SRS Lower Back MRI Results are in...

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by TheOutlawTorn, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. TheOutlawTorn

    TheOutlawTorn New Consequence Machine

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    (Quick history. No insurance so everything is out of pocket. Started presenting with extreme leg pain, doctor tested reflexes and did basic stretching, it's sciatica. Says it'll heal in 3 months, gives me pain killers, and anti-inflammitory meds and we go on. After 3 months, it's NOT healed. Leg pain is still there...not better. He schedules me for an MRI and I pay 300.00 straight out of pocket to get the mri with 900.00 more to pay for over time, we pick up there:)


    Odd thing is my physician has NOT looked at them yet. He couldn't make it in Monday due to the snow storm...nor could anyone else. So they were there on Tuesday. I waited like a good boyscout (Hey...you...yeah...stop laughing...I WAS a boyscout once!!!) for him to get back with me like he said...

    Finally, today I called and I was a little more than pissed. Being forced to wait and being stuck on medication that doesn't quite cover up the pain very well until you have your MRI performed, and then find out that he's totally blown me off will do that... They tell me that the results are in but he's not had a chance to look at them and he'll put them in the inbox. I ask what the results are and they tell me Degenerative Discs in L3, L4, and L5. We hang up and I wait for a call that probably will not come today, if at all...

    Surprisingly as I was typing the middle of the second paragraph, he called. Well...he had his secretary call...different one. She read the note that he wrote: "Patient is healed. Continue doing stretches..."

    I asked "Well, she Leanne told me that it said Degenerative discs in L3-5...and I damn well am still hurting, it's not in my head..."

    He's standing next to me and that's all he says...

    Can I talk to him?

    He's busy.

    Ok. *CLICK*

    I walk off the initial anger. Stopping briefly to rub my leg that is aching and starting to shoot pain from sitting too long...

    I know it's not in my head...

    I call back and they're out to lunch, but I get the Secretary and proceed to start off nice, but end up going off. I can't stand being lied to...especially after all this money out of pocket...him saying I'm healed, the MRI saying something different, and my leg is DAMN well still hurting.

    He's supposed to call me back.

    I'm betting he will avoid it...

    I'm ready to cut my leg off because I'm tired of the pain. I'm honestly ready to give up since it seems as though he wants to ignore me, lie to me or just totally brush me off...
     
  2. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Not saying it's in your head, but maybe it's not in your back either. You do have to give the doc a little benefit of the doubt because he did go to medical school and you didn't. Maybe you've been babying the injury for so long that it can't withstand any real usage now, or maybe the nerve running to your leg is getting pinched somewhere other than where it enters your spine. Maybe getting a physical therapist would help; they usually have better insight into the workings of connective tissue than internists do, because that's what they specialize in working with.

    Anyway, whatever you do, don't get the vertebrae fused, not for all the relief in the world. I know several people who've had that done and it ALWAYS causes problems down the road -- more severe ones than they had before, no less.
     
  3. johan

    johan Active Member

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    Find another doctor.

    You can try all sorts of other things, but eventually, you will reduce down to this final solution.

    Up to you how long you want ride the merry go round before you dump this guy.
     
  4. Redbeard

    Redbeard OT Supporter

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    He is paying out of pocket, no insurance.
     
  5. johan

    johan Active Member

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    Your point? He's footing the entire bill, so he's free to move on.

    If he were insured, he'd have less or no freedom as to which doc his insurer will refer to.
     
  6. TheOutlawTorn

    TheOutlawTorn New Consequence Machine

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    I'm going to talk to him monday and explain the situation. What I think it is, and go into how he's been treating me, and tell him I'm considering switching doctors.
     
  7. Yail Bloor

    Yail Bloor OT Supporter

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    well i had sciatica and it really sucked. mine was so bad that i couldn't sit for more than a few minutes at a time

    i'd recommend finding an excellent chiropractor

    also an inversion table can be a big help

    the fact is that in general medical doctors suck when it comes to lower back issues

    this book has helped me a lot as well:
    http://www.amazon.com/Deal-Back-Pai...r_1_23?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266800070&sr=1-23

    lastly i'm against meds in general but when mine was really bad and I could hardly even walk I took a job waiting tables and took 800 mg of ibuprofen 3 times a day and it made a huge difference in being able to move around and get my work done
     
  8. johan

    johan Active Member

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    Personally, I wouldn't go in with a rant about feeling unfairly treated, followed by the threat of going to someone else.

    That'll put him on the defensive, and most people, would either:

    1) give you some lip service about how they'll make it more of a priority, BUT DO NOTHING

    2) acknowledge your difficulties, and tell you about how short-staffed, under-resourced, scheduling issues, blah blah, BUT DO NOTHING

    3) politely tell you to go fuck yourself. To the patient, this will sound like "I'm sorry we couldn't meet your needs, I think Dr. XYZ has a more open schedule and could better accomodate you as a patient.." etc etc.




