Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Journey Continues...

Today was the day for answers---or at least it was supposed to be.

I met with my neurosurgeon this morning to go over my MRI & X-ray results & make a plan from here.  I am going to attempt to explain this as easily as possible, but know that I haven't fully processed & researched some of here it goes...

My disc herniation story 
My L5/S1 has healed significantly since Dec 2009.  YAY!  As the dr. had stated before, my pain is MOST LIKELY (common words for today) not from herniations.  Both my L4 & L5 herniations are small.  He felt they were more mechanical when I met with him 2 weeks ago, thus why I got my X-rays of my mid-back.

My X-ray story 
My X-rays did show slight scolosis, but this is MOST LIKELY not the cause for my pain.

"Who among the gods is like you, LORD? Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?" Exodus 15:11

More of my disc story 
My discs are dehydrated, making them "trouble makers" (as he called them).  Dehydration is as common as crows feet & wrinkles.  It is how your body ages; however, mine are a little more degenerative that most ppl my age.  They have no findings of why some ppl have a faster or slower degeneration of their discs & why some ppl have pain associated with it & others don't.  He said some ppl have "ugly" MRI's & have no pain & vice-versa.


There is a possibility that the vertebral facets are causing the pain in my back too.  Basically he said that the bones could be rubbing more instead of the soft cartilidge allowing smooth movement.  So basically this would be arthritis. 

What about surgery?

It is possible that a fusion surgery would be in my future; however, he has a more reserved approach to surgery. He said that if I was older, this would probably be more of an option.  He said that there would be future risk of getting more surgeries done. The fusion puts pressure on the upper discs & then eventually causes them to degenerate.

He also talked about putting in an artifical disc.  He basically compared it to getting a hip replacement. After about 10-20 years they need replaced.  He said that studies show about the same success rates (compared to a fusion). 

Next Step?
He did order an epidural block (steriod injection) for my 2 discs & around the facets as well.  I will be making an appointment with my OSMC dr. for that soon.  I have to tell you that I dread it though.  They are so painful & so far have not worked for me.  I will have a couple down days afterwards, most likely.

What A Pain!
So...some GOOD news...but the realization that I have to learn to deal with this pain coming in & out of my life I am sure is going to hit me over the next day or so.  I am more concerned about how my family will function with this, especially Ben, when I have these times that I am down & out!  He really picks up a lot of the pieces, literally & figuratively :)

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Psalm 19:1

We have a lot of praying to do, especially about me taking on any more pregnancies.  The dr. did say that they can't know for certain what it would look like, but that some pain meds & the injections could be given during pregnancy.  I'll be making an appt. with  my OBGYN for my yearly appt & going over some more of my questions with her.

We appreciate all of you that have been praying & encouraging us.  My Dad said something last night as encouragement to me...have faith in the doctors, that they know what they are doing.  I am truly thankful for the dr's that have come alongside me during this process, but I am also looking to the Great Physican for His strength.  I know that only He has the "play calls" book!  He has His plan for my life.  Lord just give us wisdom!

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

My prayer lately is related to the idea of Cat & Dog Theology.  My friend Ann reminded me a few weeks ago that we so often think of God as the personal God who is there for me. 

"Ok God...I have a problem back hurts...heal me to feel better....let me just come to you with my grocery list of problems." 

Ann brought me back to the idea of Dog Theology instead.  I must instead think God is a personal God that I must live for & bring glory to with how I live my life. 

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." I Corinthians 10:31

"Ok God...I am strugglig back hurts...give me the strength to endure my back pain... heal me... help me to glorify you through my me to point others to You...because you are the Almighty God who is worthy of my praise.

"Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

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