Hi Tk, Personally when the rheumy saw you couldn't lft your legs he/she should have sent you to an ortho. A doc can medcicate a patient for so long that simply manageing pain and miss the window of oportunity to fix a problem. OR not medicate you and leave you bved ridden and miss the same wndow, whichever way it ocurs, the end reslt is the same. To me walking seems to be the mosr important thing at the moment, but may not be the most painful apart of your body. I don't know how they could seperate the symptoms of Fibro from the symptoms of cervical and lumbar problems.
I wold suggest makng a n apt for a consolt know with a NS or an Ortho does nothing but spines. IF you have clasivc footdrop, where you can't raise your toes and stumble over them, if you have lost reflexes in your feet and knees, You may have done damge to the nerves that may or may not be reversable. Pthsese nerves can regenerate and grow nce the intrpment or whatever may be impinging them has been removed.
I can imagine the physical shape your in given the amount of horizontal time, I know what it did to me and the only way back is really through aqua therapy. Even without a single problem if you tried to resume a normal life, you wouldn't be strong enough.
Any gains you can make prior to surgery will only help, however you don't want to burn all your PT benefitsds up prior to surgery when you have to have them post op. I can't believe this doc just let you lay there that long. Argggghhh. I understand you waiting for disablity, there are other factrors involved, do you have insrance, are you covered under your spouses, if single and no income you would qualify for state medicaid and disabilkity benefits. It's never a good time to have surgery whe the outcome is questionable. Even when you think things are simple and have the vacation time and disability beni's, They only cover so much time. There is never a good time for spinal surgery.
Yes, it would be great to get your award and back pay and be in a position where money wasn't a constant concern. But if you have medical benefits of some kind, I would Say NOW is the time to consider surgery , befre your bed ridden forever. Get several opinions if you can, Ask questions like why is your aproach beter than doc "A", there is nothing wrong in asking a doc why and what his logic is. I wouldn't be surprised if they set you up for aqua therapy now just to get some strength back prior to being imobile for anther 3 months with a brace on.
The cervicel problems can be addressed later, but unless your willing to go the wheelchair route rather than take a chance at surgery, I would say, now is the time when you can't wait any longer. Damage is being done, may be permananet or may be muscle wasting and simple loss of strength. That's why you need a consult. The reflexes are imnportant, the foot drop test is important. But people don't only have MRI's to guide the surgeon. They have them to track the progress of a problem all the time as well as for simple diagnostics. If it's been years , any doc will want a fresh one, wether your a candidate for surgery or not. You need to know what's going on.
When will you be ready for surgery? I hate to be sarcastic, but if you wait till you can't wiggle you toes or your completely numb through an entire dermatome, the damage will be done.
Are you in Canada where they only have a handful of MRI machines? I'm sorry, no offense to our canadian friends, But at one point, one of our smallest states, "Massachuesettes" had more MRI machines than the entire country up north. Obviously things have improved since then, because they couldn't be much worse.
But get an MRI and see a couple surgeons and talk to them about reconditioning prior to surgery.
What meds are you presently on and what good are they doing if they simply managed the pain to the point of all you can do is lay in bed? I know it makes it tolerable to lay in bed like that but it's no way to live, especially if things can be fixed or there was a window that things could have been fixed. Find a doc that will at least try and IF you see 3 docs and 2 say NO, and one says yes, I would want another yes out of another surgeon. Some docs will operate regardless of the possible benefit. BUt the condition your presently in puts you at higher risk for a poor outcome.
Even if you can join a club or rec center, most have water aerobic programs you can join. I was the only 30 year old guy in a group of 60+ year old women, It's hard, It's emabarassing, some are there for different reasons, but You have to get moving and at this point you need to be in water, you can't stand for 30 minutes or move from one piece of equipment to another for 30 minutes, But in water, the weight is relieved from your spine, you can float, you can excercise, you can stretch.
You have to get moving or you may never get moving. I know that's no way to live because I've been there for 9 months and then it took another 6 to get the bed out of my den because laying down was still the only thing to truely relieve my pain.
Please gets some consults and try to get moving, your rheumy has delayed things long enough with bad advice, I don't know what sign she/he was waiting for, when you start wetting the bed?
Talk with ya more soon.