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Spinal neurosurgeon appt

Mar 26, 2015 - 21 comments

Well where to begin....At this point, I don't really feel any further along then before I went down. I'm considering seeking a 2nd opinion.

So I get to my appointment at the hospital after a 3 hour drive. Didn't wait too long in the waiting room. Get in the room and wait a few mins and someone came in. I believe he was an intern. So he asked me questions and had me do some little exercises, checking reflexes. He kept going back to my left side. He kept checking the reflexes on my left side. And kept running the end of the mallet and his fingers pretty firmly across the bottom of my left foot. He had a look of puzzlement or concern on his face. He left the room a couple times to talk to the Dr and would come back and do something else. The Dr knocked on the door once too. One of the times he left the room, I looked at Dave (hubby) and said exactly what I was thinking. "He keeps going to that side. He's seeing something of concern".

So the Dr comes in afterwards and asks questions. He then looks at the MRI scan. He told me that the herniated disk is very mild which I agreed with. It hardly looked like anything. So he says that the herniated disk doesn't appear to be playing any part in this. He did say that my spine is showing some signs of arthritis. So I asked why the constant pain across my lower back, down into my hips, legs and into my knees. His response was "well you're one of the lucky 1 in 3 Canadians that suffer from lower back pain. When I've had a long day in the operating room I'm sore too". And that was it. No explanation about the numbness in the legs and feet. So I asked what I could do for pain. His response was"exercise. Stay active". That's a little difficult to do when there are days when it's difficult to walk, and struggle to pick Preston up.

We drove 6 hours (3 each way) for that?!?! I know the Dr does complex surgeries and stuff, but I felt like he didn't take my pain or concerns seriously. Between the intern and the Dr, I was only there about 30 mins. I felt like I got the brush off.

So that was my day yesterday

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790669 tn?1465192699
by Des_a_rae, Mar 26, 2015
Oh gosh Shannon, definitely seek a 2nd opinion.  I had to with my urologists and it was WELL worth it.  There's more to it than just lower back pain I believe.  I mean you're having numbness and that's more than just from lower back pain.  There's a reason!  I have constant lower back pain but I'm not going numb thank god.  I hope you find the right Dr. for you because this one doesn't sound like it.  

Avatar universal
by MyMelBgirl, Mar 26, 2015
I'm sorry Shannon. I would get that second opinion (make sure to bring the actual films). What you've described are herniation symptoms that I've had with all my back injuries but they were so bad I couldn't even move!! . I wonder if the herniation is showing to be a small one and not showing it's pressing on a nerve.   You can't always see everything perfectly on imaging!! The first treatment I ever had for my back is a medrol pack (short course steroids) given to help shrink that disc back where it belongs. I think I would ask him what he thought of something like this.  I would think it would be worth a try and hopefully help you or buy you a little relief from the pain while you find someone else to see. You may be able to look up 'Williams exercises' online and see if they help. It doesn't take much to herniate a disc. My first two herniated at the same time when I bent down to pick a weed up.  I hope you find someone who will help you!!

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by Mrs_teddy_bear, Mar 26, 2015
I agree that a second opinion is needed. I saw a neurologist for over 4 years before finally finding a new one. The first one would leave me sitting in the office for an ungodly amount of time and then only actually see me for about 5 minutes. The meds he had me on did nothing to help. The second doctor is a heck of a lot better. I wait barely 30 minutes between the waiting room and the patient room. He is in talking to me as long as I need him to and we actually discuss how my meds are working/not working.  Since seeing him I am do a lot better and I am forever grateful that I finally went to see someone else.

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by KTowne, Mar 26, 2015
Oh I would veg seek a 2nd opinion. That is ridiculous, to drive that far to see an intern that helped minimally! Hopefully another dr can give you a better answer!

