Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Neck Is Even Worse Than We Thought!!! :(

dr james lynch neurosurgeon nevada

Dr Lynch, my HERO!!

Hey Ya'll,

I said in my last post, that I would post last night regarding my Surgery consult with my Neurosurgeon.  Well, Sunday night I was in so much pain, that I couldn't get to sleep!!  And I was in bed by 2 am.  Early for me...but every time that I would start to drift off, I would start having pain, like in my Foot, then I would shift position, and just as I was drifting off to sleep, BANG...I would have pain somewhere else, etc, etc, etc!!  So finally, when Walt woke up at around 5:30, I had him bring me a Tylenol 3, as my normal pain meds (Vicoden, Celebrex, Lyrica, Amitriptyline, Requip, etc) wasn't working....Oh, and did I mention that I had also taken a Sleeping Pill???  Well, nothing was working.

So Walt brought me the Tylenol 3, and finally sometime between 7-8 am, I was able to drift off to sleep.  Then at 9 am, my phone beeped, letting me know that I had a text!!  I was NOT a happy camper, since it wasn't anything important....But I did manage to fall back to sleep (thank God)....until 10:15, so at 10:30 I finally gave up and just got up, I had a lot to do anyway.

Walt came home early to pick me up, so that we could make a couple of stops on the way to pick up our Mail, and then to stop at the Imaging Place to pick up my MRI Scans.  Just reading the written report provided with the Scans sounded bad to me, but then, they always do!!  So I was just hoping that the Surgeon wouldn't want to try all kinds of alternate treatment options, before recommending Surgery.  We were his last patient of the day, and when he walked in, he said that the Scans showed significant damage that needed to be taken care of now....no pussy footing around so to speak, trying Treatments that wouldn't work at this stage in the game anyway.

I had already filled out almost all of the forms they had online, so that saved me a lot of time!!  But we arrived way early anyway, and because of this, we had to wait a long time.  It was our fault for arriving over an hour early!! LOL  Luckily for us though, the Doctor wasn't really running behind.  The only reason that we had to wait as long as we did, once we were taken to a room, was because he actually took the time to read the typed pages I had provided, listing all of my Symptoms, Accidents that could have caused my issues, etc!!  We were really impressed that he DID read them, as most Doctors won't take the time to do this....and he agreed that most Doctors don't!

So anyway, we found out why we got in so quickly to see him without having to wait a week or more to get in....he told us that when he receives a referral, he rates them on a scale from A to F, with F meaning nothing needs to be done, and A as being severe and needs to be taken care of immediately.  Well, he rated my report as A+.  And he praised the Doctor that read my MRI at the Imaging place, as being very thorough and accurate!!

I had my MRI done last Wednesday, my PCP called me on Friday morning letting me know that I do have some issues that needs to be taken care of, and that she was sending over the referral to a really good Neurosurgeon that day.  Well, I was expecting to be called by the Neuro Dr sometime this week, but they called me the same day by lunch time...., and I got my appointment scheduled for yesterday (Monday)!!  He told us that his notes to his scheduler, was to contact me immediately, and to get me in ASAP, and that he would even see me after hours!!  Shock of a lifetime!!

He was very thorough, and very willing to explain everything, both verbally, as well as visually, using my MRI's as well as using a plastic Disc, and literature (photos), as well as showing us exactly what the Disc would look like with the Fusion.  Yes, I said Fusion!

When he started talking about Surgery and what was needed, Walt informed him that we were in the process of getting Surgery approval to have my Lap Band removed, and asked whether or not we should wait to do the Cervical Surgery, and he said NO!!  The Lap Band wasn't something that was an emergency, and the Disc Surgery WAS!!  

He said that my C 3-4 Disc was Totally Blown Out!  And the Discs at C 5-6, and C 6-7 also need to be Fused!  So he is hoping to be able to do all of it in only one Surgery....he will try to do all of the Fusing from the Front of the Neck, as the C 3-4 definitely does need to be taken care of from the Front.  Otherwise, he will have to stabilize the lower Discs from the Backside.  He will Fuse them in the upcoming Surgery from the Front, and so long as they Fuse properly with no complications, he will be happy.  But if they won't Fuse properly, he will have to go back in, in a 2nd Surgery, and add stability (Rods I think) from the Back, so here's crossing my Fingers and Toes that the one Surgery will be good enough!!

