Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"I'm afraid you're a little off" said the Doctor

Okay. So on Monday I decided to cheat Murphy's Law and clean my house so I wouldn't have to have surgery. This actually makes sense because everytime I get injured or really sick or require someone to come into my house for any reason my house is a complete disaster and only gets worse with my being laid up. It NEVER happens when the house is clean. So I figured that if I clean the house and do all the laundry and make everything really nice-I even dusted my bedroom--then I wouldn't have to have surgery. It really makes sense if you think about it, plus on the off chance it didn't work then I'd have a nice clean house when people came to help me.

So I went to the actual surgeon today and here's the verdict. I do have a herniated disc between T5 and T6 which is causing me topical pain. I also have a thoracic strain, probably the same one I've had since November that hasn't healed yet. But the nerves from this disc are not being disturbed which is a very good thing because the doctor told me that this particular operation is one the most dangerous and difficult operations there is and no surgeon in his right mind wants to ever do it unless he absolutely has to. Whew, dodged that bullet. But because he is the nerve specialist who is not intimidated by MRIs, he noticed what no one else had noticed yet. My pain and nerve problems simply can NOT be caused by that area of the back. They have to be caused by the Lumbar--so basically because a lot of my pain is thoracic they did that MRI and found a relatively inconsequential disc problem and heaped the blame on that instead of finding out the real problem. So he went out in the hallway and came back with a physical therapist and they discussed many things in very technical terms. The surgeon wanted to order a Lumbar MRI to see what the problem is down there, but the physical therapist convinced him to wait a month and let him see what he could do because he thinks that won't even be necessary.

So then I went over to the physical therapist's office because he just happened to have a free several hours (I know?), and while we were talking about things he suddenly stopped and asked me why I was standing with my weight on my right leg. Apparently because I'm right handed I should be standing on my left leg. Long story short, my right leg is 2-3 mm shorter than my left. This is enough of a problem that my entire spine is curvy--it goes off to the right and then tries to straighten up by curving back left around the thoracic area, hence the thoracic disc bulging to the right. He said he would bet good money that I have at least one if not two discs bulging to the left in the lumbar. So now I have to wear a lift in my shoe. How retarded is that?!? Good news though is that with the lift and lots of physical therapy he thinks that he can fix not only the pain but also the underlying disc problems. Woohoo!

So I win twice! Because I don't need surgery AND my house is all sparkly clean for me to enjoy! My activities are much more restricted--I'm not allowed to do ANYTHING that hurts that I don't absolutely have to do, for instance he said I have to find a substitute and I'm not allowed to play the piano again until he says so. :( I can't mop the floor at all or drive more than I have to, but the promise of being done with this mess soon and non-surgically is awesome. And he says that I should be able to play golf this summer which I'm really excited about since we have such awesome courses here.

And the happiest thing of all is that my Mom is coming here in 16 days!!!


Fellfrosch said...

That is super awesome. I'm impressed with any medical professional (or, indeed, a professional in any field) who can eyeball a 2mm difference in leg height.

Allison Hill said...

I didn't say he eyeballed it--he did a bunch of nifty tests.

pwells said...

And will the house be all sparkly clean when I get there, so all we have to do is play and celebrate?

PS. The word verification is "rangoid". I really would have expected that kind of thing on Dan's website, not yours.

pwells said...

OK, now the word is "ropyropt". That's much more you.

Allison Hill said...

That's certainly my goal! It makes me so happy every time I go in the kitchen now! We have to play a lot by the way...I'm in serious game-deficit over here.