I'm having a pretty frustrating time here...I've posted a few topics re: ESI's, meds, etc. but now my next question is...
When should I finally just ask for a consult with my neurosurgeon?
My short story is that I started having back & leg pain again in the middle of September after having a micro-d two years ago. I've been seeing my pain management doc since the middle of October and have had two ESI's; my most recent one was this past Wednesday, Nov 11th. I have been on Zanaflex, Tylenol, Aleve & Vicodin (now I only have 3 left); I started Elavil last week but didn't tolerate the 25mg dose and I have cut down to 12.5mg but still haven't taken it long enough to see any benefits.
Since my ESI on Wednesday, I only experienced about 15 hrs of relief. I know it takes a good 3-7 days for the steroids to take effect but now I'm having increasing symptoms! Today is day #3 since my ESI. Most specifically I woke up this afternoon for work tonight and my left big toe was numb. I went to work, started experiencing spasms in my back and leg...it was decided that I should just leave because I could barely walk. (At that point I also broke out in tears...again). By the time I left work, the numbness spread to the top of my foot as well as my left calf. While waiting for my relief to come in, I had to lay down in an empty patient room because it was the only tolerable position. I got home, took two Zanaflex and a Vicodin and a lot of the pain eased up.
I'm feeling quite anxious about all of this...I asked the pain mgmt doc that did my injection on Wednesday as to when it would be a good idea to consult with the neurosurgeon and her answer was, "The last thing you want is more surgery because then you'll just have more scar tissue." This wasn't a very concrete answer in the very least. I have an issue with her statement because I don't see where it says I have scar tissue in my MRI report. Also, she looked at my MRI pics when I had my first epidural in October (no report was available yet) and she definitely saw the extrusion but said nothing about scar tissue. Now she is convinced that scar tissue is a big cause of my pain (I think she misready my MRI report) and wants to do a special procedure (epidural neurolysis) in lieu of another ESI. I can't find a lot of information about this procedure and I'm not too sure I want it done. I do trust this doc (she is the best at this in the area) but I am kind of weary at the same time...
Right now, I want to sit down with my primary pain mgmt doc and have her explain the MRI results to me. I want to request a neurosurgery consult just to hear what his ideas are because I don't see how much longer I can keep going on like this. I work 12 hours shifts, 3 nights a week as a nurse. I have had to leave work early now 2 out of the last five shifts I've worked. I have been contemplating asking for 8 hour shifts temporarily but if I need surgery then I'm just wasting everyone's time. If there is scar tissue, I want my surgeon to show it to me. From my understanding, if scar tissue is my issue shouldn't it have reared its ugly head in a long time ago?
Basically, I'm just really frustrated and the new symptoms are freaking me out.
Thanks for reading!