Well, my back has been progressing since I wrote last. It started hurting in my mid-back meaning that my muscles are now starting to compensate for the lower back. This means that my back is very sensitive right now. I took 5-6 days of complete rest. Ben took care of the house & I chose only a few things to do each day which typically meant a bath for Leona or basics to get through the day until Ben got home from work. It really helps that he comes home for lunch!
I scheduled a dr's appt with my orthopedic dr. last Thursday. He basically said that he could no longer prescribe steriods b/c it wasn't good for my body. He basically said that the 2 options were trying another steriod injection or talk to my surgeon about surgery. He seemed to suggest the later option more b/c my body has not responded to the injections the past 2 times. In fact, the last one made me worse. We will see what this other doctor suggests.
At this point, I know that there are 2 possible surgeries that he could suggest. The first is a microdiscectomy. Basically the herniated portion of the disc is cut-off to relieve the pressure from the nerve, giving more room for the disc to heal. This is the same surgery I had in July 2009. Of course I was in the 5% of people who have a recurrant herniation after surgery. Since I have reherniated after surgery, I run a 20% risk that it will reherniate again.
The second type is called a spinal fusion. This involves adding bone graft to the area allowing the 2 vertebrate to fuse & grow together. I know that hardware is inserted to the area to keep the vertebrate from moving so that the bone graft can form. This fusion keeps the disc from moving. I don't know if they would have to take bone from another area of my body or would use a synthetic material. This is obviously a more serious surgery & has more risks. It would require several days in the hospital & probably some sort of rehabilitation.
Please pray for wisdom. We are hoping there are some other suggestions that the dr. will suggest. If he does suggest surgery, we will probably have a 2nd opinion before completely pursuing the idea.
Amazingly both of us are handling the idea of surgery pretty well at this point. There are obvious risks & outcomes of this---finances, time, health, etc. but the joy of having a chance for a pain-free life & the ability to have more kids is outweighing that right now.
If anyone reading this has any fusion surgery experience, please leave a comment :)
I will update this after next Friday morning to let you know what the dr. says.