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WAITING... how long should I wait for help?

Jun 16, 2009 - 2 comments

Central disc hernaition




low-back pain






Need Advice

I am STILL waiting just to get an appointment with the one and only NeuroSurgeon in town... they are so backed-up they wont even give me ANY idea of WHEN they might call me to tell me when I can get an appointment.  

I need someone who is REALLY knowledgeable to look at my MRI and tell me just how urgent it is that I get to see a NeuroSurgeon.  I have somewhat-knowledgeable (about spinal problems) friends who have looked at my images and have told me that it just might be a real emergency, they are stunned that I dont get seen immediately or sent to the ER.  I had a bike accident with a pothole that projected me and shattered my pelvis over 7 months ago, so I'm guessing that this herniation started back then...  and I worry about going "untreated" for so much longer (other than [not-enough] pain-killers) and I keep feeling like it is getting worse but I want to think that it's all in my head, but that MRI scares me and all my friends who see my pictures are REALLY worried that if I wait more unknown number of months to get to see a NeuroSurgeon then it might get irreversably bad in the meantime.

I just want a NeuroSurgeon to tell me if it's really OK for me to just keep on going on and pushing despite the pain, should I stop doing the things that hurt me or should I just keep going and keep moving?  I have four kids at home and a disabled husband, so there is a LOT of things to do around the house, and after being off my feet for months starting 7 months ago, I have so much backlog in my household that I just HAVE to do stuff that hurts me.

If I knew whether or not it will be OK to wait, then I'll just wait, but if my condition is really as bad as my medical-savvy friends seems to think, then I feel like I have to look out of town for quicker help... BUT it hurts to go anywhere in a car, so I'm trying to decide whether I should look around Springfield and Boston (since I have to stay in Massachusetts since I am on MassHealth, i think) which are 1.5 and 3 hours drive each way, so it is a tough decision for me.

I selected some of the most important MRI pictures of my "large" herniation (at L5-S1) and saved them to disc and uploaded them to PhotoBucket here:
The two most obvious examples of the worst of my herniation (from what I can tell) are here:

The CAT Scan report said this:
  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
Alignment is normal and height of the vertebral bodies is maintained.
There is narrowing of the disc space at L5-S1.

L1-L2, L2-L3 and L3-L4 are normal.

At L4-L5, there is mild circumferential broad-based disc bulging with
slight flattening of the ventral aspect of the thecal sac but no
significant focal deviation or spinal stenosis.

At the L5-S1 level, there is a moderately large left paramedian disc
herniation. This results in significant deformity of the thecal sac
and the left S1 nerve root.

Mild facet degenerative changes are present and there is a minimal
scoliosis with convexity to the right at the thoracolumbar junction.

Moderately large left paramedian disc herniation at L5-S1.
  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
and my MRI report said this:
  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -
Alignment is normal. Vertebral body height is maintained. Decrease
disc space height is seen at L5-S1.

There is a moderate central herniation of the L5-S1 disc lateralizing
slight to the left probably deforming the thecal sac. The foramina
are adequate.

L4-L5, L3-L4 and L2-L3 levels are normal.

A significant moderate central herniation of the L5-S1 disc
lateralizing slightly to the left deforming the thecal sac.
  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

So... if anyone who knows a lot about this can look and tell me how long it will be OK to wait to get advice from a NeuroSurgeon (or other advice) PLEASE tell me what you think!   THANKS forever!

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by alicat007, Jun 17, 2009
Be careful of the pushing yourself too. If it hurts to do then try not to do it~I tried to work through the pain of my neck while waiting three weeks to be seen again and I now have issues in the same areas that hurt in the beginning of this ordeal. If bending a certain way hurts then call and tell the doctors nurse~if standing hurts call and tell them you are to the point of not being able to care for yourself and your family that the pain is too much to do daily things like getting out of bed and bathing and chores. If you find the right words to say to them they may listen better.

by TB0902, Sep 26, 2012
I dont understand why anyone isn't addressing your problem. Is it that you are uninsured? I can't imagine that doctors would expect you to go on like this.  I would go to another town and go to an ER or something I know for a fact that ERs cannot turn you away or refuse treatment. I would make sure somebody addressed your pain before you do permanant damage of some kind. If you are uninsured can't you get medicaid or something like that? this is awful that you would have to go on in pain this way and I would keep going to different doctors and not let up until somebody helps you, even if it is not a surgeon, go somewhere that a doctor will refer you to someone that will get you in with the approriate doctors or get you the help that you need.

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