Avatar universal
by weaver71, Mar 26, 2015
Personally, if a drug or surgery is not the obvious solution, i find MD's and surgeons useless, even psychiatrists. I'd look at this from a natural point of view, a hair follicle test can tell you any deficiencies you may have. I have that same pain in my lower back. Acupressure has helped, stretching has helped. Glucosamine for joints and cartilage health, Omega fats to lubricate joints and improve brain function, and low impact exercise like swimming is what has made it tolerable for me. I changed my posture, how I move, like twisting is bad for me and didn't know that pre-PT. It took more than one PT person to actually be helpful, the first one did nothing. That took a long time of following through for it to help though. My main pain is higher up, my 3 fractured vertebrae, but I believe my pain was exaggerated by other issues in my physiology and chemistry. I take nothing for pain and have less pain than I have in a long time. My PT told me that I had to learn to know when pain is saying stop and when it is saying push through it. Pushing through at the right times has helped my brain realize to stop sending severe signals of pain, stopping and taking breaks when needed has helped a great deal also. I had trained my brain to express pain all the same, changing it to feel the amount of actual pain took some practice. This was not just opiate induced hyperalgesia, but habits of perception and not pushing myself through some of the pain. The hardest was getting started, because i had to do things I didn't feel like doing and hurt, to stop the hurting. Anyway, I'd get a different opinion, from someone who knows about the human body and nutrients and exercise, if that doesn't fix it, it will improve it. Not a doctor who just says, "exercise," but actually tells you ones that help with your specific issues. My doctor said I had more pain than my injuries should cause, that turned out to be true. If it still isn't enough you can handle it, then is the time to talk to surgeons and pharmacies. MD's really work good as a last resort, when all natural and healthy choices have been tried. Just my opinion and don't know what all you have tried. Hope you feel better soon.

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by heather727, Mar 26, 2015
Definitely go for a second opinion. No one's pain should be brushed off like that.

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by Shannon79, Mar 26, 2015
Thanks guys!

Tony I haven't really tried much of anything. And with this Dr's opinion of exercise, without saying the actual words but me reading between the lines "this is how it is. Suck it up and deal with it".

I know it could be worse, and I don't want to sound like a complainer or a whiner. But I don't want to just "deal with it". I have 2 young kids to be with and play with. I would like to find some kind of relief. Even if it is a holistic or all natural remedy.

My neurosurgeon for my brain tumour made this referral. And they're on holidays until the 30th. So I'm gonna give them a call to see who else I can go see. In the meantime, I'll do some research online and see what I can find

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by jugglin, Mar 26, 2015
You definitely need to advocate for yourself.  Get another opinion.  Get a 3rd if you need to.  If you continue to get the same answer, then you need to change direction.  While you wait for the next appt (which may take FOREVER), start doing some research on nutrition and exercise...you may find something to put you ahead of the game.

I can certainly relate to the idea of being in pain and wanting "fixed"...especially with kiddos.  I also believe that if you research, you may find something to help...it may not fix it, but it may make your days a bit easier to manage.

Thinking of you Shanny!

Avatar universal
by weaver71, Mar 26, 2015
See that unconscious slip there? "EVEN IF it's holistic or all natural remedy." That sentence speaks volumes to me. Personally, I believe the drugs or surgeries to fix the symptoms are a last resort, I say, "I will find an answer, even if it's allopathic pharmaceuticals and Western Medicine," last resort. I also believe that over half the ailments in America not only CAN be helped by natural means, they are actually more likely to and more likely to have a lasting and truly healthy affect over a persons lifetime. You are lucky, because you haven't tried much accept MD's and Pharm drugs. You have many options. The world of whole foods and natural medicine is a wonder of ancient practice and wisdom, trial and error with nature. Our trial and error of modern medicine started a short time ago. As modern medicine progresses, not only do we chemically understand why natural remedies work, but that is where most new cures are found, in nature. We synthesis nature, but there is nothing new under the sun. Doctor's are not all knowing authorities on the human body. My MD took 1 nutrition class to be certified to heal a whole person and is an authority on a healthy person. She admitted I know more about nutrition than she does. If we don't understand natural and healthy human habits and bodies, how do we even know what we are striving for, we just treat the symptoms? Doctors have an heir of knowledge, when in reality, they are more familiar with drugs than they are food and exercise, a lot of the time. That is the education requirements fault, not the doctor, though someone who wants to be a healer seems like they would want to know how to form a healthy body naturally. I mean, it's like they want us to depend on them, not heal us so we don't need them. Okay, there's my speech of the day.

Avatar universal
by weaver71, Mar 26, 2015
Here's a good comparison. Going to an MD first for an ailment is like taking suboxone as a first choice for a short hydro dependance. It is that easy, or seemingly easy way out of the problem. Health requires lifestyle changes, be it addiction, pain issues, psychosis, sexual dysfunction, anxiety, depression, disability of any kind, all of the serious ailments require more than one thing to make them better, most doctors simply are not qualified to treat the whole person, they are mostly specialists that don'e work together.

