Monday, November 05, 2007

An answer

Just a quick update---I finally have an answer, but it's one I am not happy about. I am scheduled for surgery on the 11th of December---an anterior cervical fusion. I did not and still do not want surgery, but there is little hope of keeping the use of my legs and frankly, my bladder, without it. The surgeon repeated today what the neurologist said a couple of weeks ago, that if I didn't have it taken care of now, I may not have the option later, and hopefully it isn't already too late. Basically, C5-C7 are fused in place by the use of cadaver bones and a plate and screws. Sounds very appealing, eh? The incision is made in the front....and the risks are many, such as the artery that is in the way, the esophagus, etc...but seriously, I am backed into a corner, and see no way out, if I want to walk. Just so you know, the reason for the lag in scheduling was me, not them. Between the Dr's schedule and mine, that date seemed to work best. I felt that if I have waited this long, a few more days isn't going to hurt.

I am trying to feel hopeful that this will take care of the problems that I am having, walking would be wonderful, knowing when I need to pee certainly would be helpful, and not seeing double anymore will come in handy. Tonight, I am just not there yet. I am certain that by tomorrow, my mood and spirits will be where they should be, and so until then, I will say so long.

8 comments:

Josie Two Shoes said...

Ok, now you have an answer, so at least you know what you are dealing with. We CAN face down those monsters once we know their names! My heart goes out to you tonight, Jamie, I know this is SO MUCH to deal with. It's going to take a little time for you to adjust. Try to focus on the outcome - it's got to be better than where you're at now! Sending BIG HUGS your way, hold tight to faith!

JYankee said...

surgery is always scary..but if it's the only option..andit beats what the other option will be...then it is what you have to do. will be prayin for ya....(((hugs)))

Summer said...

Josie is right. Focus on the outcome. It's going to be great!

SOUL: said...

damn xanax is like crack! how did i miss this? i know i was here last night, an i did not see this post.

anyhow.... i know this is hard for you to face and deal with, and i know how you are... in how you are not only worried about yourself in this, but your entire family----and JOB too. don't carry such a heavy load, and don;t get too far ahead of yourself. k???

these doctors really do work miracles. i know you don't feel very "happy" about this right now. but i just somehow, feel like it is what is going to be the answer that you have been waiting for.

don't think too much---don't work too hard...

do the best you can to stay in today. ok. you are too good a person to be held down by fear.

ok?
OX

Portia said...

HUGS. Majorly big hugs coming your way. I'm sorry this is what's necessary but I certainly hope it will make the difference you have been needing. More hugs!

Cheryl said...

Like you said, it's not the answer that you wanted, but it is an answer and from what you say, it needs to be done. I know of 3 people who have a surgery for a disc problem what was done from the front of the neck. All were extremely successful. I'd be scared to death too, don't get me wrong. You will have an excellent outcome, I just know it. It's got to be better than it is right now, right? You have a plan. Try not to dwell on it if you can, OK? I had a terrible surgery last year, but now it's just a memory.

CRUSTYBEEF said...

I googled that surgery and found that is has a great success rate..as much as you didn't want the surgery think of what could happen after the recovery period is over.

At least there's an answer for you..that should be good right?
Always,
Crusty~

Mme Benaut said...

Hi Jamie - you don't know me because this is the first day that I've visited your blog, found you via Gypsy. I live in Adelaide, South Australia but visit some of the places you do - like Maria in Nebraska and Gypsy of course. My husband has a daily photo blog - Adelaide Daily Photo and if you want to check me out, google that and go through some older posts and you will find me and him and some others too.
The reason I am writing is because I had an ANTERIOR LUMBAR INTERBODY FUSION last year and when I read that you are about to have surgery, I wanted to reassure you. My former boss had the same thing that you are about to have and the results were fantastic. I am much better than I was (I'd had a herniated disc at L5-S1 and 2 previous spinal surgeries) since the last operation. Honestly Jamie, the techniques these days are so good that you won't be in any danger; the pain won't be too bad and your recovery will astound you. As for losing the use of your legs; I would be finding a surgeon who does what I had done. They do 200 operations (ALIF) in the USA every year with incredible success rates! I had the bone harvested from my hip and the bones will continue to grow for about 2 years. So far so good and so worth it. Unfortunately I had permanent nerve damage because I ignored the symptoms for too long. Neuropathic pain is what that is called and it is different from any other kind of pain. They treat it with an anti-convulsant drug called LYRICA, normally prescribed for epilepsy. The drug is quite amazing as it stops the nerves from randomly firing off so much, thus reducing the pain. Your brain takes a slight holiday while you get used to the drug but the need for narcotics (which I also take) is so much reduced that it is worth it.
So, sweetheart, take heart and google ALIF and find a site that has photos so you can see exactly what you will be getting and then google LYRICA and read all about it. After that, DEMAND that your doctor prescribe some for your pain and also schedule the ALIF surgery and you may just keep the use of your legs! I'm 52 years old, have arthritis too - I feel as though I understand your problems and just want to help. All the very best Jamie and hugs from me too. (Mme = madame in French = Mrs. in English).