Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Feet First

I prayed that I might avoid complacency, now that I have been excused from brain MRI scans until February.

The answer to my prayer came in the form of unexplained low back pain that got increasingly worse. I haven't slept much in the last several weeks, because of the pain. And yes, I have a great neurostimulator and a Sleep Number bed and plenty of Advil and I do a lot of walking. I can't decide what was worse -- dealing with the pain and sleepless nights, or wondering what could possibly have caused this to happen.

My gynecologist and gastroenterologist were each able to rule out anything that would land in their turf. The gastroenterologist ordered an MRI of my pelvis and sacrum and suggested that I take these to my orthopedic surgeon.

The orthopedic surgeon glanced at the radiologist's report but did not look at the MRI images or seem to have interest in them. He immediately diagnosed sciatica after a brief physical exam, and prescribed a corticosteroid, with plans to explore further if the prescription didn't help.

After I picked up the prescription and reviewed the accompanying information, I noticed many warnings about use in patients taking seizure medication. So I called the orthopedic surgeon's office, and they decided that I shouldn't take it. Instead, the doctor decided to order an MRI of the lumbar section of my spine. I had that done today.

Yes, two MRI's in one week, and both had me going in the tube feet first this time! My head stayed outside the tube, which was kind of a weird new experience.

I'm not sure what he is looking for, but two things came to (what's left of) my mind. One was a reminder that I was diagnosed about twenty years ago with a transitional vertebrae that would probably cause a problem with my back in about twenty years. The other was a reminder that brain tumors generally stay within the brain...but can also spread into other parts of the central nervous system (like the spine). I think they are both plausible causes of sciatica pain, although the former is (hopefully) more likely than the latter. Either way, I'm hoping the MRI will provide the answer and a road map to relief.

Unfortunately, I was told that my orthopedic surgeon only reads incoming radiologist reports on Tuesdays and Fridays, so I have a while to stand around (sitting is too painful) and wait for the verdict. Whatever it is, and wherever we go from here, I only pray will reflect God's will. I can always trust in that. If it's an easily correctable problem, that would be another reason to celebrate. If it's a major problem, then we found something that needs major action, and I am ready to jump into that...feet first.


LadyCarma said...

I am sorry you are having pain in your back. I hope they find some help for you.
In July I developed a pain in my right buttocks area, with the pain shooting down the leg, centering in the right back calf area. The massage therapist said it is textbook case of pinched siatic nerve. Standing and walking are preferred over sitting. I too am puzzled why lying down in bed does NOT give any relief and have been quite sleepless for weeks. Yoga and cold packs help. And not lifting anything heavy like my grandson!

Anonymous said...

Prayers Krista!

Kristin said...

You are so positive and a great example of living what you believe. Thanks for sharing and I'll keep you in my prayers.

Linda said...

Hang in there, Krista, hope it is something that can be fixed and have a 5K to do!!!

Josh and Kristen said...

What a great attitude. I will be praying for you and anxiously waiting for your update on the MRI

Gabi, Berlin said...

Hi Krista
That IS sciatica, not something "else". And even if something else, not "that one"!