Since you’ve all been dying to find out how my appt. on Wed. July 10th went with the orthopedic doctor, I’m here to fill you in. Hubby had an appt. with Dr. J at 10:30 am and mine was set for 11 am. We got to Dr. J’s office at 10:20 am and I waited with him until 10:45 am and then left to go downstairs. I filled out 6 pages of paperwork and and got done a little after 11 am. They called me back at 11:15 to go to the exam room. I waited in there alone until noon! I was so nervous since I’d never met him and was worried I’d get bad news. My hands were all clammy and I kept wiping them on my shorts to dry them off. When Dr. Hennessey finally came in, he was like a whirlwind. He was in a hurry, wanted to do most of the talking, was in no mood to listen and acted like I had no business being there. He’s a surgeon so as soon as he realized having me as a patient wasn’t going to provide him with a new boat, he was already figuring out a way to pass me off to someone else. He was very curt/abrupt and hadn’t looked at my MRI results until after he talked to me. I had trouble getting a word in edgewise. I really wanted to be able to tell him everything but he deemed it wasn’t necessary. I really dislike doctors with this type of bedside treatment but what can you do, there seems to be an endless supply of them.
After what Dr. J had told me on May 15th, that I had spinal stenosis and I could end up in a wheelchair and not to lift and that any minute my legs could give out on me, I’ve been thinking about it non-stop. I’ve been afraid to do too much, lift much or bend a lot. I’ve been going down the stairs almost sideways, holding the handrail. I’ve just been beyond careful until I could talk to this specialist and find out what restrictions I had. I didn’t want to damage my back through my ignorance. Doing something that would hurt it more and give me lifelong problems. Well, when I told him about my left foot (my real left foot, not the movie!), he asked me if I’d been tested for diabetes and I said yes and he wanted to know when last. I told him May 15th. Then he had me take off my sandals and walk across the floor on my tiptoes and then back on my heels. He had me squat and stand up. He had me sit and hold my feet out and he pressed against my toes and had me do resistance against him, same with the legs. Then he told me to follow him down the hallway to the other end of the office and looked at my MRI. I had to practically run to keep up with him. The written report I’d been mailed had so much technical jargon that even looking different terms up on the Internet left me unsure of what it meant. It sounded pretty bad but I wanted him to explain it to me. He said he only saw a few things and my back “isn’t that bad.” Not bad enough to cause pain.
So we went back to the exam room and then my hubby showed up. He’d finished with his appt. and just caught the tail end of mine. Dr. H said there was nothing he could do for me so he was sending me to Dr. Zaffer. That I needed a test called an EMG test. I’d never heard of that before. It’s an electromyogram which measures the electrical activity of muscles at rest and during contraction. This is to see how well the spinal cord, nerve roots and muscles are working. He thinks one or more of my nerve roots is impinged (pinched). Depending on results, he said I could have an epidural (I assume cortisone) or be sent to a pain management clinic. Since I walked in expecting to be sent to physical therapy, I was took off guard. He said for the EMG, they put needles in my muscles and test the response. I asked him if the needles would be in my back or in my legs and he said both! That doesn’t sound fun at all. He also said he thinks my entire pain stems from gaining weight and told me I need to lose at least 50 lbs. I knew this but it’s easier said than done. He asked if I wanted an order to see a dietitian and I said ok. He said said hubby was recently diagnosed with diabetes, he could get an order from Dr. J to see one too. I feel like an idiot since I should know what to eat and not eat by now. I eat mostly healthy but need portion control. I just need to eat much less or figure out a way to shrink my stomach so it gets full sooner.
So the soonest I could get in for the EMG is Tues. July 23rd at 1 pm. He told us to check with Dr. J and see if he had a favorite dietitian to recommend. So we hoofed it back upstairs and asked for the order for hubby. The girl at the desk told us that he doesn’t need one because of his insurance, it’s covered. Well, we have the same insurance but I let it go. Then I asked if Dr. J had a dietitian he recommended and she said no. She said she’d write down the phone number for the dietitian dept. at the hospital so I could call. When I did call, they had given me the radiology dept.!! Plus they told me hubby DID need an order to go there. Everything that doctor’s office has ever told me has been wrong! I should be used to it by now. The dietitian dept. only sees one patient a day outside of inpatients since they’re shortstaffed now. The soonest I could get an appt. for was Aug. 1st at 10 am. Hubby and I are going together and they’ll take us one after another, about an hour each. I hope I learn something I don’t already know! If not, I may try to talk hubby into going to Weight Watchers with me.
So basically, it’s good news although it doesn’t feel like it. My back is fine and I have NO restrictions. I couldn’t believe it! He said I could do anything I normally do and not worry about it. When they had me put down on a scale of 1-10 (10 being worst) how bad my pain was, I put 4 but it really is 3-4. It’s not excruciating but it is there. Since I went to see him though, my legs have been hurting less! I don’t know if it’s psychological but it sure is nice. I’m half tempted to wait and see if it goes away after weight loss before going for the EMG. Then again, it’s better to know what’s going on than be in the dark. The dark is familiar and comfortable but also scary if you get to thinking too much which is my hobby of choice.
I don’t plan on turning this into a weight loss blog and plan to lose slowly so I keep it off. I will chronicle it as I go but (to me) there’s so many other more interesting things to blog about! When I was a kid, my mom had an album by Frankie Yankovic that had a bunch of different polkas on it. I grew up listening to it and a wide range of other music. My favorite is the “Too Fat Polka” which makes me laugh every time. As a kid it seemed cruel, now I think it’s funny. “I don’t want her, you can have her. She’s too fat for me!” I might just have to make that my new ringtone! 😉 Maybe if I actually spent time polkaing, I’d be thinner.