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r/c: multiple herniated discs in their lower spine


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#1 GoPlastic

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:19 PM

1. :gop:

:bang::bang::bang:

i've had somewhat serious lower back pain since i played ice hockey in college. in the past 5 years, bouts have gotten worse, including occasional debilitating moments. my ex would sometimes ask why i was walking like an old man, and i'd say because i was, indeed an old man. 5 years ago i had it looked at and the doctor (not my regular GP) diagnosed a chronic muscle spasm, handed me muscle relaxants, and told me i'd be fine. after a few days of those, i stopped taking them as they didn't make me do anything other than sleep, and i waited for the pain to subside, but it's been ebb and flow ever since.

before Christmas i had a bad cold, saw the doctor again (a different doctor, but again not my regular GP). i mentioned that my back was flaring again, and she handed me an antibiotic (for the bronchitis) and a script for an x-ray which she said i should use in a month if things were no better. they weren't, so i used the script.

x-ray two weeks ago showed mild arthritis in the painful spots, but nothing my regular GP thought was out-of-the-ordinary. she prescribed an MRI to rule out any significant spinal injury.

MRI last week (which was a ton of fun BTW, i really liked the entire experience). my doctor's assistant called this morning with the diagnosis of MULTIPLE herniated discs in my lower spine. she expedited a referral along with the imaging results over to the orthopedics department, and we're setting up an appointment ASAP because apparently this isn't good at all.

i'm upset that this could've been handled 5 years ago but was glossed over. i'm also upset because at 32, i really wasn't expecting to deal with this. and i'm in pain. yuck.

/end rant - begin process of healing. thanks for reading, unless you teal deer'd it. :lol:

#2 SunSyl

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:23 PM

i feel your pain.
have multiple herniated discs in my neck.
surgery at the end of the month
not fun
hope you get the best care you can
:heart:

#3 TEO

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:24 PM

Ugh, chronic pain has a way of dampening the joy of living.

All best wishes for a swift return to the hale and hardy health of your youth. :heart:

#4 jnjn

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:34 PM

stories like yours are so typical of our medical industry...it's really unfortunate :(
sucks it took so long to figure out what was going on, but at least you're now finally on your way to recovery. sending you many healing vibes!! :)

#5 GoPlastic

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:48 PM

thanks, ladies. Syl, good luck with your surgery...i've had friends with neck injuries who've all said it's the worst - i'd imagine worse than the back!

i'm taking all opinions and suggestions, putting 'em in my pocket, and weighing everything. if you have a recommendation (you = everyboardie), i wanna hear it! i'm imagining a combination of traditional, nontraditional, medical, and spiritual healing will be my final course of action.

#6 Feesh

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:50 PM

I have disc problems in four levels of my neck... Discussed surgery, but I will probably try cortezone shots before I go there.

#7 Terrapin Station

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:52 PM

TL;DR :coffee:


Hope your back gets healed.

#8 MeOmYo

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:57 PM

:heart:

#9 GoPlastic

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:58 PM

I have disc problems in four levels of my neck... Discussed surgery, but I will probably try cortezone shots before I go there.


these the ones that were flaring up around the time we played that abysmal show @ Underscore in NYC when you nearly passed out? that was the scariest moment in the Point history...i'm sorry to hear they're still giving you hell.

TL;DR :coffee:


that's the spirit! i knew i could count on you, TS. :lol:

#10 jnjn

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:02 PM

only advice i have is to get a few different dr's opinions. i'm not against having surgery, but if surgery's not really going to improve your quality of life then it seems pointless to go that highly invasive route.
i don't know much about the back or herniated discs, so see what your ortho says regarding acupunture or perhaps they could recommend a good physical therapist. good luck :)

#11 jnjn

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:02 PM

best of luck with your surgery, sunsyl! :)

#12 Feesh

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:03 PM

these the ones that were flaring up around the time we played that abysmal show @ Underscore in NYC when you nearly passed out? that was the scariest moment in the Point history...i'm sorry to hear they're still giving you hell.

Yeah, until I affect a "cure" they will always give me trouble. Haven't had to employ pain killers in quite a while, so I'm grateful for that.

Cortezone is a good stop-gap measure. At best it will ease the inflammation which will in turn ease the pain (and a helluva lot less invasive than surgery).

#13 GoPlastic

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:07 PM

only advice i have is to get a few different dr's opinions. i'm not against having surgery, but if surgery's not really going to improve your quality of life then it seems pointless to go that highly invasive route.
i don't know much about the back or herniated discs, so see what your ortho says regarding acupunture or perhaps they could recommend a good physical therapist. good luck :)


i don't even have the specific diagnosis yet! i don't know which discs are busted, i don't know how badly, and i'm for sure covering plenty of bases before i agree to anything treatment-wise. the information coming is is overwhelming right now, but that's exactly what i want...give me everything, then i can make informed choices.

