I had a doctor's appointment today. We really zoned in on my lower back this time. We talk about my lower back, usually, but she has more been focused on the aftermath of my fusion surgery in my neck in other appointments. They took an x-ray and she said things looked further degenerated from the one they took in 2011. I saw the x-ray, and from the front, the worst level looks pretty much like no space between the vertebra. She didn't have the MRI they took then, since they took it at a different place. They need to do another MRI and I told her I would rather wait until after the first of the year to make the expense count toward my deductible, since I won't be meeting my deductible this year anyway. In the meantime, I am going to do a round of steroids to help me get through the move and the holidays, as well as more refills on pain meds and muscle relaxants. She wants to see me in two months, based on our plan, and I want to get off at least 15 pounds by that time (my goal). That means I have to stay focused. I hope the steroids will help with pain so I can work out more comfortably in the next couple of months. However, I have had some steroids in the distant past, and I felt amazingly better while on them, but went right back to the same pain immediately after, so I am not optimistic that it will do any long-term good.
While attending my boss's speech today, I talked to one of his friends who had back surgery a couple of years ago. Different problem, but we both have something pressing on the nerve (his was herniated disc, mine is more likely bone from the slippage of the vertebra), so had that in common. He said, "I'm fixed." He was on 80 mg of Hydrocodone a day before the surgery (I am on 40 mg), and basically has no pain now. I probably have more degenerative stuff going on, but I don't know that for sure. He gave me his doctor's name (he is a neuro-surgeon, as opposed to an orthopaedic surgeon), if I want to get a second opinion when I get closer to making the decision. He said he went through six months of hell and wished he had had surgery much sooner than he did. Regardless, an MRI is the first thing they need to do to see the extent of what is going on. I am soooooooo ready to not be living in constant pain. It is getting very old. I work at all times with a 10 mg dose of Hydrocodone in my system. I am fairly resistant to its side effects (I don't feel drugged), but I am sure my mind would be a lot more clear without them (once I get off of them).
The thing is, I have to know that I have done all I need to do to determine if conservative treatment will do the job.
Beth made breakfast this morning -- some scrambled eggs with onion, peppers, ground sausage and some cheese melted in. Not as big of a breakfast as I normally would eat. I ate lunch at the presentation (my boss's speech) and had pork tenderloin, salad with ranch dressing, broccoli roasted with garlic, some squash with some kind of sauce (maybe a balsamic glaze) and a little bit of fresh fruit salad. I skipped the rice, rolls and cheesecake, so I did good. I still feel kind of hungry, though, and will be working late, so need to get me something to help me last until I get home, or have one of my daughters bring me something. This would be a good opportunity to keep my calories pretty low today, since I will be busy and won't be paying attention to hunger (or just wanting to eat) as much. I do have an Atkins shake in the fridge, so could probably get by with that and a few nuts or something. (That is exactly what I did.) When I got home, I was a little hungry, but wanted to keep my calories low so ate a dill pickle spear and a cheese stick. I drank more water today, although still not enough. I decided today that I will have to go back to my old habit of drinking down a couple of 12-oz. cups of water on trips to the bathroom until I have gotten enough for the day.
I worked until 8:45, so it was a long day. But I am thankful for the OT with all the current expenses. Over and out.