Sorry I haven't been on for awhile but I have not been feeling well and husband still having problems with knee. I have been going back and forth with doctors in regards to my bladder problems ever since the Friday before Labor Day. I finally had an MRI done of the lower spine and they called me on Friday and told me that I needed to get back to my neurosurgeon. I had my family doctor do the MRI because the neurosurgeon's office complained about me waiting until the Friday before Labor Day to have this problem. That will be something I will talk to the neurosurgeon about later. In between all this we also got hit with the strong winds from Ike and we had trees down and no electricity for 3 days but I know that many where far worse then us. Anyway it took them 2 weeks to get approval for the MRI and they wouldn't give me the results because they said it was considered a referral so I would need to talk to my surgeon.
Later that day the PA from the neurosurgeon's office called me and said "Tell me about your bladder problems". I told her that the day I called her on the Friday before Labor Day it was a very bad day that I had to wear pads and also keep a towel between my legs because of the leaking. She said does this happen all the time and I told her NO but usually at least once or twice a week. She gave me an appt. for Monday but I don't see the surgeon I see the PA but at least it is the one I have seen for over 5 years. I asked her if she could tell me what was going on since my family doctor wouldn't and she said there is a bulge at the L5/S1 which is where my fusion is but she would talk to me next week. I told her that I have started having severe sciatic pain on my left side. I am having terrible back pain with just minimum bending when I brush my teeth and my back feels so weak when I try and walk.
I have had a very bad bladder day today and constantly going to the bathroom and maybe just a dribble but then when I get up and start walking the urine (sorry) starts pouring out and I have to use a towel between my legs along with wearing bads. I am so sick and tired of this and hopefully I will find out something on Monday. Does anyone know why I would have a bulge at the same place I have my fusion?
I have missed you all but just not doing as well as I would like right now and this problem is so frustrating. I will let you all know what I find out when I go on Monday. I am also having trouble with my knee that I had the surgery on. It is swelling and you can see fluid building up in the area where one of the scopes had been. My husband also has to have the same surgery in November.
I have been reading up on everyone and hope you are all doing okay.
Oh my gosh, Kyma, I am so sorry! First I want to say, you do not have to sorry for explaining your issues! That's what the board is about and we are here to support in whatever way we can.
I am not familiar with your whole spine background, but I am shocked that your docs don't seem to be taking your bladder problems as an emergency. I just don't understand how they won't tell you anything and seem non-chalant as to telling you they'll just talk to you next week, etc..
I have not had fusions yet, but from what I've read of other's posts, one can still get disk bulges and/or herniations after having a fusion. And I think disks above the fusion site are more likely to bulge/herniate. Also, there could be a problem with scar tissue, or with the hardware. Plus MRI's don't always detect everything and neither do radiologists who read the films and do the reports.
I feel so bad for you with all that's going on but I do pray that you get some relief soon! I wish I had some other advice, well, except you could always go to the emergency room.
I am not familiar with your history, but when I was having issues with numbness around my groin area, I was told to go to the ER immediately if I had any bladder or bowel problems. I was not, but told them I had other severe issues. They did not take me seriously. It took almost a whole month to finally have my surgery for the largest herniated disc my dr. had ever seen in his career. All those phone calls were brushed aside. (I have since changed my dr).
i know you've spoke to your doctors office, but I think you should go to the ER. That sounds very serious and if something is compressing the nerves that sense your bladder, you don't want any permanent damage. If it were me, I would 100% know for sure I would go to the ER.
Oh my. I am so happy to see you back on the board...but so sorry to hear of all your challenges. You must feel like a dark cloud is hovering over your head, with all you've been through since the beginning of the year.
Do you live in a smaller-size town? It sounds like people are really afraid of stepping on each others' toes, "professionally."
Well, at least you finally got the MRI and got through to someone...so you are now on the path to getting some answers, and some relief.
I'm just so sorry you and your husband are having all thes health issues right now, and, at the same time. I will pray that you get some answers on Monday.
Hey Linda good to hear from you. I am sorry you are having all those problems and i have been wondering what they have said about the bladder. I am haveing some of the same problems as you know, I wear pads on a daily basis i dont just dribble when going i use the bathroom its just when getting up more runs down my leg.
Well i just went to the dr yesterday and they did not listen to anything i was saying. I have to say he did make me pull down my pants and show him where i have another sore coming out from tailbone pressure. And he just told me how important it would be for me to get a dounut to sit on with the actual sores. And i could not believe it he dismissed me and i am 6 months post op? I questioned about the fusion and he said evrything looked good but i am just so skeptible cause i heard the same thing the first time. And only to find out it had never taken. And he said nothing about the swelling in my feet and just told me that i cant expect to be all better the problems that i had before surgery went away and that is all they are worried about so i was/am just so mad he does not care about the new problems.
Please let us know what they say i will be waiting to hear!
I've wondered where you were. I'm so sorry to hear things aren't going better by now. I don't know why you'd be having a bulge at the same level you had the fusion at. Above or below maybe, but it would seem like the fusion material and hardware would prevent a bulge at that level. I'm no doctor, though. Let's keep our hopes up that it's not serious, maybe just a temporary setback. It doesn't sound good for your knee. Infection perhaps? Is it warm to the touch or painful? I wonder if they can draw off the fluid in the office. That might be all that's needed.
