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Old 04-09-2012, 03:56 PM   #1
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Unhappy Got my MRI results

I have a problem at L4-L5. (edited) ...large central disk extrusion. Severe stenosis of the canal.

and L5-S1 .....shallow central disk protrusion, endplate spur.

Impression: Large Central and left paracentral disk extrusion at L4-L5 severely narrows the canal and left neural foramen.


----------

I was lucky to get them today from the hospital after I made an appointment for tomorrow with the Neural/spinal surgery doctor.

 
Old 04-09-2012, 05:37 PM   #2
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Re: Got my MRI results

I saw one of your posts on another thread where you said you slept on your stomach and mentioned something about bending over. I just wanted to mention that now that you have your MRI and know that you have a couple bad discs, you would be wise to avoid any activity that involves bending or twisting at the waist, pushing, pulling, reaching up overhead or to the side and you should be careful lifting or carrying anything more than about ten pounds.

You want to preserve those discs and hopefully get them to heal so you can avoid needing surgery. In this regard, sleeping on your back is very bad for the lumbar discs because it causes the spine to hyper-extend. Try sleeping on your back with a pillow or small support under your knees, or on your side, with a small pillow between your knees -- these positions support the natural curve of the spine and are healthier for the discs.

Glad you have an appointment with a spine specialist soon.

 
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:12 PM   #3
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Re: Got my MRI results

Thanks, I mostly am in bed all day on my back. I sleep on my stomach and feel great when I get up. I use my computer from my bed too. I have a LCD monitor and have a mouse and keyboard on my bed. I live alone, I have no one to help me. I only have one friend that I can rely on, I don't want to impose on him until I really need his help.

I try not to bend, but sometimes I have no choice. I had to put air in my tire and I did the best to get the nozzle to the 12 oclock position, I asked an older neighbor who was painting on a ladder to help me and he pulled the "I speaka no english" thing. I had to go to the supermarket alone. For one thing I needed on the bottom shelf I asked a lady to get it for me because it was impossible for me to reach. I wanted to get butter from the fridge but it was on the bottom drawer, and eventually I got it the next day and settled for margarine that day. I'm living on cereal and cookies and if I have to go out I will get something at the McDonald's drive thru.

I have to bend over to put on my shorts and as it is I have to sit on the bed and dangle them and try to get one leg in at a time. I am doing the best I can to not bend or reach, but sometimes I have to. If I do have to bend to reach something I do what I can and if it starts to hurt I wait and try to get what I need from another angle.

I can't sleep on my back. I'm a fussy sleeper, can't sleep in a car or plane or sitting in a chair either. Thanks for your concern and suggestions.

Last edited by SFlorida; 04-09-2012 at 06:13 PM.

 
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:04 PM   #4
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Re: Got my MRI results

Glad that you got your appointment so quickly. You might want to mention your sleep habits/issues to the spine specialist: a sleep medication may be helpful for the short term to avoid sleeping on your stomach. Be sure to take your MRI report and films with you (sounds like you are on top of this).

You might want to purchase a grabber and some snug-fitting slip on shoes so that you don't have to tie them or worry about them causing you to trip. If you have a small stool or something similar, you can use this type of item for chores like the air-in-tire issue. Use your environment to help you -- use the hood of the car to lean on.

Good luck tomorrow!

 
Old 04-09-2012, 09:40 PM   #5
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Re: Got my MRI results

Sounds like you are having a heck of a time. I am sorry that you are going through this and alone it must be horrible. I hope you have luck at your appointment tomorrow and the doc can help shed some light on your problems and give you some PT to help you since you live alone you will have to find ways to do simple task, retrain kinda, as SweetPea said get a grabber, maybe keep thing at easy reach, if finances are not an issue get a housekeeper to help you with laundry and things that will help you preserve your back. Believe me you want to do what ever you can to avoid surgery and if you live alone it will be even harder after surgery during your recovery time. I found that one of those toilet extenders or the new higher toilets are a godsend after surgery and would help your lower back a lot among other things such as an recliner and ice/heat 20 minutes every hour if you can will help the swelling and ease some of your discomfort. Keep us posted and hope you feel better soon.
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Disectomy L5/S1
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:49 PM   #6
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Re: Got my MRI results

[QUOTE=SweetPeainSF;4958713]Glad that you got your appointment so quickly. You might want to mention your sleep habits/issues to the spine specialist: a sleep medication may be helpful for the short term to avoid sleeping on your stomach. Be sure to take your MRI report and films with you (sounds like you are on top of this).

