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  • Another plea for help - Melanie Dawn

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    Old 06-14-2003, 09:15 PM   #1
    jdog
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    Post Another plea for help - Melanie Dawn

    Oh, I am on a ship in the middle of the ocean and I just saw the name of it as lightning lit up the sky: TITANIC.

    Mel, I just 'accidently' got a copy of my cervical MRI report. I'm a bit shy, but I was wondering if you could interpret any of the following for me:

    There is a side plate and fixation orthopedic device extending from C4 through C7. (this is my hardware )

    Sagittal images clearly demonstrate a soft tissue dorsally directed bulb deep to the posterior longitudinal ligament directly dorsal to the
    C5-6 interspace. This effaces the ventral CSF space, and slightly distorts the ventral surface of the cord at thsi level. This is the only level at which pathology is appreciated on sagittal images.

    Angled axial images, both before and after contrast administration, demonstarte cord flattening and spinal canal stenosis at C5-6 only. In this region, there is contour deformity present which is most likely
    related to spondylosis. A definite disc protrusion is not specifically identified at this level. There is fairly severe right exit foraminal narrowing. No signifcant left exit foraminal narrowing. All other
    cervical levels appear normal.

    Spinal canal stenosis at C5-6 with cord flattening and subtle findings of intrinsic cord signal abnormality and myelomalacia. A definitive disc protrusion is not specifically identified, though could easily be missed at this resolution under these imaging circumstances.

    I have this stuff and Lumbar L4-5 herniated hitting me at the same time!!! As Robin the Boy Wonder would say, Holy Crap, Batman, he's up sh*t creek!

    Mel, have you ever heard of anyone getting a cervical procedure done and a lumbar at the same time? For some reason, I can't prove it, but I swear that I almost didn't make it through my ACDF. It's just one of those feelings that makes you take a different route to the store and then you learn the next day that some car is creamed by a freight train on the route you normally take.

    What kind of follow up cervical procedure would I have for this? I'm so ..... lost. I don't know what's next?

    Mel, Memer, ANYONE!!! HELP ME!!!!!

    joe
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    L3/4 Lam. 2/2001
    ACDF C5/6/7 8/2002
    L4/L5 Herniated 1/2003

     
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    Old 06-14-2003, 09:24 PM   #2
    melanie dawn
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    Hi Joe,
    just wanted to let you know that i saw your message.
    It's late and I want to address your MRI questions fully, as much as I can. So let me do some checking in the am, and i will post then.
    The biggest thing is to try to relax, and dont panic. I know its easier said than done, but remember that if you stress out, you get more muscle tension, which will cause its own snowball. And that getting too stressed depletes the immune system.It's so important to retain your strength and endurance.
    I know its not easy, fighting stress is my own daily battle.
    I will be on and address each of your questions. and results with a clear head(a little foggy with meds at present), to the best of my ability.
    Try to get some rest, will see you in the am.
    Mel

    ------------------
    Congenital Cervical Stenosis,complicated by:
    Paracentral Disc herniations ,bone spurs C4/5,C5/6,C6/7
    loss of lordotic curve
    Advanced myelopathy inc. walking difficulty, loss of gag reflex with swallowing problems, neurogenic bladder, occipital neuralgia, spacticity
    __________________
    Congenital Cervical Stenosis,complicated by:
    Paracentral Disc herniations ,bone spurs C4/5,C5/6,C6/7
    loss of lordotic curve
    Advanced myelopathy inc. walking difficulty, loss of gag reflex with swallowing problems, neurogenic bladder, occipital neuralgia, spacticity

     
    Old 06-14-2003, 09:30 PM   #3
    jdog
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    Mel -

    Mel -

    I'm too tired to be panicked. Today is my first Father's Day without my dad. I was planning on going into work in the morning and just having a quiet Sunday. It helps me to concentrate when no one is around. I can focus and keep out the pain.

    jdog
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    L3/4 Lam. 2/2001
    ACDF C5/6/7 8/2002
    L4/L5 Herniated 1/2003

     
    Old 06-14-2003, 09:43 PM   #4
    jdog
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    And with that double intro and the real thunder and lightning outside my bonus room window, it's time to log off, unplug and crash.

    http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/yawn.gif

    jdog
    __________________
    L3/4 Lam. 2/2001
    ACDF C5/6/7 8/2002
    L4/L5 Herniated 1/2003

     
    Old 06-15-2003, 05:44 AM   #5
    Memer
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    Hi J.,

    I'm so sorry all of this is going on in your neck. Myelomalacia is softening of the cord. I don't remember which of your shoulders hurts; but if it's the right, then the neural foraminal narrowing at C5-C6 could explain some of your pain in the shoulder. I would guess that they'll probably do a myelogram to get more info on the soft tissue density. I don't know.