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by veronica0808, Mar 26, 2015
Oh wao that pain you have i been having for years and gets worst starting mid pregnancy... I was not given an answer either and i left it as is like 4 years ago.. As dumb as it sounds i thought no one would understand but seem like u do.. The exact same places u mention is what hurt.. I hope u can get answers soon a second opinion

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by Shannon79, Mar 26, 2015
It's true G. You have to be an advocate for yourself. If you don't, no one else will! It's not as if I'm asking the world. I'd just like to be able to play with my kids and not have to struggle to pick preston up.

That is so true Tony. A lot of Dr's are pill pushers. Because that's what they were taught. And it's really sad that your Dr goes to one nutrition class and she's classified as an "expert". Leave that to the dieticians. You are just such a wise man. Wise beyond your years. I see why so many turn to you for answers.

V- I totally understand. And this Dr made me feel like it was nothing. Well I'm not going to accept that as an answer cause it doesn't feel like nothing

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by veronica0808, Mar 26, 2015
Ohhh thats how they make it seem they are not feeling it... Hell mines so bad hubby has to help me at times to walk and get up and i be in tears... Im sorry he made u feel that wat i b so mad too plus that long drive.. What are taking as far as meds??? They told me i have fibromalisya how ever the heck is written and have arthritis in my back but i know is more than that

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by Shannon79, Mar 26, 2015
Not taking anything for the pain. I take Tylenol, but it doesn't do anything. Not really sure what else to take.

Should maybe do some research on that

6077797 tn?1520007788
by veronica0808, Mar 26, 2015
U should .. They gave some meds but i dont take them because of the strong side effects so i take excedrin or ibuprofen or sometimes i go higher on dose with my mom meds depends.. Now that im pregnant is harder since im limited but my last pregnancy my ob did give me ibuprofen and sent me for pain management and massages

1580318 tn?1550258081
by Shannon79, Mar 27, 2015
Yeah i'm gonna go to the pharmacy and see what's out there.

Definitely more tricky being pregnant

Avatar universal
by weaver71, Mar 27, 2015
I am curious how much other doctors know about human food and health. I know the requirement is zero, the one nutrition class my doc took was an elective. There are no nutrition classes required by the FDA to be an MD, but we have to take a class in highschool to graduate, maybe the FDA thinks everyone learned it then. In this country, no knowledge of food is needed, I'm curious how many doctors choose to study diet and nutrients, being it is volunteer base and doesn't increase a doctors paycheck. "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," is a good basic book that shares symptoms, herbs, food, minerals that help for each condition, it is in a list format, so it's easy to follow.. I'd start with cutting out anything causing inflammation, like red meat and wheat. Not forever, just to see how your body responds. Then eat antioxidant foods and anti inflammatory foods like fish, fresh berries and whole grain rice. The changes and exoerimenting with diet and nutrients is not easy and we often have to do what we don't want to. But if it's worth it to you to be able do more with you kid, then you may have motive enough to do what it takes. There is no such thing as a "pain Killer." There are pain masks, and anyone I've known with surgery, doesn't throw their kid in the air and jump with joy. On the other hand, I've seen Aids victims go into Remission, legally blind read the newspaper, and people in crippling pain walk again, all from nutrition and natural supplements, with regular exercise. I'm not sure you really believe that natural medicine works better than allopathic medicine, I coukd be wrong, but I hope to hear questions soon like, "What have you heard about shark cartilage, does glucosamine work, and any accupuncture success stories?" With enough testimonials, I hope you will come to realize doctors and the FDA have been leading this mistrust in nature. It started with Eisenhower, 1920's, if you ever want to study the launch date of bad science to support big corporate interests. Like lard and butter being bad for us promoted a new market, vegetable oil, which was proven to be worse for us than animal fat immediately, but that knowledge was hidden. There was almost no heart disease, before the push of veggie oil, lol it up, I'm not making this up. There is this mental block, "Only man has the answers," but they don't remind us that penicillins is moldy cheese, aspirin is willow bark, benzo diazapines are St. John's Wart and Valerian, all pain killers are Oriental Poppy, the list goes through all medicine. Lithium is the natural mineral for bipolar, grapefruit seed extract is a spectrum antibiotic, start looking closer and you can see, nature has all the answers, yet doctors persuade people they are the only ones with answers. Don't be discouraged, seek options.

