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I Need Answers!

Thank you guys for all your votes and support last week!

Yesterday, I had an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon who specializes in cervical spines. I had spoken with his assistant last week when she called to ask me how I was doing. I like that they don't just schedule follow-ups.

I told her that I was beside myself with the pain and the fact it has taken since August and I really needed answers.

When he entered the room an greeted me, the first thing he said was, "I don't have any perfect answers."

Fortunately, I had to drive myself to the appointment, so I wasn't zoned out on narcotics. I answered calmly, "I am just frustrated and this condition is stealing my life. Can we review where we are at? I just need to know that we are making progress towards a cure"

I confess I felt a little bad that I caused him to be defensive.

"We are trying to isolate nerve pain. Each treatment we have done is meant to rule out possibilities. It's not a perfect science."

"I guess that's why they call it practice," I replied.

He was not as amused as I was. "I have reviewed the MRI and first, there is a dehydrated disc at C5-C6. I believe that is causing the neck and upper shoulder pain," he said gesturing to his shoulder. "The shoulder specialist believes the shoulder joint pain is due to a thinning labrum." he continued. "There are a number of things going on here."

"Wow." was about I could say.

Then I pulled out my phone to read some questions I had in the notes. "What do you think is causing the headaches? Do you think it could be occipital neuralgia" I asked.

Gesturing to the back of his neck, he said, "that would cause pain here and end up here just above the forehead."

"Bingo!" I replied.

Finally, we have a diagnosis that has a defined treatment path. Tomorrow, I am in for a cortisone injection of the disc. It is temporary but will help them isolate that possibility. Soon I will have a nerve blocker injected to see if the headaches are from Occipital Neuralgia. If the pain goes away, they’ll do a surgery to open up the nerve cavity. They have already done an injection for the shoulder. Once they get everything else figured out, they're likely to be a surgery to clean the shoulder joint up.

So that is it. I am just hoping to be pain-free at some point soon. :)

I just have one more question, doc. "Can I still run?"

"For the time being, I don't see how it will hurt if you can stand the pain," he said.

"I will take that as a yes."

He laughed and smiled. Based on the exam, I don't think he really believes I will.

71 votes + -

7 comments:

kendallvon wrote 5 days ago:
I think it's sad how often docs seem to be put off by an educated patient. I also think it's wonderful how you didn't back down and got (possibly?) on the right track. I am pulling for you!!!
bigmanatee wrote 5 days ago:
As a physician myself I remember learning early on from my mentors: LISTEN TO THE PATIENT, THEY WILL TELL YOU WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM! As I am a patient myself now I am disappointed with many of my colleagues. I know for sure you will keep running! Keep up the great work!
debk0718 wrote 4 days ago:
Too bad he the doc didn't appreciate your humor, and truth, because in all reality they are "practicing". They don't know all the answers, but do their best. I'm glad that you had done your homework ahead of time, and that the doctor listened to you. Praying that you keep moving forward towards finally being pain free. Also hoping to see this week's blog on me feed. :)
PapaJay357 wrote 4 days ago:
Hang in there, easy and simple are two different things and right now you don't have either one. Luckily my Doc has a good sense of humor. One example, "Sure, my diploma looks great. Wouldn't you rather see my report card?". He also gave me the eight words every guy knows. "I've got this" and "Maybe this will go away.". Those words of wisdom were delivered after I let a simple hangnail on a toe morph into a full-blown staph infection that had me in a world of $#!+. Managed to keep the toe, discovered pedicures, all the little piggies still get to go to market. Keep running, it makes you harder to catch!
~ Peace to you and yours
brittvshows wrote 4 days ago:
I believe you will! Go get'em, tiger!
lorrainequiche59 wrote 4 days ago:
I'm hoping you're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Sounds like it's the beginning of the end & I too hope you're pain free soon!!!
FarmerCarla wrote 3 days ago:
Glad you were able to help your doctor pinpoint the problem! I'm told the reason some doctors who start out to be veterinarians become people doctors instead is because the animals can't tell them what's wrong. Praying you get the treatment you need to keep going without the intense pain. My husband is easier to watch now that he has the latest, implanted neurostimulator--works from his upper back to his feet. He's off the pain pills and being weaned off his pain patches. There is relief out there for many if they can find the right method. May you get the best!

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