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Old 04-10-2012, 03:59 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Went to the Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist today.

My appointment was for 2PM but it was my first time going and I knew I would have to fill out paperwork so I got there at 1:45. I fill the papers out, and at 2:30 I ask them how much longer will it be because my back was hurting from sitting and I could hardly get up at that point. A lady who works there asked if I wanted to lie down, so she showed me to the exam room where I could lie down.

Maybe 15 minutes of so later the doctor came in. The odd thing was that no nurse saw me, I always thought when you go to a doctor a nurse sees you firs. The doctor was very nice, explained everything. So I basically asked him is what I have a herniated disk, he said yes but a bad kind that may need surgery. So I said basically a severely herniated disk, and he said yes.

He didn't push surgery which was good, he said I could wait a few weeks to see if it gets better. I am getting a little better each day and am able to put more weight on my left leg and hip. He explained if I did need surgery I should be able to go home the next day or maybe one extra day in the hospital.

He gave me prescription refills. One my regular doctor had prescribed, the other the ER gave me. I thought they were both for the same thing, but he explained that one was for swelling and one was for muscle spasms. I then told him I had trouble sleeping and he gave me a scrip for 30 Ambien. I also asked for the Vicodins that the ER gave me. I told him I only needed about one per day and I could take Tylenol the rest of the day. I didn't want to sound like a druggie, but he gave me 60 anyway. I don't think they are that strong anyway they are 5/750 mg. He also told me it didn't really matter if I slept on my stomach or not, he said if that's how you sleep it's fine. He also filled out the form for me to get a temporary handicapped placard. He was a very nice doctor.

 
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:05 PM   #2
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Re: Went to the Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist today.

Glad to hear that you found a good one. One of my favorite doctors will actually come out to the waiting room to retrieve patients if his staff is busy!

The placard is helpful for many things. For example, in some states, gas stations with more than one attendant are required to pump your gas. Try to keep walking as much as you can without pain, and try to get back on a night sleep schedule -- this will help to break the pain cycle.

Be careful with the Vicodin and the Tylenol -- they both contain acetaminophen. Make sure that you are going over the recommended daily dose. If the drug for swelling is a prescription NSAID (like diclofenac sodium), you will want to avoid Advil and Aleve, but it could be a steroid. Pharmacists know a good deal about drug interactions, more than most doctors, so if you have any questions, take your list of meds to the pharmacy.

I'm wondering whether any of the doctors recommended physical therapy. It often is not a cure in and of itself, but it may help to stabilize your core. Since you are reluctant to have surgery, there are some good resources mentioned in other threads regarding healing your back, which you could use in lieu of or to augment therapy.

Finally, I have read doctors describing some patients with massive herniations as having really good non-surgical outcomes. Not every patient with a large herniation, but it's a possibility. Just seek medical attention immediately if your symptoms suddenly increase or if you lose control of your legs, bowel, or bladder.

 
Old 04-10-2012, 06:28 PM   #3
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Re: Went to the Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist today.

Thanks for the info and advice. Yes he did mention therapy but forgot to write a scrip for it, but before I left I asked the lady who was copying my med scrips and she went and got one for PT.

The only thing with therapy is do they push you past when it hurts. From my understanding if something starts to hurt there is something wrong. I guess I have to find one first that takes my insurance.

As far as the med interactions I get my meds at Walgreens and I think they have a system that will flag any meds that don't work with what you are taking. Today I only took 2 Tylenol 200mg pills one at noon and one at 6pm. Mostly it's discomfort which I can deal with much better than pain.

Last edited by SFlorida; 04-10-2012 at 06:31 PM.

 
Old 04-11-2012, 05:50 AM   #4
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Re: Went to the Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist today.

Pharmacies are pretty good about checking for drug interactions, but if you are not sure, you can always call and double check. I have done that with over the counter allergy meds or cold meds to make sure there won't be any adverse reactions with other stuff I am on.

Sounds like you got a good doc that isn't in a hurry to put people under the knife.

 
Old 04-11-2012, 08:26 AM   #5
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Re: Went to the Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist today.

Someone told me about < edited > where you can enter your medications and it will tell you any interactions and it will tell you if it's severe or moderate. When I spoke to my regular doctor she told me to stop taking one that the ER gave me that didn't interact with anything and take something she gave me that might have a severe reaction.

and yes I'm lucky to have found this new doctor.

Last edited by hb-mod; 04-11-2012 at 08:31 AM. Reason: Please don't post unapproved websites, per Posting Policy. Thanks.

 
Old 04-12-2012, 10:34 AM   #6
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Re: Went to the Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist today.

Always good to double-check drug interactions, especially since no one cares about your health more than you do! I have actually had doctors and hospitals try to give me drugs that they knew (through my allergies wristband) I was allergic to.

As far as physical therapy, remember that you are the boss. If your therapist has you do something painful, then refuse. They will often do massage, which can be uncomfortable, for example, in working out knots. They may also do some mobilization which can get the muscles in other levels of the spine to activate, thereby alleviating some of the pressure in the problem segment. This should not be painful, but it does feel weird.

The exercises themselves should not be painful. If an exercise causes pain in your legs, for example, let the therapist know. That's a sign that the exercise is aggravating a nerve and must be avoided. The exercises should feel like work, without being painful. If the therapist does not listen to your concerns, then find a new one.

 
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