Those of you who are also my Facebook friends already know I met with a neurosurgeon this morning to go over the results of the MRI on my spine that I had a while ago.
The results clearly show the compressing of one disc and the compression on the nerve trunk that is causing my leg pain and tingling. This is all due to a condition called spondylolisthesis, when, in my case, the L-4 vertebra is tipped out of alignment.
The MRI shows that surgery is indicated if I so choose that treatment. The surgery would involve a laminectomy of L-4, replacing the disc, and fusion at that point with rods and screws and bone grafting.
I have been dealing with varying symptoms now for a long time. The kind of pain shifts, originally in my right leg and now in my left. Currently I have a minimum of pain but much more tingling down my leg.
It is tempting to delay surgery until I really need it - that is, until I am having much more pain. But that tingling tells me that there could be nerve damage, and that is what I want to avoid.
This is a major procedure and the recovery time is about three months. The good thing is that the best therapy is walking. I'm good at that!
I have been getting some advice via Facebook, most of it pointing me in the direction of going ahead now and scheduling surgery, probably for late January. It seems there is quite a queue forming for back surgery after the new year. I am not alone out there. In fact my surgeon preformed three of these same surgeries just yesterday!
I'll sleep on it, but I'm pretty sure I'll be calling in the morning and getting signed up.
In other news, when I got back from seeing the surgeon, I went for a 3.85 mile walk before the rain started. I loved the sunny weather while it lasted but I was getting tired of the freezing cold. The thaw is coming slowly and that's good for our roads.
Yesterday I got photo cards made, and wrote and printed our holiday letter. This afternoon we made two kinds of cookies - total now of five kinds.
Tomorrow we're attending a Christmas brunch with school friends and then we'll pick up the kids from school for early release Friday and take them shopping for gifts for their mother. We'll feed them dinner while Jill attends a staff party. The kids will stay overnight with us Saturday night while Jill goes to another party. There will be cookie baking for entertainment.
We'll all go to an early Christmas with sister-in-law Jan and her partner on Sunday. They will be going to California to spend Christmas with family there later in the week.
I think I'll schedule some resting for Monday, and I may still be working on those Christmas cards and letters that are currently sitting on a tray, ready and waiting, but untouched.