Today I saw the Second Opinion Neurosurgeon.
It was a fairly pleasant experience except for one thing.
I had an extremely long long day at a conference, and by the time I got to the appointment, I was entirely in pain and very tired.
The Surgeon spent more time with me than the other surgeon, but I have to be honest, last week I was having a lot of trouble comprehending information, and I had no coherent questions. I had been placed on a lot of medications and my head was totally fuzzy.
By now, I’ve had some time to think, I’ve adjusted to the medication and so I had some questions that made sense.
The Surgeon did an exam and looked over at my films. I laid flat on a table mostly.
He was entirely surprised to find that I was still working.
His findings agreed with everyone else’s that there is weakness in my left leg.
He explained that the epidural injection will not shrink the disc as I had hoped, but that it would reduce the inflammation of the nerves and also dull the pain some. So it should help me, but not in the way I would have expected.
He then did the most thorough exam I’ve had so far. After that he told me that he did believe I’d be able to run after surgery (at some point). His big caveat was that I can not have any increase in the weakness in my leg. He felt I could have the epidural and delay surgery as long as I keep the foot and ankle strong.
One thing I liked about him is that he seemed to share my opinions on Pain Management (as a specialty) and such. he did not like that I had been placed on Neurontin, he said, “It makes people feel funny” I agreed but frankly, it’s not narcotic, and has helped.
At any rate, I felt good that I kind of have a plan in place now that may provide some pain relief, and return me to some form of function.
Friday I see the other Neurosurgeon again.
I’ve accepted that I will eventually need this surgery. I have seen that it does have a 95% success rate, which is high and gives me hope.
Now, I just have to figure out WHO does it and WHEN.
Hard to choose a surgeon when both are really qualified. Yes the second doc spent more time, but with surgeons, one really doesn’t care much about bedside manner, one cares about results.
So we’ll see. I fired off an email to my coach asking if he could do the strengthening exercises with me. No response yet. So we’ll see.