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More Fun With Doctors . . .
Old 06-23-2019, 05:54 PM
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DGoddessChardonnay DGoddessChardonnay is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Default More Fun With Doctors . . .

For those who have been keeping up, I recently had to change doctors for my arthritis/spinal care. Bad part of that is that it took a few weeks to find one, but this last one I saw a couple of weeks back has been pretty decent so far.

Saturday of last week, I had to go back to my old doctor's office for an MRI on both my cervical spine and lower spine (they have a portable unit that sits beside their building in a small parking space between it and the building next door.)

I was prescribed two 5 mg tabs of Diazepam (aka Valium) to take before the procedure, of which I couldn't have stood the machine without (damn claustrophobia.)

Took one of the pills an hour before the start time, then got to the office around 8:30 (my appointment was for 8:45), checked in at the kiosk and sat down. No sooner did I sit down, I was called to the desk to get the paperwork for the technicican to fill out.

Filled that out pretty quickly, signed my name and turned it in and went around the corner to the water fountain to take the second pill before returning to my seat.

Got called back not five minutes after that and, even with foam earplugs and extra cushioning put it both sides at my neck to help keep me stable for clearer pics) the machine was still noisy. Only complaint is that halfway through the procedure, I had to come out and stretch (my right arm and shoulder was feeling stiff and spasing a little bit) then went back in for the lower spine pics.

Friday afternoon, I left work at 1:30 to go back to Dr. D for the results. They don't keep you waiting in the lobby long at all - I was called to the back less than 10 minutes after I arrived at 2, even though my appointment time was 2:30.

Waited a bit, then someone came and said a tech would come get me to go take X-Rays, as Dr. D wanted recent ones (he didn't have any ordered for my first visit.) That didn't take too long at all and the technician was very nice and professional - then went back to the consult room to wait.

Short time later, Dr. D walked in and, after introducing himself and we discussed a brief summary of my long standing spinal issues, we looked over some of the pictures, which definitely looked a little bit different from what I recalled from the ones Dr. K had taken years ago.

Cervical region shows narrowing of the spinal cord at C-3 through C-5, meaning the spinal cord is experiencing slight compression. This would explain the recent issues with my right arm and shoulder aching at times, other time feeling a slight tingling all the way down my arm (I've been experiencing some with the left but it's mostly on the right side.) After the C-6 area, the spinal cord opens back up and is normal through the Thoratic region.

Lower region showed the trouble spot, which is at L-4 and L-5 (bottom two vertebrae) where the stenosis has grown, which in turn is putting pressure on the spinal cord. This explains the sciatica flareup, as well as the tingling in both thighs and possibly the lower leg spasms I've been waking up with at night.

Surgery is a last resort, but even Dr. D suggested trying all the other non surgical options first (and Dr. D is an Orthhopeadic Surgeon) so he suggested physical therapy (which I kinda chuckled at and told him I wouldn't sign up for that right now, as I get enough physical therapy at home doing housework and rearranging furniture.)

Another option he brought up was the cortosteroid injection, which I've had one in the lower spine back in '13 when the stenosis was first found. I told him I'd like to go back for another one and see how much relief I can get from that (usually they work for me, so I'd much rather do this than surgery.)

So I'm now waiting for Dr. Needle's office to call me to set up an appointment (Dr. D's office will call them to work out details.) I'll also have a conversation w/Dr. Needle about daily medications moving forward.

At least I know what's going on . . . and hoping I can get that appointment scheduled for the last week of July when I'm off on vacation - I'd like to set it up morning and I can have the rest of the day to sleep off the meds.
Human Resources - the adult version of "I'm telling Mom." - Agent Anthony "Tony" DiNozzo (NCIS)
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