine. There are so many situations, where that handles it all. BUT.... Back in 2006, with my thoracic problems, the traditional treatments ( PT,ESI, Tens, Medications,etc) were really not doing much. I have an outstanding relationship with my physiatrist, she knew I believed in alternative medicine, so taking me beyond Music and Aroma therapy, Mediation, Acupuncture, so put me on to the Thai master I have been seeing since then. That saved me and has helped enjoy life.

    Now, LA_runner_chick, I see you as a person with a totally open mind and a strong mind. So, right now, you may be on a down side of a swing, but I know that come Monday, when you would have see the reports, you will be much more upbeat and saying, Oh, what the hell, I can beat this

    After all, isnt that you!
    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
  • Hey you have to be smart and make sure nothing is gonna be potentially dangerous and make sure you know what things to do so that 2-3 level does not increase, but other than that I would just go with the flow and enjoy that 2-3 level. The pain definitly does not sound like it has you overwhelmed or keeps you from a good quality of life. There could be other factors you dont even realize such as , was it same radiologist that read both MRI's? If not you might have had the same stuff for those 18 months and never knew about it. Talk to your doctor and if you are very worried see if that radiologist could compare it to last MRI and see how much its changed.
    Herniated T6-7, multiple herniations in cervical, tears in T5-T8. Stenois at levels and smorls nodes from thoracic thru lumbar
  • Anelsen is right about other factors. When the first MRI I had showed severe stenosis at one of my levels, my big question was why I wasn't having radicular symptoms at all. The doctor explained that I have a very wide spinal canal that "you could drive a train through" so there was a chance I wouldn't ever have radicular symptoms despite the level of encroachment. Things have changed since then and I won't bore you with the details, but when you go Monday, you may find out you have less to worry about than you think. I hope so! I share Ron's hope that you can continue your positivity and find relief through non-traditional methods. I also hope your doctor is able to tell you about other findings on the MRI/CT that will make your situation not as bad as it sounds!
  • dilauro said:

    Now, LA_runner_chick, I see you as a person with a totally open mind and a strong mind. So, right now, you may be on a down side of a swing, but I know that come Monday, when you would have see the reports, you will be much more upbeat and saying,
    Oh, what the hell, I can beat this

    After all, isnt that you!

    Well said! Just what I was thinking for her!


    You are feeling good, so you ARE good! Rejoice and be glad in what you have been blessed with!
    Now, I will try really hard to not covet thy neighbor's freedom from mind-blowing pain... ;). Heehee!

    Just joking. Please keep us inspired with your progress! It's uplifting to hear of someone doing so well and knowing that a crummy MRI reading isn't a death sentence. :)


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