#14 Lemireacle

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:08 PM

Best of luck with your surgeries and swift healing thereafter, GoPlastic and SunSyl! :smile:

#15 GoPlastic

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:09 PM

Yeah, until I affect a "cure" they will always give me trouble. Haven't had to employ pain killers in quite a while, so I'm grateful for that.

Cortezone is a good stop-gap measure. At best it will ease the inflammation which will in turn ease the pain (and a helluva lot less invasive than surgery).


ugh. just...ugh. i hope you feel better too, you creative a******.

#16 Feesh

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:19 PM

ugh. just...ugh. i hope you feel better too, you creative a******.


Thanks, C.

I have analgesic adhesive pads for your back (pretty strong painkiller) if you'd like to swing by and take a few.

#17 gram-man

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:23 PM

You think about getting an inversion table perhaps? Hang upside in the evenings to help stretch back out your back and take the pressure off the herniated discs?

Something like this:

Posted Image

In any case, please make surgery and the fusing of things your very last option.

#18 PieDoh

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:35 PM

Had spinal fusion done on my neck in '02.
I have good news and bad news....


The good news is.....it's not my lower back...:-P

The bad news is that lower spine surgery has a success rate of about 50%

The best surgical spine unit is in Houston

#19 GoPlastic

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:44 PM

I have analgesic adhesive pads for your back (pretty strong painkiller) if you'd like to swing by and take a few.


you're offering me analwhatnow? :eek:

(thanks i may take you up on that).

You think about getting an inversion table perhaps? Hang upside in the evenings to help stretch back out your back and take the pressure off the herniated discs?


:eek: no, no probably not as such, no. isn't there supposed to be a dude with a bucket of water to pour over your covered head while they ask you questions on that thing?

In any case, please make surgery and the fusing of things your very last option.


naturally. but there's over 15 surgeries that deal with LS spine herniated discs, each specific for a particular situation...it's not the stone ages any more, and if surgery is a requirement, i'm willing to accept that. i will exhaust all other options first.

The bad news is that lower spine surgery has a success rate of about 50%


and this is exactly why we're exhausting the other options first. :thup:

keep it comin'!

#20 u.s.blues

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:57 PM

find a good physiotherapist. someone with knowlege of myofacial release/trigger points. a good pt will be able to manually work on you to realign things/lossen up stiff muscles before starting you on an exercise program which you can continue at home. often stretching and stregthening can alieviate symptoms if you stick with it. i have read that ruptured dics do heal...i have also read that bulging discs can stop bulging when things are more properly aligned. i have not had disc problems but have done pt for knee problems and more recently for hip problems, and i while i'm not 100%, pt seems to have gotten me 80% better.....i can't stress enough though that you need a good pt...not just any pt.

#21 August West

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:58 PM

Cortezone is a good stop-gap measure. At best it will ease the inflammation which will in turn ease the pain (and a helluva lot less invasive than surgery).



it can help get you moving. they say that after two years people who have not had surgery do as well or better than those who do.

#22 jme

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 06:04 PM

I have degeneration in the sacrum and lower back. I was completely knocked on my ass last year for 3 days after one of the large snowstorms and shoveling that comes with. I know the pain, I know the old man, I do not wish it on anyone.

My brother and one of my best friends have had back surgery and I will personally explore pain mediation, and every other option available before I consider surgery. My brother is in more pain.. a different one, but more of it, had a (stomach) hernia as a result of the back surgery, which meant another surgery and well generally I'd have to take one HELL of a beating to consider opening up my back.

My chiropractor is superb. I have had 4 of them over the past 7 years, and this guy (who I have had for the last 4 or those years) has made significant progress. I don't have the sacrum pain on the same level, or frequency, and we're actually able to now get to an issue that's been lingering longer than the degeneration...and most likely has been causing some of it.

If not for Dr. Chuck, I dunno what I'd be doing right now, but knowing what some people have been through as a result of lower back surgery, I'd do EVERYTHING I could before the surgery.

#23 jnjn

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 06:09 PM

find a good physiotherapist. someone with knowlege of myofacial release/trigger points. a good pt will be able to manually work on you to realign things/lossen up stiff muscles before starting you on an exercise program which you can continue at home. often stretching and stregthening can alieviate symptoms if you stick with it. i have read that ruptured dics do heal...i have also read that bulging discs can stop bulging when things are more properly aligned. i have not had disc problems but have done pt for knee problems and more recently for hip problems, and i while i'm not 100%, pt seems to have gotten me 80% better.....i can't stress enough though that you need a good pt...not just any pt.


word!

