It is Friday today, and I am laying in bed wondering what is going to happen next. Yesterday’s appointment with the specialist was strange and it has created new challenges. I am going to have to work hard to keep my thoughts positive and not get too down.
Thoughts on Consultants
We went to see the consultant and one of the major hospitals in the area. I have only seen three consultants in my life who have actually “examined” me, and that makes me cross sometimes. It makes me feel like they consider themselves above such things. I have been under two different consultants at the pain clinic. The first one examined me, the second didn’t. I have seen two orthopedic spinal consultants, and neither examined me. They look at the MRI images and that is all they are interested in.
So when yesterday I told the consultant that I had new symptoms, and they are all consistent with a change in condition; I was expecting to be examined and admitted. He did neither. The new symptoms include:
- saddle area (between my legs) numbness,
- shooting pains down the legs,
- difficulty passing urine, and,
- loss of sensation in bladder.
These are all indicators of the very serious condition called cauda equina. Instead he has requested an urgent MRI, and told me to do what I can to stay off the opiods (morphine & Diazepam). I said the only way I can do that is to lay almost completely flat, but that meant I couldn’t go to work. He told me “good, do that.” I thought, not helpful! If I stay in this position I do not get the pains shooting down my legs and the feeling slowly comes back between my legs. But, if I can’t sit up or stand up I can’t go to work. It is not perfect by any means. My back is still on fire, and in the time it takes for me to walk the 5m to the bathroom my saddle area has gone to sleep.
Impact on the future.
Obviously this is a huge thing and last time it took 5 months for the numbness to go and not come back each time I stood up. You read that right 5 months. Last time a disc had ruptured and the fluid leaking was the problem, that was why my back felt like it was on fire because the nerves don’t like the fluid inside the discs. I have spoken to my boss, and asked if I can do any work from home. They are thinking about it. This episode may cost me my job – again. It cost me my job in 2015. My back pain was a root cause of me leaving my job in October last year; I think I am turning into a bad hire, I have too much time off work sick.
Right now, it is a waiting game. I think they don’t want me taking the opiods for a couple of reasons.
- They are strong and highly addictive, and,
- Because I can’t feel the pain I may be doing too much.
So, for the moment I am staying in the position that the hospitals always put me in. I am laid down no higher than 450 and wiggling my feet as much as possible. I spoke to my GP yesterday and he suggested that compression socks might not be a bad call just to help keep the blood from pooling in my legs. And, I am waiting to hear from my boss, to see if I still have a job.