Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Laminotomy, Discectomy

Once again I couldn't go back to sleep after making Cade's lunch and sending him off to school. In this case it was a good thing. Forsyth Brain and Spine called to reschedule my appointment. After asking when the first available appointment was, I held my breath. Due to a cancellation, 9:20a today was available. I was in the office within 15 minutes from the time she called me!

Dr. Hnilica and I talked briefly about the pain I was experiencing. He then took me back to his office to go over the results of the MRI. 

There has been some further deterioration of my L5 vertebrae and due to the herniation, it is poking into my S1 nerve. Since the pain shots are no longer working, plan B, and his recommendation, was surgery. He went over the benefits and we spent a great deal of time going over the risks.

Now, I've been petrified of surgery. I was terribly afraid something would go wrong and I'd be paralyzed for the rest of my life. I saw Dr. Hnilica's PA back in December and he addressed some of my fears. The surgery I would need is very routine. It requires a small incision in my back (as opposed to having my entire spine exposed, like in my worst nightmares). He also told me that Dr. Hnilica had done the same surgery on him. The fact that he was walking and talking went a long way to allay my fears.

I've been in chronic pain since mid-November and I absolutely suck at dealing with it. Pain shots are no longer working (or as in the most recent case, are exacerbating the problem). I've been out of work for 2 weeks during a very busy time and I feel I'm letting my manager and coworkers down. And Cade. I feel like I let him down every single day. Chronic pain + poor emotional state = facing surgery fears. 

So, on Tuesday, March 3, I'll have a laminotomy, discectomy on my left lumbar L4/5.

I'll be in the hospital for one night and then spend up to two weeks recovering. My mom will be coming in from Key West to help.

I'm relieved that it's been scheduled. Don't misunderstand, I'm still nervous. But, for now, the idea of being pain-free is greater.

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