Looks like it’s fusion time

Well, sometime in the future that is.  I called my neurosurgeon’s office today and was lucky enough to get in on a cancellation.  I got to the office at 2:00 and really didn’t have to wait long in the waiting room.  They had my MRI pictures up and ready to look at.  My doctor asked me to stand up (not easy) and then asked me if I could arch backwards.  Well, I began to arch and the next thing I was nearly on my knees.  She caught me before I fell.  Yep, she says, it’s your discs!  <rolleyes>  So, we went over the MRI pics and she showed me where the discs are squished, in some areas not enough space between the vertebrae to keep from pinching the nerves.  I’m not a candidate for disc replacement, because they can only do that if you have one bad disc.  I have three.  So, how do we tell exactly where the problem is?  Apparently, they do a procedure called a discography — they take you into the room, stick some needles into your back, pump some dye in to see where it leaks and where it causes the most pain (get it?  No anesthesia for this one – full pain is the idea) so they can tell which disc(s) need to be worked on to give optimum relief.  I have an appointment for August 6th, but am on the list for immediate call if they have a cancellation.  I then have an appointment to see the surgeon again on the 7th.  We will then need to do a CT so they can map the offending disc(s) and plan the onslaught — they go in with a cannula, suck out the part of the disc that is most squished, pry open the vertebrae, insert a little ‘cage’ with morselized bone in it, and then let the vertebrae go back into place.  Eventually, the bone material will grow and fuse the joint.  Ai yi yi!  I’m not looking forward to this test.  I have been told it will be painful.  Usually, they tell you something won’t be that bad and then you find out it IS painful, so when they tell you something will be painful, you really expect the worst. 

So, in the meanwhile, I lie here on an ice pack with percocet flowing through my system.  I had to email my customers this evening and tell them I probably can’t do their quilts for quite some time.  One needs her quilt for our guild’s show in October, so I know she will not be happy.  I have offered to help find a quilter for both of them.  I also have two quilts to do for my sisters that I will not be able to do for some time.  Yipes!  It will probably be October before I can quilt again.  I guess I’ll get my applique’ project ready.  Looks like I’ll have lots of time for hand sewing.

8 thoughts on “Looks like it’s fusion time

  1. YEOW!!! That sounds AWFUL!!! I will be sending you good wishes and thoughts for a swift recovery. You need to get better in time for your retirement! Time is flying… 😉

  2. I will pray for as little pain as possible for you Linda. I’m sorry you have to have to have the fusion but hopefully you will be pain free before too long.

  3. Wow! The procedure sounds very painful! But, if you have relief from the constant pain it will be worth it and you will be back to quilting in no time. You are a strong woman and that will help you get through this. Sending extra prayers and love your way for the next couple months.

  4. You were on my mind often through the day. It sounds brutal but the freedom from pain and being able to move, walk, quilt is going to be wonderful.

    No quilting until October? Well, I’d hate for you to be away from your machine for that long alone……..so I could be a good friend and promise not to go near my machine until then, too…………..??? 😉 ROFL!! Okay, so that was dumb, but I did make myself smile huge at the little joke. I hope it made you laugh, too.

    Hope there is a cancellation so that you can get things moving along sooner.

  5. Owie! I’m so sorry you are going thorugh all of this but I hope they can get you pain free so you can look forward to a great Christmas and 2009 and get all of this behind you!

  6. Getting old isn’t for sissy’s as we keep telling one another….. Linda I hope they can get you in sooner and get you all fixed up, pain is so draining in every aspect in life….. Take care of you and let me know what I can do to help… Love ya

  7. I am so sorry to hear about your upcoming fusion. I am happy that you will hopefully be out of pain once you heal. My C-5-6-7 fusion was very sucessful, so fusions can be positive.

    Do you belong to a forum for support? 10 years ago, Mass General Hospital sponsored a site specifically for spinal issues and it moved independently some years ago. You can find it at:


    and it still has the same administrator as in the old days.

    Hugs, Carla

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