A couple of entries ago, I mentioned that I'd hurt myself somehow, probably last year, and had probably pinched a nerve in my back. It only made sense, seeing at how my arm was going numb and everything was tingling. Even the DPT I know said it was probably just a twisted disc or something similar, so when I went to my GP and he told me to go see an orthopedic (I think I said an osteopath, but I didn't know the difference) doctor, I figured that I'd be directed to the nearest chiropractor and be popped back into place! Easy peasy.
Not so much, actually!
Yesterday I had my appointment. I honestly had no idea what was going to happen (I made sure to wear decent underwear just in case) but all they did was take some X-rays of my spine. It was actually a bit anticlimactic, to be honest, but they took the things and sent me back into the exam room to wait on the doctor. By this point, I was feeling as though I'd been repeatedly stabbed in my neck with a butter knife, but I had faith that they'd come in and twist me around a bit and fix it all.
The doc came in showed me my x-rays (I have lovely bones, just so you know) and as it turns out, I had not hurt myself and my problem is just a tiny bit more complicated than a pinched nerve. It took her less than a minute to figure out what was wrong. She pointed out that my cervical vertebrae (which were way, WAY higher up in my body than I had thought) had a problem. Apparently, I have degenerative disc disease, arthritis and bone spurs! All in my neck! That's kind of an embarrassment of riches. You'd think stuff like that would get spread around in my body more. She also pointed out how straight my spine was. I was a tiny bit flattered until she said that was because my muscles were pretty much in a state of pissed off contractedness, which is a bad thing. She did tell me, happily, that she didn't think I'd need surgery, but that they'd treat me with anti inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxers, and epidurals.
Haha, no. I know what an epidural is and I don't think I want that unless there is just no other way.
The muscle relaxers were a bit of a letdown, but the anti inflammatory thing works well for a while. I also get to have another MRI done tonight, but at least this time they don't have to inject me with anything, so SCORE!
So what does all this mean? Well, it could mean nothing. The pain can just go away on its own. That would be number one on my wish list!
It can also mean I might have to be on medication forever, which would be OK as long as it helps.
It might also mean I will eventually lose the ability to do fine work with my hands if the nerves that are currently being irritated get damaged, which would be sad, but it would keep all of you from having to pretend to like the stuff I make for you! Honestly, how much more jewelry and crochet can you really be polite about?
I might also eventually end up in a wheelchair, which would suck, but I'd save so much money on buying new shoes!
In a nutshell, I have a whole spectrum of possibilities! I'll actually find out more next week when I got back to see the doctor. Let's hope it's a lot more of the pain going away on its own and a lot less of the wheelchair thing. That's what I'm hoping anyway.
So, you know, finding out all of this was just a cherry on top of one of the best weeks ever for me! If it gets any better, I'm going to be tempted to fling myself in front of a train out of sheer delight!
I did find a silver lining, though! If I wind up not being able to use my hands for things, I'm one step closer to that helper monkey I'm always talking about!
I'm going to name him Henry.