dr. who?

hello my joyful friends,

The juices are flowing again.  So, let’s get right to it. One of my last post was rather dark.  Nothing joyful about it, that’s for sure.  I suppose I feel the need to be honest with my dedicated fans (hey sis!) in an effort to avoid that toxic positivity my therapist talks about.

Today I met with the neurosurgeon.  I had reached out to one of my friends who had three surgeries in one summer a couple of years ago.  She didn’t get back to me, so instead of feeling put off, I decided to do a little research.  I also went online to view my medical record, so cool you can do that now. I found out exactly what my troubles are, some crooked spots in my back, specifically the, hold on to your horses now, L1-2 a bulging disk and lateral osteophyte formation with narrowing of the spinal canal, at L2-3 a circumferential disc bulging without significant can stenosis (well that’s good, right?), but there’s more!  At L3-4 there is disc bulging and left-sided osteophyte formation as well as mild bilateral facet hypertrophy and ligamentous thickening, resulting in left lateral recess effacement and mild central canal narrowing.  Now, that can’t be good!  And, at L4-5 there is disc bulging eccentric to the left (at least she’s got style!).  Then, drum roll, at L5-S1 there is circumferential disc bulging and a lobulated central to right paracentral disc extrusion, and they go on to give her measurements.  Holy Toledo! 

I may not have gone to med school, but I think I get the jist of it.  Some bad shit going on back there.  In actuality, you have this too.  At least if you are over the age of 30.  There is another way to describe the problem…old age!  That and my back has been through it. I was a competitive gymnast most of my childhood. You’ve probably seen gymnastics on TV, the Olympics or something like that. While I wasn’t as good as they are you can see that the back is really abused! I’m not sure my spine is supposed to do what I asked it to do back then.

My Doctor was, well, I am having a hard time coming up with a nick name, and I am usually pretty good at it.  Like Dr. Dorcas, or Dr. Dimwit.  I think we, well we ladies, remember Dr. Dreamy on that late night soap opera.  He was very cute.  Okay, okay, okay, another tangent.  My doctor was kind of Columbo-esque.  For those of you old enough to remember, Columbo, was a crime drama series before crime drama was even a thing.  I loved that show.  The viewers would see the crime committed early on in the show, then watch Columbo, played by Peter Fault, stumble around in a wrinkled trench coat with a gross cigar clenched in his teeth, uncovering clues.  He’d question someone suspicious and just when they thought they’d fooled him he’d say. “Just one more thing…”.  Loved that show!

So, my doctor was a little like that.  We’ll call my guy Dr. Dodgy.  He made me feel comfortable, asked me questions in his Columbo like manner, appeared to be quite concerned, would listen to my responses. Then when I asked a question, he’d deftly dodge out of the way!  He’d not answer my question, at least to my satisfaction, but somehow got away with it.  He was all smoke and mirrors, that one.  But here’s the rub.  My questions usually started with an “If” followed by a “then”.  Like, “So, if I have the surgery, then this numbness in my foot will go away.” He’d look me right in the eye shaking his head in a fatherly fashion and say, “No, I didn’t say that.” 

In the end, he painted a picture of him, Dr. Dodgy, as part furniture mover and part electrician.  My sciatica nerve was an extension cord of sorts.  The extension cord is plugged into a light and the light is not working.  Them we notice a couch is on top of the cord so that’s why the light isn’t turning on. You follow me so far?  And, “if” Dr. Dodgy pushes the couch off the electric cable (that’s the surgery) we really can’t predict what will happen.  Perhaps, once the pressure is off the cord, the light will go on!  The nerves in back will send a signal down my leg which will will reach my foot and it’ll be like old times.  I’ll look down and say, “Heel, lift off the floor!” And, it will.  It may be that “if” the electrical cord was damaged by the couch “then”….well, my heel, and toes will continue to ignore me and will continue be problematic.

It boils down to this.  Whether I have the surgery or not, my back IS going to get worse.  So is yours.  It is what it is.  I briefly touched on my theory of blame from a previous post, and he nodded furiously when I explained how when I got the news this thing in my foot might be permanent, that I immediately blamed my poor retired Doctor, and my physical therapist, who I actually really like.  The reason he was nodding furiously is because he gets blamed all the time when things don’t go just the way his patients want them to.  And, get this.  You know who he blames?  The pharmaceutical industry.  My joyful friend, that is a whole ‘nother post!  He and I agreed on something. 

For now, suffice it to say, I have a lot to think about.  What I do know is I don’t have to decide today.  I know more now than I did yesterday.  More will be revealed tomorrow.  As the Buddhist monk would probably say, “My back is already broken!”  So, I’ll enjoy today.  I’ll be grateful for the things I do have.  Because, the more we are grateful for what we have, the more we will have to be grateful for. 

Until we meet again my joyful friends.  Go out and spark some joy!  I will be!