#24 Slave Self Promoted

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 06:26 PM

(((colin)))

so, in your case, is it considered multiple mono herniated discs? :mrgreen: :v:

it can help get you moving. they say that after two years people who have not had surgery do as well or better than those who do.



i concur. though my injuries were in my neck, and it took a couple times to find the problem area, i haven't had any super issues with pain in 3 1/2 years thanks to the shots.

#25 GoPlastic

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:24 PM

I will personally explore pain mediation, and every other option available before I consider surgery.


i've never heard of pain mediation, but i'm intrigued...is that where you and your pain sit together in a room with an impartial third party to try and come to some sort of mutually agreeable compromise?

(sorry to hear of your woes...i know i'm not alone in this club)

(((colin)))

so, in your case, is it considered multiple mono herniated discs?


:lol: absolutely!

cortizone...check...good results...check...

#26 lilphlower

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:36 PM

ali has a severe herniated disc in her neck. its brutal. bothers her every day but once in a great while she is in a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT of pain, sometimes even unprovoked....try different things and stick w/ what works for you. find a GREAT chiropractor....also acupuncture/pressure.....

syl, please keep us updated about the surgery, id love to hear how it goes/how you feel after....good luck!

#27 Ravn

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:47 PM

Colin, you can come hang out on the back pain bench with my Dad. His is severe spinal stenosis and calcification of the spinal cord. The Neuro. said it's from 28 years in the Army, spec. the years he spent as a Ranger jumping out of planes.

On the plus side, he gets to point at things with his cane and tell Mike what to do :funny1:

#28 MeOmYo

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:49 PM

a good friend of mine has been battling degenarative discs in his lower back for many years. He went the pain killer route initially because of no insurance which didn't turn out so well as it was questionable at one point which problem was worse. Now insured, he has tried chiro, cortizone, acupuncture and I can't think of the others. Currently he wears device that sends electrical pulses via patches on his back. I'm not sure how well that is going.

#29 TEO

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:51 PM

For sacrum issues and a congenitally fused lumbar on the right side, I have found varying levals of relief through the years via Physical Therapy including the homework, Chiropractic, Rolfing, and Zero Balancing or Reiki. The PT and Chiropractic people I use also practice specific modalities of energy work. After the initial 10 rolfing sessions I was 1/2 an inch taller.

The Osteopath told me that surgery would not alleviate pain in my circumstance so to not even think about it unless I could not get relief from alternative methods.
He even warned me that if I came back they would find someone to operate on, as that is what they do. :shocked:

Edited by TEO, 07 February 2012 - 09:56 PM.


#30 TEO

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:53 PM

ali has a severe herniated disc in her neck. its brutal. bothers her every day but once in a great while she is in a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT of pain, sometimes even unprovoked....try different things and stick w/ what works for you. find a GREAT chiropractor....also acupuncture/pressure.....


lilphlower do you two have a recommendation for an acupuncturist in your area? If yes, do you know which type they do?

#31 lilphlower

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:31 PM

i used to go to linda robinson-hidas, and while she worked wonders, she also pushed her herbs which unforunately i could not really afford but it was like she heard everything i said but "no thanks", kept packaging them for me and charging me etc.....she was great otherwise....no clue what type.

if you are looking for magic, THE person to go to is Hartley Hennessey, he is a chiropractor in south hadley. his appts are anywhere from 45 min and up (as in, he doesnt just crack you three times and send you on your way). He's amazing. you dont even have to tell him whats wrong (but you do) but he will touch you a little (in a good way lol) and tell YOU what hurts and you're like 'WOWSERS!' he does wonderful chiro but mixes in a large number of other healing practices (reiki, acupuncture, skin raking, weirdostuff, etc) and really focuses a lot on you and your body and takes as much time as your body needs.

he has fixed my back pain, tmj, wrist pain, knee problems, the list is endless. the man he shares an office with (everest chiropractic in south hadley) is also a genius. one time (hartley was out and he didnt want to do too much) he fixed the alignment of my sacrum by reprogramming my brain. he didnt even touch my back. he did all this funky stuff on my face and told me to look different ways and it was so weird but SO AMAZING.

tell hartley i sent you :) he is def worth the ride for you OR just make an appt with either of them if you are passing through :)

#32 TEO

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:34 PM

Thank you for the info!

#33 GoPlastic

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 09:47 PM

ali has a severe herniated disc in her neck. its brutal. bothers her every day but once in a great while she is in a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT of pain, sometimes even unprovoked.


yes, that's the way mine comes on too.

Colin, you can come hang out on the back pain bench with my Dad. His is severe spinal stenosis and calcification of the spinal cord. The Neuro. said it's from 28 years in the Army, spec. the years he spent as a Ranger jumping out of planes.

On the plus side, he gets to point at things with his cane and tell Mike what to do :funny1:


for real, i'd love this.

