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Ahhhh.. the day from HELL.

Seen by Intern first.... he does a bunch of reflex tests, asks a bunch of questions, etc.
He tells me he will bring the resident doctor in. The resident doctor asks me a bunch of questions and does reflex tests (same as the Intern did). Approximately 2 hours there now... The resident doctor tells me that I need surgery after looking at the MRI images. He says that it looks like I had an injury or some type of trauma in order to have what he saw on the MRI. I asked about the surgery and he delve into details about it. He convinced me that he knows what he is talking about. He said it will never get better and that eventually I will have to have surgery anyway. He said that they would go in and do the fusion and the at the same time scrape down the bone spurring while they were in there. He then says that he is going to get the Neurosurgeon's input, but he knows that the Neurosurgeon will not agree with him because he is usually against surgery because he specializes in pain management. The Neurosurgeon walks in and by this time I am really in pain and tired of standing, but it hurts too much to sit... so, I continue to stand. :( The Neurosurgeon says that he is surprised I was able to get an appt. so soon with him because I have only been in pain for 2 weeks and usually they make a patient wait about 3 months before they get to see a Neurosurgeon. Huh? Now... why would he even state that to me? So, maybe I was lucky enough to get an appt. sooner than most? Maybe I slipped in on a cancellation?! Oooookay! On to what his prognosis is. He says that he will not prescribe anymore Percocet. That he will let my GP know that I need them and that he is the one to prescribe me the pain pills because he is the one who originally prescribed them and they don't want a bunch of different doctors prescribing narcotics. So, he says he will email my family doctor telling him it is ok to prescribe the pain pills to me. In addition, he says that he does not want to do surgeory just yet. That he wants to send me to pain management and go for injections first to see if those are successful. Physical Therapy is NOT an option at this time he states. Also, he prescribes Neurontin 300 mg 3x a day for 3 months and flexiril 10 mg 3x a day for 1 month. Also, he told me to try Motrin 600 again. He told me I should be able to get an injection by the end of next week. He tells me that if this does not work in the next 4-6 weeks, then surgery will more than likely be needed. And, you know all 3 of these guys did the foot reflex test with my shoes on and not one of them washed their hands after touching the bottom of my shoes. My mother came with me and reminded everyone of them to wash their hands after touching my shoes. Nice!

Anyway, I walked out more confused than when I walked in. Ugh. I called, immediately, to make an appt. with the pain management dept. to schedule the injection and they told me I could not get in until October! Ha ha ha! The Neurosurgeon had told me when I was there that he would try and get me in sooner if they would not be able to. I call his office and leave a message on his machine and tell him what happened (still awaiting return call) . In turn, I call the Resident's office and his number goes to another Neurosurgeon (one that specializes in disc degeneration and trauma), so I leave a message there, as well because his name was on the prescriptions, not the Neurosurgeon who saw me! In the meantime, I get a voicemail from my GP who leaves a message about my question on Friday about whether or not I should stay on the Flexeril and if so, I would need more because I only had a few left. His message was that I was to wait until I saw the Neurosurgeon and to see what he thought. Uhhhh... I received that answer an hour ago. So, I call my GP back to tell him that I was prescribed more Flexeril and Neurontin and that I was to go to pain management for an injection but I need him to call and get me in sooner and that I need for him to prescribe the Percocet per the Neurosurgeon's instructions because he was the originating doctor. The Neurosurgeon told me it was OKAY to take Percocet (I told him I was doubling up on them because of the pain) and Motrin 600 and the Neurontin and the Flexiril together. Ugh! I seriously don't want to take ALL those meds! I just want to take something that will work for the pain. The Neurosurgeon did say that surgeory is a possibility if the pain does not go away because the herniated disc was touching my spinal cord. Contrary to what the Resident doctor said, he said I needed surgery right away. My mother and I both questioned the Neurosurgeon about what the Resident doctor suggested and he said that yes, surgery is not out of the question, but he would prefer to begin with pain managment (injections) and other meds first, which, of course, I'm not objecting to.

I have decided that I will call another Neurosurgeon tomorrow to get another opinion. In the meantime, I will await one of the three doctor's (well, the Resident, the Neurosurgeon and my GP) return call to see about getting in sooner for an injection and about the pain pills. Honestly, I just want pain relief. I don't care how they do it... injections, different medicines, surgery. Whatever it may be! I just need a good night's sleep... since I have not gotten one in the last two weeks and to be PAIN FREE or somewhat close to that! I need to be able to sit again, feel my fingers and have no arm, shoulder pain. Is that possible?

How long does it take for Neurontin to kick in? Is it really okay to take all those meds together> My poor tummy and liver! I can only imagine what they must be thinking? LOL They will hate me soon enough! Gosh... my instincts do tell me this isn't going to get any better and that the Resident may be right. However, I will see what the injections will do in the next few weeks (if they can get me in before October) and take it from there. This ordeal took 4 hours out of my day today and this pain in my neck has taken 2 weeks out of my dear life. I'm in serious pain and see myself walking back into the ER if I cannot get in sooner for the injection.

As I said, a day from hell today! I'm grumpier than ever now and have a HUGE headache. Hoping this turns around for the better. I just need a new neck and everything will be better! Oh and by the way, I asked the Resident how this happens and he told me that it had to have been trauma that did it, a car accident or some type of injury. Well, unless my pillows were attacking me in my sleep, I don't know how else this could of happened.

A very confusing day.. to say the least...

Tomorrow... make an appt. with another Neurosurgeon for another opinion and follow up with other doctors about pain management injections and ANOTHER DAY ON THE COUCH. =( I'm way to active of a person for this. Maybe that is what got me here in the first place.. being too active...

...And, the saga continues. . . <------dot dot dot

Sorry to hear that it was such a long and confusing appt. I would definitely be following the treatment plan of doing all you can to avoid surgery until absolutely it is the last straw.

It's great that they are prescribing a nerve pain med as well a muscle relaxer. You can space these out through the day and evening to not get too drowsy. Just make sure you do NOT drive until you figure out who these medicines effect you. Neurontin kicks in pretty quickly and can cause some dizziness...Just be sure to read all the literature that comes with it. I didn't do well with that medicine so they moved me to Cymbalta, which is another nerve pain med.

I was on Cymbalta, Flexeril, and Percocet as well before my first surgery. So it may "seem" like a lot of pills but they all work on different areas to help take your pain down a notch..

The goal unfortunately is not pain free at this point as that would be too much medication to do that...It's meant to be about a 50% reduction.

Many people have great success with injections so hope that will work for you as well.

With all of this shouldn't need a trip to the ER unless there is a true emergency but usually pain that we know what is causing it isn't considered emergent....If you have any should call your Drs. and ask them what to do...

Unfortunately with this kind of spine issue....pain is par for the course right now until it either subsides after injections and few more weeks/month....or the decision to move towards surgery.

It really is trial and error with procedures, injections and medication and takes some time to get the right mix to get to that 5 on the pain scale...I am about a 5-7 depending on the day.

At least you are moving forward...making appts....and continuing on. It's hard to have patience when you are in pain...believe me..I know. But hang tough...and use the time to really write everything down about when you take these you feel....activities and pain levels...and researching the best Board Certified Drs. in the area that you would ask for another opinion and find one that you would trust your life with. That is what is good about it not being a true emergency now with the surgery.

Sending you some hugs (( ))

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