Initially, I was going to make this blog a remainder of the week post. However, today I am feeling quite cruddy and that’s just discouraging. I have been eating healthy, exercising, and doing meditation. Instead of energized, I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. I still have this same sinus infection/ear infection. It has almost been a month. The antibiotics do not help and, unfortunately, today I started wheezing a bit. That means a third trip back to the doctor’s office next week is most likely. I did tell Rob that if I still feel this terrible on Sunday that I am taking the day to rest/sleep. Work and after school have been very busy and a tad stressful. I have had very little down time this week. I am sure that is not helping my recovery.
However, I will now list the positives of my week: being a classroom helper on Tuesday, Roger advancing to the next level in swimming, starting a liberal local book club, a very good teacher conference on Thursday, coffee with some great ladies this morning, dinner and conversation with my parents on Wednesday, and lots of love and sweetness from my son and my husband. Seeing that list makes my infection not seem so bad!
Today I had my second opinion for ACDF surgery with a neurosurgeon. I already scheduled ACDF surgery with an orthopedic surgeon for October 19th. I spent a long time with the nurse going over my back pain history, therapies, treatments, and doing some reflex and strength tests. Once that was completed, the nurse said the surgeon would come in to discuss the results of my MRI. He plainly stated that he only urges surgery if 1) the spinal cord is compressed or 2) weakness. Since I don’t have either at the current time, he does not recommend surgery now. He did say, though, that I will need surgery in the future due to the disc degeneration/spondylosis. He recommended traction kit to use at home for 30 minutes a day/daily for 3 months. He put off having ACDF surgery on himself for 10 years by doing traction for 3 months, every two years. He said he knew it was time once traction no longer worked.
At first I was relieved. I am looking at a possible surgery on my arm/elbow and cannot imagine two surgeries in such close proximity of each other. However, then I was wondering how long do you put off surgery? I have read of individuals who waited too long and had the surgery but the nerves could not recover. I will reach out to my PCP and let her know and ask her thoughts, since my thoughts are overwhelming!
The end of last week started Roger’s 7th birthday celebration. Thursday night he could not sleep because he was so excited for Friday night’s Queen concert. He was tossing and turning all night, sounding like he may be sick, and awoke at 4 am. That day his sitter was sick and he had to occupy himself while I worked. In the afternoon, we met his first grade teacher, looked around the classroom and around the school at some new things going on. He was even given a kit kat for that night and some M & Ms from his principal. He was thrilled, especially as she announced his birthday on the loudspeaker as we left the building. I had an afternoon dentist appointment, which the candy made Roger hyper for but he did well waiting for me. Luckily, I got him to take an hour nap before we left for the concert. He enjoyed the show and was very excited during “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” but starting crashing at 10:30 pm. However, when we got in the car, he perked up and fell asleep around 12:30. Unfortunately, he woke up at 6 am on Saturday for his birthday. Saturday was a pretty full day that started with gift opening. We also had our dogs’ obedience class, followed by lunch, a classmate’s birthday party, School of Rock, pizza and cake with my parents and his best friend, Amanda, and her family. Finally, he fell asleep around 9:30 pm and woke up at 7:30 am. He NEVER sleeps that late. It was amazing! Sunday was his formal 7th birthday party at Bach to Rock. It was the latest party we have had for him — ending at 4:30. We were exhausted afterwards. The birthday weekend ended with some lego play and Mooyah for dinner.
Last night an allergy attack woke me up around 4 am. To say that I am a little tired is an understatement. So, the start of my day was trying to fall back asleep followed by some Buzzfeed, mail, facebook, etc. For some reason starting a new week put my mood in a bit of a damper. In the past (even recent past), weekends seemed more stressful than weekdays. Possibly, that is due to the fact that I like structure. However, the past few weekends have relaxed me quite a bit. I was blaming some of my back/arm pain on lack of sleep. My pain levels have been pretty low Friday and Saturday which does not correlate with the lack of sleep. It doesn’t even correlate with stress levels. Setting up the house and the party are both stress factors for me, but neither aggravated my upper back/neck/head aches. This week I have my 3 important surgeon appointments while experiencing virtually no pain. My left arm was in a ton of pain last Thursday but that feels like a lifetime ago. My headaches have been very mild the past 1.5 weeks. I feel like my body is correcting itself before I make a commitment to surgery! Due to no known nerve damage, I am pretty sure I will not opt for neck surgery . The severe damage to my left arm nerve (assuming ulnar nerve entrapment) may force me to have surgery, pain being present or not. If the time allots, I will give a brief synopsis of my appointments Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Yesterday, I felt some of the side effects of the migraine medication. First off, the neurologist told me I would be groggy in the morning. I usually am groggy, so I did not think it would be a big deal. However, that grogginess was present the whole day. I even had afternoon coffee and was exhausted. Another side effect I had was intense abdominal pain/cramps. That is seen as a severe side effect and may be caused due to an interaction with fluoxetine. That made the decision for me: I’d rather have these headaches than suffer the side effects. Usually my headaches are just annoying, like the constant ringing. I’d take that issue over the intense fatigue or increased fogginess (the side effect of the other medication he was going to prescribe). I also looked up the drug interactions between the muscle relaxer, anti-inflammatory, fluoxetine, and simvastatin. The muscle relaxer and fluoxetine have a severe interaction — can cause serotonin syndrome. Therefore, I have decided to forgo the muscle relaxer as well.
This morning Roger woke us up late — 7:30! I am virtually pain-free today in my neck area and right arm. My left arm has discomfort from the ulnar nerve issue. However, this may be a big indication for me to forgo ACDF surgery. I have the second opinion next week and, after our weekend away to Galveston, I will stop the anti-inflammatory to see how my body is feeling. I cannot be on an anti-inflammatory long-term, so if the pain is manageable sans medications, the surgery decision is made.