Saturday, January 8, 2011

Updates, Medical And Otherwise

Finally, eh?  Where the hell have I been?  Well, I have no excuses other than I just got a slow start to the new year.  With so little evening daylight we have been going to bed at about 8:00 anyway, throw in holiday strife, a few medical appointments and general cold weather laziness and all of a sudden we are more than a week into 2011!

I hope everyone celebrated the new year safely.  I had fun, mostly.  Drama happened that I didn't understand and took personally at the time, but I'm happy to say I later found out I was just collateral damage and not the target!  Still, I will pay better attention and not trust some friends word so much in the future maybe.  After all, by our age we're supposed to be the professionals on amateur night* (among other times) by now.  That's all I'll say about that here.

Medically speaking, my knee bend has only increased to 96 degrees, but I found out that I can just fit on the recumbent exercise bike we have downstairs so I will hook up the TV down there this weekend and try to spend some time on the bike to try to loosen up my knee some more.  Maybe a little bit every day after work.  Also, I had another MRI on Tuesday morning followed thereafter by an appointment with the neurosurgeon (plenty of waiting room time in between, of course).  The disc herniation is actually fractionally smaller than my last MRI about 3 months ago and the nerve medication has been working satisfactorily so far.  Enough so that even though the surgeon said that the bulging is enough that he would operate if I said so, but as long as the medication can stave off the pain my body still may re-absorb it.  Now, let me pause and consider this.

This first started acting up on me last June or so, giving me enough pain in my arm to not be able to lift it above my head long enough to tape or paint a bathroom and interfering with my work, progressing to limit me in all aspects of my life.  I tried drugs, muscle relaxers and pain meds, and had an appointment scheduled with my doctor about it when one day I came home from work and horrifically broke my leg.  Ignoring the leg for this moment, one doctor tried a mild steroid that was less than ineffective, then I progressed through a few different appointments, an MRI, and my first consults with the neurosurgeon.  Now, back then they wouldn't do anything because of my recently badly broken leg.  No surgery on my neck while I can't walk and no strong steroids while my bone is still healing, so I suffered with this nerve pain in my neck and arm while trying to concentrate on healing my more serious injury.  In early December I had another appointment where I said Help Me a little stronger and was given this pain medication that took two weeks to get started but has finally given me some relief.

The point is, had I not broken my leg I would certainly have had surgery on my neck several months ago.  Now, being forced to wait, I have some hope that the bulge may be reabsorbed some more, maybe enough to not cause me any symptoms and no surgery will be required.  That would be my 'best case' scenario, otherwise surgery is just delayed.  I'll determine that in the next couple of months.

*New Year's Eve.

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