The Consultation…

My housemate came with me to my appointment as although I was ok about it Friday & yesterday, this morning I was a little anxious. We arrive 10 minutes early, we’d barely sat down in the waiting room when I was called through.
I had downloaded a dictaphone app for my phone to record the appointment as I have them memory of a goldfish! I’d like to blame the painkillers but I’ve always been an “airhead” 😀
I asked the consultant if I could record the appointment and his response was “go ahead dear”. He was lovely, very to the point but with a gentle manner. I instantly felt like I could trust him. There just seems to be something about him.
He had read the MRI report I’d emailed to his secretary. The key points he said during the appointment are:

“Nobody can give you a new back, nobody can give you a new disc and nobody can give you a new nerve.”

“We can trim the disc to take the pressure off the nerve. It’s a repair not a cure. It carries risks.”

“If the pain is getting better then don’t have the surgery, if it isn’t getting better or if it’s getting worse then think about having the surgery. Both having or not having the surgery carries the same risk of paralysis due to the pressure on your spinal cord.”

“If you are happy to proceed with surgery it will be a L4/L5 decompression surgery and trim the disc. Again it is a repair not cure. Your back will always be problematic. If the nerves are too damaged it will not relieve the pain.”

I opted for the surgery. My back is getting worse, I need some relief and it makes sense to try to take the pressure off the nerves. There is a chance surgery will help to relieve the pain. Not having the surgery will leave me in agony.

I am now on his list. I’m not sure how long it will be before my surgery. He gave me the number for his secretary to call a week tomorrow as she’s on annual leave. I’ve got to give her my MRI scan disc. He didn’t want to take it in the appointment and I can then discuss getting onto a cancellations list if there is one.

The sooner I get this done the better. In the meantime I need to manage the pain with painkillers.

On an emotional level, I am both relieved and upset. I knew how bad it was but hearing it from a consultant makes it “real”. I’m relieved because I know what I’m facing longterm so now I can get my head down and get on with it.

I am extremely lucky to have three close friends who have had similar surgeries and am a member of several support groups on Facebook. Along with family & friends I have plenty of support. For that I will always be grateful.

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