You might want to purchase a grabber and some snug-fitting slip on shoes so that you don't have to tie them or worry about them causing you to trip. If you have a small stool or something similar, you can use this type of item for chores like the air-in-tire issue. Use your environment to help you -- use the hood of the car to lean on.

Good luck tomorrow![/QUOTE]

I can sleep on my side better. And I can use a body pillow between my knees, for some reason I think that was part of the cause. I didn't know sleeping on your stomach was bad, I didn't understand what the other post meant by it. The Vicodin makes me sleepy, I didn't take one today, I just took 3 Tylenols and a muscle relaxer. (Meloxicam 7.5 mg) My sleep cycle is also messed up so I am up most of the night and sleep during the day.

Where would I buy a grabber? I had to pick up a bag of cereal I dropped, I propped it up and still couldn't get it, then I remembered I had tongs and those worked. When I drop something in the tub it's a different story. I had a bottle of shower refresher and bubble bath on the side of the tub and they fell in, I had to just push them out with my feet and after a few tries it worked.

I do have a small stool with tripod legs, but I worry that if I sit down that low I wont be able to get back up. My shoes are okay, I have some old sneakers with velcro, I can slip right in them, still can't wear sock though. Thanks for the good wishes.

 
Old 04-09-2012, 10:46 PM   #7
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Re: Got my MRI results

You can pick up a grabber at most drug stores by the canes and such. You might also consider getting a cane. You can use it for support if you are stuck in a situation where you cannot avoid bending/kneeling, or from getting up off your tripod. A cane also serves as a signal to others that might need some extra help, and you can use it to lean on to take some of the pressure off your back. I get dirty looks on the train for using the handicapped seats. And, I think to myself, I would totally trade my seat for a functioning body!

My husband travels a lot for work, so I understand how difficult it can be to feel stuck by yourself. If you have room in your living situation, and don't have the extra money, you could consider renting a room in exchange for housekeeping. There are also service organizations through churches that may have helpers available -- a neighbor's mother has a helper for grocery shopping. Some grocery stores offer delivery, sometimes running free promos.

You will probably start out with a epidural steroid injection, but depending on the severity of the herniation, which sounds pretty severe, you may end up skipping straight to a surgery -- discectomy or other. Make sure to have post-op arrangements. Since you live alone, you might need to seek authorization for a rehab facility until you can be independent. (Not trying to scare you though!)

The toilet risers were totally helpful when I felt unsure of sitting all the way down on a toilet seat. Even after I could sit down, I put the riser next to the toilet to use the arm for support.

 
Old 04-09-2012, 11:14 PM   #8
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Re: Got my MRI results

I'm not skipping anything straight to surgery unless the doctor tells me I will die in the next 24 hours. Back surgery is no joke and I've heard many stories of it doing more harm than good. Plus I don't want my father to find out about this and worry him. Yeah I am gonna try to get a cane, walker and grabber. Thanks again for the suggestions.

I'm actually feeling better and am able to put weight on my left leg and am walking a bit better. I feel best when I wake up after sleeping on my stomach but since I hear it's bad I will try not to.

I was actually able to copy my MRI disk onto my hard drive. I couldn't figure how to view the other pictures in the set until I tried the arrow keys and it worked.

Last edited by SFlorida; 04-09-2012 at 11:19 PM.

 
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:13 AM   #9
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Re: Got my MRI results

Glad you are feeling a little bit better. Keep strong
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Disectomy L5/S1
Anxiety
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Chronic Pain

 
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:14 AM   #10
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Re: Got my MRI results

A cane would be a very good idea. I finally bought one during my most recent flare up with my SI joint. It has proven to be very useful. I haven't bought a grabber yet, but I'm thinking about that and a shower seat.

I also keep microwaveable food, sandwich stuff and soup around for the really bad days. Drives the grocery bill up a bit, but if it's a choice between eating and not eating, it's worth the extra expense. I also keep fruit around that I can just grab and eat. Even when I am up to making meals, they are pretty easy to prepare meals. Things that don't require much effort. I usually make extra so that I have things to just reheat. I also keep the things I use the most easy to reach in the kitchen and elsewhere.

Glad to hear you are feeling a little bit better.

 
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