Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The first "something" identified, and more medical stuff

(Images borrowed from Spineuniversity.com)

Today I learned that I have a bone spur around the C-6 vertebra, and arthritis.

The bone spur is impinging on the canal that carries oh, pretty much all of the body's nerves from up the spine. This is causing me to have pain in my neck, back and arms for sure -- possibly causing some pain in my legs and hips. If you want to read more, I found this: A Patient's Guide to Rehabilitation of the Cervical Spine, also from Spineuniversity.com.

While I'm not thrilled to have this diagnosis, I am, in a weird way, relieved. I'm not crazy! There really has been something wrong and it still is wrong. For the last two weeks I've been taking Skelaxin, a muscle relaxer, and Lodine ER, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory that is stronger & more effective, supposedly, than over the counter meds. While there has been some improvement in my headaches (YAYAYYAY!), there has been little to know improvement in the pain in my arms, shoulders, neck and upper back.

So, I am to continue taking the rest of the meds I was given, and I am being set up for physical therapy. Don't know exactly what that will involve for me, but I'm hoping it will help. If it doesn't, then we go to more aggressive measures, with the first step being an MRI to determine exactly what kind of damage I have in that region.

Also, tomorrow I'm set to have a sinus CT, to determine if I do indeed have yet another chronic infection (I'd lay odds that I do). Tomorrow afternoon, I'll see the ENT again. I've had surgery for this once (Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery), and I suppose it helped. Apparently, my turbinates on the right side were congenitally tiny -- had been that way since birth, in other words -- which explains why I've had sinusitis all my life. For a while, I was doing better, not having infection after infection. The problem, I think, was that I'd become resistant to a lot of commonly used antibiotics, like Augmentin. Last time I was treated with Augmentin was January, but I ended up having to see an ENT last month because the infection never totally went away. He gave me Levaquin, which helped, but I still have some congestion and other issues that make me think there's still some infection process going on. Hopefully, we can identify what's going on and take care of it. Being "sick" gets really old.

That's it for this post. Hope you're all healthy -- if you're wealthy and wise, though, get in touch with me. We need to talk! :)



christa said...

I'm glad you finally know what's going on for sure. And like GI Joe (a REAL - not fake - American hero) says, "And knowing is half the battle." So since you now know, you can move forward and do something about it. I hope the physical therapy works for you and you don't have to move on to more aggressive measures.

Good luck with your CT tomorrow!

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