Anvil or Hammer


I just drove in from the doctor’s….

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on June 3, 2008

and boy are my arms tired….mm, doesn’t work.

So, the big news. No surgery or injections. Now the details.

Yesterday was PT. It went well. I showed her my MRI, she was impressed. She told me she was surprised that I didn’t have more pain. I got the uncomfortable feeling from her demeanor after that, that she was envisioning surgery for me in the future. All she said though was that we would see what the doc said today. The session went well and I went to the gym last night. I did some pullups, some biking, and I got on one of those stability balls and held a medicine ball in both hands and moved it around a bit, not PT prescribed but PT approved, I had asked.

This morning was the big doctors appointment. To some degree I was holding my breath on the one, it’s a big landmark to have the doc pass judgment over the situation. To some degree I wasn’t, Laura and I had talked about the surgery possibility. We had arrived at a mutual decision that my condition has been improving, especially over the last two weeks and my current condition is at least tolerable. Therefore, any calls for surgery would need a second opinion and even then could probably wait for a bit to see if any additional improvement occurred.

I had plenty of time to hold my breath at the doctor’s office though, 1 hour 15 minutes to be seen from the time of my appointment. The good news was that I brought a magazine and I’m getting comfortable enough with sitting again that I could sit for a good portion of it, with reasonable breaks. She whisked in and thanked me for waiting and told me that the summary of the MRIs said that I had a severely herniated disc. She put up the MRI and showed me what you have already seen on the blog here. She had another one, that I didn’t know to look for, that showed where the herniated disc is pressing on the spinal cord.

She explained that 15 years ago, this would have been an automatic order for surgery. She also said that in the last 15 years they have learned how helpful anti-inflammatories and physical therapy can be. It was pretty clear from the way she left it that she favored no surgery but was going to leave it up to me. I was quick to fill in that PT sounded good to me. So she said 2-3 weeks of ibuprofen before I should plan on trying to stop and to continue with PT but that would have to wind down at some point too. She told me that if the sciatica flared up again in a way that I could not control or if I had very frequent small flare ups, to come see her again. Otherwise, “no news is good news”.

I’m pretty happy with that prognosis. I’ve got a long road to walk but it’s better than it could have been. I’m done with the Doc, per her orders. I’m going to continue PT, it’s kind of up to my therapist when that ends. I have contacted the Z-health guy in my area. He’s pretty amenable to the idea of giving me a start and seeing what I think before I over commit. So I plan on doing a little bit with him. If he impresses me, then I’ll do more. If Z-health and I don’t mesh, then at least I gave it a shot. I’m trying to play around with reasonable workouts, like the balance/core type stuff.

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