    How are you feeling today, J.? Try to remember the good times with your dad today. I know it doesn't fill the void to remember, but remembering will sometimes make you laugh or smile. I often remember the last time I saw my dad's face. He said goodbye to me with his eyes. I'll never forget the look on his face as I was going on the door. It's almost as if he knew. He had been having problems. He died of a heart attack two days later. He was young, in his 50s.

    Another thing I remember often is my dad bouncing my kids on his knee. He used to make strange noises when he did that. The kids thought he was nuts, but that's a favorite memory. As long as we remember them, they don't die. Only their bodies are gone.

    Telling someone about your dad is a great way to honor him today. I would like to hear about your dad if you'd like to share.

    Take care, J. As always, you're in my thoughts and prayers.



    [This message has been edited by Memer (edited 08-05-2003).]

     
    Old 06-15-2003, 06:32 AM   #6
    TropicalFox
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    hi joe...

    today is my 17th father's day without my dad, and i still can't pick out cards for the rest of my loved ones without crying, right in the store, no matter who is around...

    to speak of them is to honor them, yes... but i sure wish i could hold him again for a few seconds, touch his silver hair, smell his old spice and cigar scent, and hear his loving voice calling me...

    my only consolation is that i will see him again, when my time comes to cross over...

    what a wonderful moment that will be!

    hugs http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/love2.gif

    sandra

    ------------------
    " In the middle of every ocean of difficulty is an island of opportunity."
    Author Unknown

     
    Old 06-15-2003, 06:48 AM   #7
    Memer
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    You're so right, Sandra .



    [This message has been edited by Memer (edited 08-05-2003).]

     
    Old 06-15-2003, 08:04 AM   #8
    melanie dawn
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    HI JOe,
    I cant imagine how you must feel today. I am blessed to still have both of my parents. And I am going to see them today.
    This is your day to remember all of the wonderful things about your Dad ,and allow yourslf to grieve, it is a huge loss.The pain will diminish with time, but not the memories.And at some point in the future you will remember him and miss him,but without as much pain.


    Okay onto your MRI, as mentioned myelomalacia is softening of the cord.This is also probably the cause of the abnormal signal intensity at that level. Myelomalacia can occur as a result of compression and or trauma.
    Of great importance is how this compares to your pre-op MRI. Are these new findings? The abnormal signal and the myelomalacia may have both been present before your surgery.
    Now as to the wording of some of your report, each radiologist uses some of his own way of description.
    He talks about the sagital image of C5-6,this is the cross section image. He mentions soft tissue bulb, ? herniated disc material or some scar tissue. I am not a neuro surgeon, but i am thinking along the lines of disc material. Because he then goes on to describe the axial images, and states a herniation cannot be clearly identified with these angles, but he also states it could be easily missed. So i would tend to think that that is the disc material that is described as the bulbous soft tissue.
    The severe right neural foraminal narrowing is the opening that allows the nerve root to pass thru, so you could certainly have some nerve root compression and symptoms from this.
    As to the cord flattening this is related to the "soft tissue protusion" .As this is the level of stenosis that is present.
    So what will be of the utmost importance will be the comparison of the films. Make a list of the most important questions and get the ns to address them.
    As for doing both cervical and lumbar at the same time, I don't realistically see this happening. The restrictins placed on movement and use of the sugically repaired area , would make it very difficult to function adequately for your recovery.Even things as simple as positioning for comfort would become difficult.because they could be completely opposite to each other.

    Now as for the follow up procedure ,for the neck , this will have to be answered by your NS, he knows exactly what he has done in there, and how best to address it.
    I wish you all of the best, and hope you find pain relief. When do you see the NS again?
    I hope that this info helped, please keep in touch,
    Mel

    ------------------
    Congenital Cervical Stenosis,complicated by:
    Paracentral Disc herniations ,bone spurs C4/5,C5/6,C6/7
    loss of lordotic curve
    Advanced myelopathy inc. walking difficulty, loss of gag reflex with swallowing problems, neurogenic bladder, occipital neuralgia, spacticity
    __________________
    Congenital Cervical Stenosis,complicated by:
    Paracentral Disc herniations ,bone spurs C4/5,C5/6,C6/7
    loss of lordotic curve
    Advanced myelopathy inc. walking difficulty, loss of gag reflex with swallowing problems, neurogenic bladder, occipital neuralgia, spacticity

     
    Old 06-15-2003, 10:14 AM   #9
    franjo
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    JDog~

    May God bless you big today, hon. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif Everything I think of to say, in the way of comfort, just seems inadequate. I do believe with all my heart that you will see your father again, in that great by and by. And when you do, don't forget to introduce the rest of us to him.

