I've been awake since 4:00 a.m. because of a burning pain that I would again rate as 8 on that cursed scale of 1 to 10. The pain wakes me up every night/early morning, and I am deeply exhausted. This morning, I stayed in bed for three hours, just lying there, unable to fall back to sleep because I was experiencing so much discomfort.
When I saw my doctor on Wednesday, I was in quite a bit of pain, yet he was dismissive. At the time, I was so stunned by the dismissal, I didn't speak up and express my concerns. I just sat there feeling dazed and confused.
All I was told was that the MRI looked "pretty clean," and showed only a slight herniation. However, the fact remains that I am suffering, yet an explanation as to what is causing my pain was not offered. I was only told what is NOT causing it.
I am in the dark, and don't know what to expect in terms of getting relief. I also don't know how I'm going to get through the days at work, especially in an unrestricted capacity. My job includes a lot of standing and bending – both of which cause an increase in pain. I am also concerned about how I am going to fit physical therapy and pain management into my schedule once I have returned to work.
It's not that I don't want to work. I just want relief from the pain, and to know what is causing it. Is that so much to ask?
Yesterday, I received a copy of the MRI report from my attorney. It says: "Examination of L5-S1 shows ligamentum flavum thickening and facet arthropathy. A left posterolateral spondylotic ridge displaces the exiting left L5 nerve root laterally. Recommend clinical correlation for left L5 radiculopathy."
My doctor did not discuss these results with me, and I'm not sure what they mean. I did some research based on these findings, and found that conservative treatment (such as lumbar bracing, bed rest, physical therapy and pain management - all of which have been prescribed by Dr. Spine Specialist), has few proven benefits in the long term. According to my research, medical or nonsurgical management is not a practical option.
I am at a loss as to what any of this means for me, and am hoping that the pain management doctor can shed some light on the subject, despite the few proven benefits of such treatment.
Song of the Day: Dazed and Confused by Led Zeppelin