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Friday, May 3, 2013

Breathtaking.....But Not In A Good Way!

On wednesday, I woke up particularly sore, and decided to scoot to the gym and try to hit the exercycle, skip weights, and come home. I got up there, and when I went to set the scoot up on the center stand, my back went full crazy pain and spasm. After almost dropping the 450 lb. beast, I got it on the side stand and walked around the building three times to try and get the spasms to stop, got back on the scoot, and headed home. I am now in agonizing pain and back on the couch full time. Now I have been fighting this loosing battle for a bit more than four full months. The initial symptoms were primarily the foot buzzing with little back pain, suggesting a bulged disc. I felt I was making reasonable progress until it went off in early april and now again in may. When back pain like this hits your spine, it usually indicates an annular tear, with that acidic disc gel now reaching those wonderful nerve fibers on the outside of the disc causing breathless pain. This usually lasts for a week or two until your disc is able to plug the leak and stop the nerve burning. The problem is that the condition reoccurs easily and repeatedly with more tears in the damaged disc. So the carnival ride continues.....
So, this damaged disc is probably in need of a fix. If it is possible and there is enough disc material left, I may get away with a discectomy. If the disc is mostly gone and the lumbar space is compromised, it is probably fusion time. Now if it is at L4-L5, I would probably opt for a discectomy, as this is the only lumbar region I have not had surgery on so far. If it is at L5-S1, then this is probably fusion time. This disc level was the first one cut up when I was 44, so there can't be much disc left there. Now how do I know it is one of those two levels? Cause those are the two levels where the nerves service your feet. If doctor tom was to bet, I would guess L5-S1. So you are thinking, how does Doctor tom know all this? Call it 40 years of back trouble and 4 back surgeries. I told my friend joe that if it is L5-S1 and requires a fusion, the only silver lining may be that I will be trading 6 months of no running and lots of rehab for finally eliminating 15 years of not being able to sit for any length of time and not being able to remember a time when my feet didn't buzz or go numb.....in any event, I see my doc thursday to get an $850 mri referral and restart the misery of the medical industrial complex...

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