So by the time I have my Surgery, I will have 4 Levels Fused, involving 5 Discs!  Practically my whole Neck will be Fused....but he is hoping that I will at least be able to retain the current movement that I have in my Neck, or possibly a little more, and hopefully without pain in the future!  So here's hoping this will at least end the pain...I can live with a stiff Neck!  LOL

When we were finished (at 6 pm) he said that he would have to have his Surgery scheduler call me this morning, but when he opened the door, was very happy to find out that she stayed until he was finished talking with us.  She knew that he wanted to work with me ASAP.  So she came in and started the process of my Surgery approval right then and there!

She will contact me either tomorrow or Wednesday giving me the dates of the appointments that I will need to do, such as the Pre-Surgery testing, Pre-Surgery consult with the Doctor to go over the Test results, as well as my actual Surgery date and time.  We chose the Hospital from the Hospitals that my Insurance Co will allow, that he works through.  At this Hospital, he does Surgery on Tuesdays.  She said that the next available Surgery dates are during the last week of the Month, so it looks like I should have a Surgery date of March 27th, or April 3rd at the latest!

We also advised him of my Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea, he was very thankful that we did...he said that because of the Major Surgery involved, and the amount of Discs being done at one time, that with my Central Sleep Apnea pulled into the scenario, he wants to be even more cautious, and said that he will probably have me in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at least the 1st night to be safe.  And that I will have to stay in the Hospital at least one night, possibly up to 3.  With a minimum of 3 Months recovery!  I am not sure when I will be able to drive either.  I am hoping to be able to drive by the end of the 1st Month though! LOL

And surprise, surprise....I called Dr Kozar's office this morning to advise them that I need to postpone my Lap Band removal Surgery, and was informed that they had just received the Surgery approval yesterday...LOL  So that means that I would have had my Surgery this Thursday!!  I was informed that the approval was only good for 90 days though.  So I will need to contact them before that, to advise when I should be able to go through my Lap Band Removal Surgery, as they may need to reapply for the Surgery approval, or hopefully just have it extended.  We shall see!!

We also asked Dr Lynch about my Lower Back problems, and he said that although it looks like I could have some issues there, he wants to work with the Neck first, as he is concerned with the stability of my Neck.  He said that if I were involved in an accident, or slipped and fell in some ice, and voila...I could become paralyzed or die (but probably just paralyzed)!!  But he did say that we would look into the Lower Back later.  So once I recover from the Neck Fusion, and my Lap Band Removal, we will start the Lower Back, and hopefully, get it taken care of THIS YEAR...as I won't have to pay out of pocket for it!  My Insurance Company will hate me this year!!!  LOL  But then I should be set.

So after all that....my Dad starts his Radiation Treatments today for his Lung Cancer.  We are really hoping that it won't take too many Treatments before he starts to have relief from the pain.  But I don't think that he is fully aware of how the Radiation Treatments will make him feel.  I just hope that he can stand it long enough for the Treatments to remove the pain, or at least get it under control.  I already have a Cousin that has gone though Chemo and Radiation for her Cancer's, and is now just taking Morphine for control of her pain....

Hey I just thought of something....even if I get my nails done just before Surgery, I won't be able to get in to have them done again for at least a Month, unless I can get Walt to drive me in!!!  They will look hideous!!  LOL  My toenails aren't a big deal, but my finger nails....well, that's another story!  But I hate to think about having to have my Acrylics removed completely!

Anyway, I have rambled on too long as it is, I need to get off here, as I have tons to do!!  Till next time...

Aloha My Friends  :)


Lonicera said...

Debi, I can't take it all in! Your poor old body is going to take quite a beating this year. One thing I thought you would mention is a neck brace - do they not recommend you wear one in a vehicle just in case of sudding braking... is that sort of treatment out of date? Keep us as updated as you can, won't you?

Debi said...

He didn't mention me wearing a Neck Brace before Surgery, but I know that I will have to after Surgery!!

I will keep you updated!

And thanks for you always caring about me!