Anyway, the scan indicated that there has been more deterioration of the spine and in the report the word "severe" is mentioned five times. At L3-4 I have a herniated disc which is affecting the nerve root on the right side. No wonder it hurts. At L4-5, there is another herniated disc which is affecting the nerve root on the left side. No wonder it hurts. There is also severe left facet joint arthropathy (which basically means lots of bone spurs) and at L5-S1 there is anterolisthesis (which basically means that the upper vertebra slips forward on the one below.) No wonder it hurts.
I now have an appointment with a surgeon on August 29th. Yes, this year.
It seems odd that suddenly my back has become so much worse. But over the past few months I've noticed that I can't stand in one spot for any length of time or else my left leg goes numb. Then it happened once when I lost the feeling in both legs at the same time. I almost fell.
In the past week, I've been in constant pain and can't even think straight. I've been so exhausted because the pain is so bad I can feel it even in my sleep. When I saw my doctor yesterday, he gave me a prescription for Emtec, a pain reliever, which is sort of like Tylenol 3s, that I can take as needed, but no more than 2 per day. Last night I took 1/2 of one and managed to finally get some sleep. But I am having a lot of pain all the time - sitting, standing, walking, all the time. As I write, I'm hoping the 1/2 pill I took after dinner will hurry up and kick in.
My friend Cathy and I were going to go to the UK for a summer holiday this year, but it appears we shall have to postpone it until next summer. We had to make a decision today and we're both disappointed, but I'm glad Cathy is being so good about it. She said she could tell I was in a lot of pain last Sunday so we feel it's better to wait until this condition is fixed - probably through surgery and spinal fusion.
My massage therapist has helped me a lot. Naturally, she can't cure what is wrong with my back, but she keeps the muscle knots under control. Did you know that when a muscle tightens or knots up that it can feel as hard as bone? Yesterday, I had a session and mentioned that my legs were feeling weak and that my left foot was twisting inwards. So my MT worked on my legs and it was one of the most painful sessions I've ever had. When she got the spasm out of the muscle that controlled my left foot, I actually screamed! And she's told me in the past that I have a high tolerance for pain. I think I lost all my tolerance yesterday.
I remember how awful it was recovering from my previous back surgery, but even knowing all that, I want the surgery! Up to this point in time, I have taken good care of myself and my back in order to avoid further surgery. But now? Fix me, doctor! And quickly!
I think much of my summer is going to be spent watching my daughter weed the garden and catching up on my writing and reading. However, I will try to keep active by taking short strolls around the neighbourhood or going on day trips where I can drive (or maybe I should be the passenger as I'll be so doped up on prescription drugs).
Cathy and I might still do a trip to Calgary and Edmonton to visit friends. For those who don't know, it would be 2 days drive to get to Calgary, a couple of hours from Calgary to Edmonton, and 2 days drive home. So with visiting and sightseeing, etc. we could be gone for 2 weeks. At least we'd still be in Canada and close enough to home that if anything more serious happened to me, I'd get the best care. And geewits is coming to visit josie in June and we're going over to Victoria together. Hopefully, my friend Suzanne from Arizona will still be able to come for a visit, too.
I think I'm going to go and take the other 1/2 of that pill. My left side is still hurting all the way down to my foot. Thank goodness, I have nothing pressing for tomorrow morning as I'll probably end up unconscious until noon.