I saw the surgeon yesterday after waiting almost 4 weeks. I was so excited to be moving forward.
The surgeon explained what needed to be done. The short version: disc between L5 and S1 is basically gone; L5 is floating and has moved too much; disc between L4 and L5 is bulging; cyst near L4. The fusion will be double involving S1, L5 and L4. The surgery cannot be done from the front - the normal and best way with the least invasion and relatively short recovery time. It has to be from the back with more cutting of muscles and nerves and scraping bone from my hip to use in the back along with screws. Feeling better will take about 3 months and feeling 100%, about a year.
He then said he wants to exhaust all avenues prior to the surgery even though he doubts they will work. What I have left is physical therapy and one more narcotic. So I begin physical therapy Monday morning. It sounds like they are going to try to strength the core muscles with the same exercises that I had to give up because they caused so much pain. I began the last narcotic last night - it should provide pain relief and help me sleep. I spent most of the night feeling like I was going to lose my dinner. As for sleep, I got less than my usual 4 hours. He did say it might make me sick.
My frustration is that I have to endure yet another month of pain before I get started on that long road to recovery. There must be some chance that physical therapy will work but since two doctors wouldn’t try it and this one doubts it, I’m having a very hard time being optimistic.
Patience, patience, patience...