    This is the kind of thing that PM can't touch. Ask God for comfort. Be still.....and feel your father's presence. He'll show.

    Love and prayers,

    ~Teri
    __________________
    Spina-bifida occulta; Congenital Scoliosis (dextrorotatory and 'S' curve, 42 thorasic and 57 degrees lumbar); Meningomyelocele (split cord @ L1); Diastematomyelia (re-sectioned at L2-3); tethered cord @ S-3; cysts on cord; various developmental abnormalities of the spine: narrowing of all disk spaces, defects in posterior arches, ectasia of the spinal canal and dura, segmental disease, sclerosis in L. iliac bone and adjacent sacroiliac joint, unilateral osteitis condensans ilium, hypertrophic facet disease L4-5 and L5-S1.

    Surgeries include, but not limited to:
    Lumbar fusion-1968
    Fusion with Herrington Rod instrumentation-1970
    Femoral osteotomy-1971
    Tethered cord release-1987
    Rod removal-1987
    Chiari-type pelvic osteotomy-1988
    Trochanteric osteotomy-1989
    Tethered cord release-2003
    Fusion with instrumentation with lots and lots of screws-2003

     
    Old 06-15-2003, 10:46 AM   #10
    bdb
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    jdog this is also our first father's day without my dad. It is a very lonely day.
    I have had myelomalacia. That is why they did my surgery. To stop the progression of the myelopathy from the myelomalacia. My understanding is that the area in the cord where the myelomalacia is is dead and will not come back. Good Luck to you.
    bdb

     
    Old 06-15-2003, 02:14 PM   #11
    janie francine
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    Hi Joe,
    Can't type long. Thinking/praying for you. My dad died long after our relationship did. Always missed/loved him, but he was so messed up. I think now he's out of that pain, so when I go, I'll be able to have relationship with him again. I didn't know this would make me cry. Sorry. I didn't mean this to be about me - just crept up. My http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif and prayers with you
    Jeanine

    [This message has been edited by janie francine (edited 06-15-2003).]

     
    Old 06-15-2003, 02:26 PM   #12
    cardinal
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    Hi I am new to this site. I too have similar conditions. C 5-6-7 fused, L5 herniated and removed no fusion on that one. L 3-5 bulged and degenerated. I now have more pain in lower back since fusion on March 18. The numbness is better in r arm but l arm now has it. Pain is still bad in neck and shoulders. Fusion helped to a degree but once the back gets degenerative I think its never going to be right. Walking helps and ice. Are you getting disability insurance? I am in the middle of hell with my co. I have applied for ssi and still on short term dis. Best wishes !!!! cj
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    Old 06-15-2003, 05:17 PM   #13
    jdog
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    Well, it looks as if I need to put in a call to my back doc since July 3rd may be too far off. I'm so tired right now, I'd just be satisfied with going to sleep for about a month.

    I just am not aware of what kind of follow-up surgery they will do on my neck.

    jdog
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    Old 06-16-2003, 07:02 PM   #14
    jdog
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    Well, my doc called me back this afternoon. I have respect for any doctor that calls you back on the same day that you leave a message with his staff.

    His suggestion to me was that I don't have any follow-up neck surgery unless I have some arm weakness. That's where I'll ask Lori to come down and watch out more me. I'll have to get Drs. Mel, Memer, and HNP to come down, too. If I could only guess some e-mail addresses.

    He's referred me to a second opinion on my lumbar surgery and is putting in a letter to another surgeon for another opinion.

    I'm also going to send both lumbar and cervical MRI films to Dr. Jho in Pittsburg for another opinion. I want a 2 level lumbar fusion to be the last choice on my list.

    Will keep you guys posted.

    jdog
    __________________
    L3/4 Lam. 2/2001
    ACDF C5/6/7 8/2002
    L4/L5 Herniated 1/2003

     
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