As far as the bladder problems, I did have some trouble for a while, but nothing like what you're describing. I attributed it to having the catheter in for 8 days: muscle weakness and irritation. I did a lot of contracting and releasing of the two sets of muscles down there, and I gradually got back to normal. I wish it was that simple for everyone. Unfortunately, that's really life changing to have to deal with. I hope you get some REAL answers! Please let us know how your appt on Monday goes.
You've really had more than your share this year, but I know you have faith. Keep your eyes focused above, dear! You'll find help and strength there. I'm praying for you!
Thanks everyone for the replies and suggestions and just being here for me. I had another day of going to the bathroom all the time because when I am standing up I feel like I need to go but then when I sit down I can't pee. It is so frustrating because I feel like I spend my whole day in the bathroom. Yes I do live in a very small town and that is why I go to Nashville for my doctor. Even our own doctors here don't use our neurosurgeons or orthopedic surgeons for them or their families. I really like my neurosurgeon but can't get pass the PA's to talk to him.
I also have had the numbness in the groin area and it feels like my butt has gone to sleep. tmv you sound like you are having some of the same problems. Am I right? tmv does your doctor not address your bladder problem either? (I hope I don't cause a complaint because I am asking you this on my message.) I don't understand why doctors tell you to call if there are problems and when you do they just "fluff" it off. I don't have the same thing happen all the time because there have been times that I dribbled down my leg but did not realize it at the time.
I know that sometimes the MRI's don't tell the whole thing because that has happened with me in the past when it did not show the 4 bone spurs before my fusion surgery. The technician said that a MRI after fusion is very dark where the rods are and sometimes it is hard to read. I asked her then if it was even worth doing if they wouldn't be able to see any problems. The MRI stated "Post surgical changes". Well, shouldn't there be changes??? I am so confused.
I was hoping that by this time I would be able to do more then I can. I do know that I am somewhat better then I was before the fusion and I thank God for that. I have also started having a lot of pain in my cervical area again and I have already had 2 surgeries there. It is like my whole left side has been effected by this.
Emily I think I will call the OS on Tuesday and see if he can work me in so they can check my knee. When my husband went in to see him Thursday he told him that I was having problems and he told my husband then I should call and come in. Sometimes the knee is warm but not always.
Well got to go to bed but glad to talk to all of you again. I will definitely let you all know what the NS tells me on Monday. I defnitely want an answer about this bladder problem.
No he does not say anything about the bladder problems and to hear you talk about how you said it feels like your whole left side feels affected by this i am dedinitly the same here. My left arm hurts so bad and i feel it in my neck and even upper back and my hand goes numb ALOT. I told him about this and he just shook it off. I am so tired of doctors.
tmv I just don't understand why the doctors say report any problems and then when we do they don't think anything of it. I sure hope I find out something tomorrow because I had another bad day today. If it isn't my back causing this bladder problem then I definitely need to see a Urologist because something is wrong. I am also going to talk to the PA about my neck pain and leg pain.
tmv do you also have problems bending and it causing severe back pain? I am not talking about bending to the floor. I just bend over the sink to brush my teeth and it causes terrible back pain.
Does this sound familiar to anyone?
I will let you all know something if I find out anything tomorrow.
I just can't help but think this is all related to the initial problems you had with your surgery. After all, you didn't really have one operation, but two and were very ill in between. Something is not right. I didn't have a "360" like you did, but I still don't think you should feel pain when you bend over to brush your teeth! I don't have ANY pain when I bend forward. I don't do it often, but my surgeon asked me to bend as far forward as I could and I brushed my fingers on the floor without pain. Something is pressing on that nerve root, causing you pain and causing problems in the cauda equina area.
I really hope you won't leave your doctor's office until you have some answers tomorrow. I'd be tempted to head on over to the ER if you don't get any satisfactory answers from your doctor. You don't want to fool around with this bladder involvement.
Modify as much as you can. I know, I'm talking to the choir. I don't bend over the sink anymore. I bend at the knees and lower myself to rest my forearms on the sink counter. Much less stress to my back that way. But then, you have knee problems, too. Maybe you can use two cups, one to sip from and one to spit into so you don't have to hurt your back bending over.
Hey MM I sure hope I can find out something tomorrow because this is really getting to be very discouraging. Even sitting here on the couch right now I have pain in my left lower back and down the butt and leg. This sure has been a roller coaster of a ride the past several months and I am ready for the ride to be over.
Emily thanks for the suggestions. I guess I do need to improvise so I don't put a strain on my back. What would I do without all of you?
Yes Linda it hurts to bend a little to brush teeth so i do like Emily suggested since surgery i have used cups to do it. Dont get me wrong i have tried to do it normally but it hurt to much.
Well sorry to run but i had to check things out after i got the kids off to school but i had a bad night last night. Just hurting like i have been in upper back on left side and shoulder and everything else and when i went to turn over i woke up cause it was so miserable. Elavil didnt even do anything. But the doctor says its all fine!
This fatigue lately has got me i sleep like 24-7 and everyone is mad i sleep all the time and dont want to get out of the house. And we had a cold front come through this morning it was like 64 and will be in 80s today and im turning air conditioner off and ceiling fan off and kids asking what im doing i say im cold and they all laugh at me. I used to live in KY as a kid i sure couldnt stand it now.
Linda let us know and i hope you get some answers.