Sep 24, 2009
Dear Journal, I'm sorry it's been so long since I wrote in you last...you must have been feeling neglected, and I am sorry. :)
I have been on new meds for about a month now, and it seems like every day I feel happier and more energetic, more 'together' than the previous day. And I am grateful. I've been spending time on Facebook, where I'm new to the networking thing. I only joined cause my dear friend far far away asked repeatedly to join it. There are crazy weird quizzes that are a lot of fun that I complete and send to my friends for them to complete so we can compare the outcomes...today I found out my "trailer park name" is Fayleen, and I'm the envy of all the other trailer park women 'cause I can hold a baby on my hip while smoking a cigarette, talking on the phone, and making the best Frito pie anyone ever layed taste buds on. Haha. Go figure.
About all my back pain and numb left toes, foot, calf, and weak knee are due to 1 ruptured and extruded disc, 1 bulging disc, disc fragments, degenerative disc disease (DDD) for short, and spinal stenosis. Recommendation: pain meds, physical therapy, and time. However, we cannot afford physical therapy due to financial circumstances beyond our control and a crappy Medicare HMO...SCREW YOU, FREEDOM HEALTH!!! $20 per visit is what my copay is for specialty office visits: phys. therapy---times 3 times a week @$20 per visit=$60 per week, times 6 weeks=$360! We can barely keep the electric and phone from being shut off, and we're gonna fork out an extra $60 a week for exercise? Uh uh, no way. I was going to Curves for free through my HMO (at least they do that for me), but there's no trainer there, and I kept hurting myself more than I was helping myself.
I asked for surgery: a procedure called a Micro-discectomy to remove the disc fragments (like bone spurs) moving around in there pinching new nerves everyday, and to clip away the extruded material from the ruptured disc. It's a minimally invasive procedure where they make 2 tiny incisions...one for a lighted magnifying camera, and the other for the laminotomy tool (exactly like the nippers my Dad has in his toolbox, only much smaller). My Dr. said no, but he would refer me to a neurosurgeon if I wanted a second opinion (it would actually be a third opinion). I asked why not? Makes sense to get that migrating material out of there, and his reply was "You're too young, Charlotte". that's the second time I've heard those words, from as many doctors. My PCP in Michigan said the exact thing..."You're too young, Charlotte". I asked, what does my age have to do with getting treatment? And he said, "Because no body wants to disable you this early on in life."
So pain meds are in my future for a good long while, and when I have good days with minimal pain I should walk...no more Curves workouts with the resistance machines, just WALK. OK, cool. I love taking long walks in the woods. I hope some pain-free days are coming soon, cause I feel like a slug sitting and lying around the house all the time.
So, that's all you get from me today, journal. I'm done for now. I'll try to not be away so long next time, ok? ok.