For sacrum issues and a congenitally fused lumbar on the right side, I have found varying levals of relief through the years via Physical Therapy including the homework, Chiropractic, Rolfing, and Zero Balancing or Reiki. The PT and Chiropractic people I use also practice specific mortality of energy work. After the initial 10 rolfing sessions I was 1/2 an inch taller.

The Osteopath told me that surgery would not alleviate pain in my circumstance so to not even think about it unless I could not get relief from alternative methods.
He even warned me that if I came back they would find someone to operate on, as that is what they do. :shocked:


rolfing sounds like something you do the morning after a great night out...in high school...with a fake ID.

#34 BHB

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 09:56 PM

http://www.ehow.com/...roken-back.html

#35 PieDoh

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:40 AM

A physiatrist can help. Ask about plant source pain/spasm relief. Heat pad works wonders. Hope you're feeling better.

#36 Tabbooma

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:42 AM

Hope you Feel Better :smile:

#37 sarah b.

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 02:08 AM

My mom's having her 2nd back surgery on the 29th to fuse L1 and 2 to 3, 4 and 5. Apparently the current surgical techniques are far less invasive than they were, the last time around. She'll have a couple of band-aids/gauze patches, instead of a big f'ing zipper up her spine. I won't knock East Asian healing methods for this, but when shit be f'ed up w/bones and things, I want Western cut me open and fix dat, stat, not something that'll take some time. Smart to look up arthritis nutrition dietary guidance. Food is one of the most often overlooked weapons in the ol' arsenal of healing. Best wishes, C.

#38 capt_morgan

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 02:18 AM

i hate pain....:heart::heart:

#39 Julius

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:44 AM

Yep, S1/L5, two rounds of those cortico-steroid injections so far. No fun. Just fucking cut it out already so I can get on with my life!

#40 Julius

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:45 AM

It is very easy to get cranky with people while experiencing this . . . take it from me and be careful not to take it out on the wrong outlet!

#41 china cat

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 04:21 AM

sorry, GP

#42 nancykind

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:59 AM

hope you can find some relief :heart:

#43 insolent cur

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:59 PM

sorry GoP. i hope you find some relief soon. :heart:

i understand similar pain (recent mri reflects 5 compressed lumbar disks, three of which are bulging...and apparently two naturally fused vertebrae). the pt process can be painful too...but there's good science behind it if you get a good physical therapist.

#44 August West

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:04 PM

It is very easy to get cranky with people while experiencing this . . . take it from me and be careful not to take it out on the wrong outlet!


just ask the new york state police, the county sheriff, county protetective services, albany police, albany med security(they were the best they were the ones that beat me for not walking fast enough)
they will all tell you about me

#45 Slave Self Promoted

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:41 PM

Yep, S1/L5, two rounds of those cortico-steroid injections so far. No fun. Just fucking cut it out already so I can get on with my life!



you don't have fun with the procedure? i think it's super cool that they tap wood-screw-like base needles into the spot and then screw on the different injections. it's trippy as hell.
A+++ would recommend it and do it again if the necessity for it arises.

#46 GoPlastic

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 02:57 PM

what i love most about this thread (thus far) is two the two things i love most about this board.

1) we all really give a damn about one another and want to offer our advice and experiences so that a comrade can make the best possible choices for themselves in a similar situation.

2) just like in the 3D world, everyone's got a different opinion on what those best choices are, so there's more information flying at me than i ever would've imagined. unlike what happens "out there", however, we don't all scream at each other claiming ours is "best" or "the only way"...instead it's respect and interest in each other's experiences.

thus far, i'm doing some simple stretching exercises to facilitate waking up in the morning and going to sleep at night without wanting to suck down a polonium martini (or take a fentanyl bath). it's helping enough to work, cook, and play music, so far.

though last night during rehearsal, i arched my back all rockstar-style, and when i went to return to vertical, it felt like a hot iron poker had been inserted right above my ass. gotta remember not to do that until this is fixed. :lol:

#47 Mind Left Body

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:01 PM

Hoping it gets better quick!:wink:

#48 Luna

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:35 PM

Hope you start feeling relief soon :heart:

#49 jnjn

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:46 PM

swimming might help too. good luck, gop!


*edit to add...i am not a doctor in real life, but i play one on the boards. please remember to consult with your physician before attempting ANYTHING i recommend. thank you :gop: :lol:

#50 GoPlastic

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 04:11 PM

well, now, i just received one hell of a phone call from my GP, who i've always had a crush on but now i'm in all-out love with. :heart:

upon further review of my MRI with a specialist she likes at her practice, they discovered (in addition to the congenital spinal stenosis, the two bulging discs, and the other two herniated discs) that the third herniated disc (L5) is in fact doing it's best to sever the nerves that make my right leg work!

free pass to chat with the neurosurgeon, baby. isn't this just the best? :lol: