Thursday, July 19, 2012

Another Day, Another Diagnosis

I had six days to look at my MRI pictures, find some ways of interpreting lateral views, do research on what the typical treatment protocols for a herniated C5-C6 disc would be and realized that all roads pointed towards surgery.

My neurologist, however, threw something at me that I didn't expect. The radiologist's summary of my cervical MRI stated "Patient's pain is likely due to arthritis and degenerative disc disease."

As one of my friends likes to say WTFBBQ?

The way it was casually thrown out at me, it was clear my doctor thought I'd already been given that information, but it was news to me. The conversation that ensued made me very happy that I do my homework and research my health options, because he was basing his opinion on what the report said. As soon as I mentioned that lateral view, and how the 2009 MRI contrasted dramatically from the 2012 MRI, in terms of the herniation an how it is compressing my nerves, he decided to take a look for himself. (Even admitting, "I"m sorry, I just looked at the report.") We talked about surgery and how, because of the Chiari, the issues could really be tied to that and not the herniation. Valid point, because many of the symptoms can be related to both. Then I asked him what he would do if he were the patient and this was going on.

Apparently, we had the same conclusion. I have a surgical consult in the not-too-distant future. While I hate the idea of surgery, I really hate how limited I am in doing things in the past few years. This neurologist hadn't seen the before Suzanne, so he has no clue-the previous neurologist would have had a better handle on that.

I also have an order for physical therapy, but I'm flying blind. Last time, I went to a practice that was mostly good, but it frustrated me that the Chiari diagnosis leaves me with a lifting restriction, and the PT ignored it. I'd like to go back there, it certainly is convenient, but I will only do so if they understand from the get-go that I will not be lifting 40 pound weights on either side of my body.

Any other doctors want to throw me another curve ball?

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