    Good doctors are hard to find. We all want a doc to listen, and be somewhat sympathetic, and offer good old fashioned CARE in addition to medical skill.

    I'm going to suggest though that if this guy is a fantastic diagnostician, but is a grade-A personality asshole, that you stay with this guy.

    The reverse, while it feels good, is absolutely crappy when it comes to top grade medical care.

    This sort of feel-good moron managed to miss Stage III lymphoma in someone very dear to me. Could not see it, all the way until S-III when a sharp hospital resident caught it. Even acted surprised afterward. He's lucky to be alive.




    Anyways, I would go in with the attitude of bringing him on-side. Make him your ally, instead of an adversary.

    Explain to him how painful and difficult your issues are. That you can barely move.
    Ask him for what the diagnosis is.
    Act surprised when he says "its nothing". Suggest that you thought that someone mentioned something wrong with your discs in L3-5.
    Allow him to explain it.

    If you're still dissatisfied... then it's time to get another doc. But don't go in guns blazing.
    I don't know any doctor for which this would be a winning strategy for you.

    good luck. and update
     
  9. johan

    johan Active Member

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    BTW, I agree with finding a good chiropractor.

    Key word being GOOD.
     
  10. mws0019

    mws0019 New Member

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    The first clue to me would be the Doc telling you your sciatica will go away in 3 months. It wont go away until you correct the issue that is impinging your nerve.

    A Physical Therapist is your best option. We typically see results on something like that within 1-4 visits.

    What is your position of comfort? on your stomach, back with knees on pillows?
     
  11. mws0019

    mws0019 New Member

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    Chiropractors are good for a certain mold of patients, but not for something like this. I doubt you will benefit from an adjustment, and chiros are poor diagnosticians.

    The MRI was negative for a herniation?
     
  12. TheOutlawTorn

    TheOutlawTorn New Consequence Machine

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    He's a pretty damn good doctor, just a grade a asshole. Of course, I've gotten attitude with him before when I was a teenager and he came around and realized that I don't do well with being ran over top of.

    I like your plan though. I will be doing this.
     
  13. TheOutlawTorn

    TheOutlawTorn New Consequence Machine

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    I can't sleep unless i'm on my side/stomach. Well..GET to sleep. I wake up and I'm on my back, so I would go with my back.

    When I fall asleep I'm in a K type position. My right (pained) leg is the extended, and I'm kind of cocked to the side.
     
  14. TheOutlawTorn

    TheOutlawTorn New Consequence Machine

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    This is the funny part.

    It was negative for herniation. My discs were deteriorated, but no herniation. After more and more research, I found out that where my pain presents the area would be in my buttocks. I'll just cut and paste it:

    The first one is a straight up explanation of what I'm going through. I'm just assuming he thought it was the basic one in the lumbar area, and never gave the others a thought. We shall find out.
     
  15. TheOutlawTorn

    TheOutlawTorn New Consequence Machine

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    I'd have to do some research on them. There are a shit ton out this way but some of them are no damn good...
     
  16. johan

    johan Active Member

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    If your mri showed no herniation, I would definitely look for a good physical therapist or chiropractor.

    Find a good one, and you'll be amazed that the pain will be gone within a few visits.
     
  17. mws0019

    mws0019 New Member

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    Sorry for the delay in response. A tight piriformis muscle is a common mechanism for sciatica but just as common is the referral from your lumbar spine.

    Dig your fingers into your butt cheek midway down and see if you can reproduce your pain. (It's hard to describe where to find it, so you just have to feel). If you are tender to the touch in that area try some light stretching to begin with.

    First start with a piriformis stretch (look one up) or while lying on your back with knees bent cross your affected leg over your unaffected leg and then lock your hands behind the knee of the unaffected leg an pull towards you.

    This is a good start
     
  18. TheOutlawTorn

    TheOutlawTorn New Consequence Machine

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    mws...I dug my fingers into my butt all over it...it was tender in a lot of places and then I hit a spot that made me jump about 8 feet in the air and start cursing your name! :rofl:

    I tried your stretch lightly, and it hurts pretty good, but also feels kind of good. How often do I need to do this?

    My doctor rescheduled, and then kicked a prescription for Tramadol to the pharmacy. Even though I've told them that it doesn't work unless it actually kicks in before the pain is too severe.
     
  19. mws0019

    mws0019 New Member

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    Dont stretch through extreme pain, but you will definitely feel discomfort.

    hold about 30" 3 times or so, twice a day. If you begin to notice even slight improvements, it is likely we have found the spot where the nerve is being impinged

    Mix in a good hamstring stretch, (lying on your back with the unaffected leg straight and the affected leg up on the air with your arms locked behind it pulling towards you. Keep the knee straight and take it to the point where you feel a good stretch and then pump your ankle by pointing your toes towards you and back up towards the ceiling. This is a nerve glide technique.
     
  20. Yail Bloor

    Yail Bloor OT Supporter

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    the trick with chiros is to find a really good one

    the problem is there are many crappy chiros for each good one
     

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