Avatar universal
by weaver71, Mar 27, 2015
Oh, most Americans woukd agree, collesteral is bad for us, but where is the scientific research to back it? This is the best example, as sense the reduction of cholesterol in our diets, heart disease and obesity and increased per capita. The cholesterol drug and diet they gave Eisenhoer raised his cholesterol until he died. That same diet and exact Medication is still used and prescribed for heart disease today, yet it has proven devestating results and a huge expense in medical tax doars going to big Pharm, MD and corporate insurance companies. Usually, when something makes no sense and people rally around it anyway, it's often about money. Pain, heart disease, mental illness are mAjor areas of misinformation and lack of scientific proof to back the methods of treatment. Though we have more meds and procedures than ever, those illnesses are still on the per capita rise, not reduced or heals in place at all, they are still increasing. Isn't that proof enough that what we have tried the last 100 year trial and error has not worked? So why do we keep doing the same things expecting differs results? I believe they have the result they want, Big Pharm has been the largest profiteer in all of history, it financed the FDA, USDA, all the gov agency set to protect us where first started to promote big medical industry. So few study history, it doesn't surprise me that we think it's conspiracy theory, not actually conspiracy. I better stop now, I start to feel so sad when I focus on how our society is duped by its own leaders and this worship of science. We listen to scientists like we are sheep and believe anything the doctor, preacher, or politician says. That has changed for poilitics, people Interpret religion themselves more, but we still homer the doctor as some powerful, philonthrolic genius at Gods right hand. It breaks my heart. Read about some natural healing, look up an Oesteopath or naturopath, I think it will help you in many ways, more than just the one current issue.


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by Shannon79, Mar 27, 2015
Wow Tony you gave me a lot to think about. I've gone back and read your last 2 responses about 4 times. And the more I read them, the more sense it all makes. I never thought about all that.

You raise an interesting point about how much an M.D. knows about nutrition. I was going to say maybe it's different in Canada then it is in the U.S. But I've never asked my M.D. about that, so I really don't know what she knows.

I know meds aren't going to be a "fix". And as far as that slip goes about the natural or holistic approach, I think it's cause I don't know enough about that. I'd be very open to a more natural approach to this. I just don't know enough about it to know what I should be looking at.

Avatar universal
by weaver71, Mar 27, 2015
The fact that you don't know what your doctor knows about nutrition is due to her not teaching what she knows, even if she does know a lot about it. That says something right there, it is not in her scope of healing tools, or why else hasn't she told you some specific exercises and dietary suggestions? Just sayin,' I don't see a lot of actual healing in Western Medicine, in any nation. It's a global plan they have, a pill for every ill, across the globe. Even if it's free to the public, the government has to by it from the Pharm, no matter what, they win. The one thing that would ruin it, if we heal ourselves, what might that do to their billions a year coming in? They can't paten a native plant, farmers would get that profit. It's to their best interest that we are ill, conflict of interest, medicine and healing for profit changes people's priorities and attracts people who are not healers. If doctors were paid like teachers and meds were free, I wonder if we would have a better system. It won't happen, because nobody making billions wants to give that up, I wouldn't want to, that is why I never made money of other's labor or suffering. I've had my temptations, don't get me wrong, but I never took the contract the benefited from other's misfortune. One of the reasons I am poor, I realize I chose it.

Avatar universal
by weaver71, Mar 27, 2015
The fact that you don't know what your doctor knows about nutrition is due to her not teaching what she knows, even if she does know a lot about it. That says something right there, it is not in her scope of healing tools, or why else hasn't she told you some specific exercises and dietary suggestions? Just sayin,' I don't see a lot of actual healing in Western Medicine, in any nation. It's a global plan they have, a pill for every ill, across the globe. Even if it's free to the public, the government has to by it from the Pharm, no matter what, they win. The one thing that would ruin it, if we heal ourselves, what might that do to their billions a year coming in? They can't paten a native plant, farmers would get that profit. It's to their best interest that we are ill, conflict of interest, medicine and healing for profit changes people's priorities and attracts people who are not healers. If doctors were paid like teachers and meds were free, I wonder if we would have a better system. It won't happen, because nobody making billions wants to give that up, I wouldn't want to, that is why I never made money of other's labor or suffering. I've had my temptations, don't get me wrong, but I never took the contract the benefited from other's misfortune. One of the reasons I am poor, I realize I chose it.

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