Kinda scared and slightly freaking out

My docs office called me this morning and was telling me that she had me all scheduled for this dr brower at st Thomas hospital on November 8 and they would send me a packet int the mail and I needed to fill it out and take it with me. And i also needed to take copies of my xrays and mri. I asked her who he was and she told me he is an orthopedic surgeon. I asked her why I was seeing him cause no one had called me with the results of my MRI yet and she apologized for the mix up and told me the order was to evaluate and treat or whatever. MRI showed a herniated disc at t 11 t12 space with cord impingement. Accompanied by pain and leg weakness. They just called me back and while the report does not have the size it says mild bulging with chronic impinging of the spinal cord. It’s nice to know that it’s not in my head me that its not my fibro but I’m kinda freaking out a little. I can’t believe I have to wit till November. The pain doc that I have to see hasn’t even called me yet.
Thanks for listening Becca

I may be wrong but I think it's a problem when the bulging disc impinges on the spinal cord. Very painful when that happens. So it's good that it's been caught and you may be able to get something done for it. See, it's not in your head (and actually neither is the fibro.) But it's nice to know that you're right about what you're feeling.

How bad is your pain level with it, Becca? Do you think you can last til the November appointment? If not, have you thought of asking for stronger pain meds until then?

I have the feeling that the time will fly UNLESS you're in very bad pain from it. That's why a call in to the doctor might be necessary.

But anyway, congratulations on catching this issue and hopefully getting treatment for it.

Thinks Petunia. I can last til the apt I just think having to wait over a month isn’t helping with the freaking out. Plus it may be some time before I could have surgery, if needed, because of my husbands work schueled. My mom is also not helpful cause my great uncle Sammy was worse after he had surgery on his back and that’s all she sees. I also have another apt with a pain management guy on the 18th of this month. They just called me today too so I was trying to juggle who needed what records and results when. And this new doc wants my records from my old pain guy that i didn’t like and if they don’t have them before my apt they will still see me but won’t do anything, like meds or anything, which I think. Is complete and utter crap.
Thanks Becca

Rebecca, im sorry to here that your MRI showed a herniated disc, unresolved thoracic herniated disc is more often than not a surgical issue, however have you tryed a chiropractor or physical therepy, perhaps while you wait for your apt. Other avenues can be tryed, muscle relaxers, pain management and PT can sometimes resolve the herniation. How long has this been going on ?
I have 4 herniated discs in my neck, I have been to 3 different surgeons & got three different opinions, just remember, surgery is your choice, you decide when, where and with who. I have lived with the neck pain because i found things that help, like lidocaine injections, chiro, and one surgeon told me that sometimes they resolve on there own without surgical intervention, but some days it feels like an ice pick is stuck in my neck, I still leave surgery as a last resort. That’s just me, the thoracic area is different, depending on how long it’s been going on, and what other measures you have done to resolve it.
Hugs & blessings

I have been to pt and a chiropractor. I have also been on numerous antiinflamitories and muscle relaxers with no help. It’s has been going on since '05 I think. I say I think cause I have a band of pain and I think it’s coming from the herniation. I always contributed it to my fibro after I was diagnosed and then the herniation was smaller. I do not know how large the bulge is but I know that it is larger and is actually impinging on my spinal cord. It has also gotten a lot worse with more pain and more radiating pain and I also have been having weakness in my legs and some potty issues. I am not sure what I think of surgery but I think that it may come down to it if it cannot be resolved in another way cause I don’t think I can stand it getting much wors. Thanks so much for your info.

Sounds like a surgical consults is overdue, it’s so awful that everything gets blamed on fibro, Im so glad for you that you have an answer to pain that has been going on so long ! See it’s never in our head , some day they will have the real answer to this fibro pain and I sure hope I’m still alive to see it.

Yeah, I agree, waiting an entire month is no fun. And then waiting some more for surgery is even more taxing (my brain was telling me the word was "texting" but I knew better and waited until the right word came.) Could your hubby take some time off so you can get in any earlier? It's a pretty important and high priority situation, I would think.

You could always seek a second opinion to help calm your mother's nerves. I did and my subsequent docs all told me my bulging disc was too mild and there was no narrowing of the spine, so forget about it. I doubt your case would be seen in the same light at all bu it might help your mom feel more comfortable about the surgery if more than one doc says you need it. And you could also read the ratings online of your doc to see if most people were satisfied with his work.

It's important to get those old records then! You don't want to waste an appointment by not having them. Seems like getting any pain meds is only done through a pain doc anymore. I guess they must have more leeway to subscribe them so I'm guessing we're gonna see more and more situations like yours.

Good luck on getting the records together. Oh, just be aware that there's usually a fee of something like $30 to get the records. Crazy, huh?

Yes the fee is stupid and I hope there isn’t one and that I just have to sign a release. My mom is just weird and set in her ways and the last time my husband took a few days vacation so I could get my tonsils out they called him the moment we arrived and he was on the phone with them the entire day and then he had to find someone to sit with me so he could go in that night cause I wasn’t supposed to be alone and they were still broke. He works 12 hour days 6 days a week. They depend on him too much in my opinion. It’s good though he is secure in his job.

Dear Becca,

Sorry to hear you are still going through this. I am surprised they are talking about your bulging discs, rather than your herniated discs. I am very glad that you are going to an MD who is affilaited with a hospital, rather than a free standing laser clinic! You will get a truer assessment of your condition and possiblities where they are sending you.

I know the wait is tough, but I feel that you need to know if this is an option for you! Don't be scared, I think they are leading you where you may need to be! It is something to consider, at any rate.

Wishing you well,


Thanks. It the unknown that scares me. I think that’s what scares most people.

I know it is. I hoped and prayed and went everywhere hoping to find someone to do surgery on me, to 'fix me'!It was not to be, Johns Hopkins, Univ of MD and an esteemed local neurosurgeon told me that surgery would only ever make me worse. That may change as the stenosis gets worse, but that is where I will return if it is ever a possiblilty.

BTW, good Neurosurgeons will never recommend or approve surgery just because of pain, but they do perform surgery to improve or restore function. Just something to keep in mind.

We are always here for you Becca.



I got my referral in the mail and it says, "has cronic t11-12 disc herniation, but recently began having radicular pain (which means it radiates along the nerve, I had to look it up) and possibly weakness in legs. MRI shows impingement of spinal cord. Please review and recommend surveillance or intervention. Just thought I would share what it says. I keep trying to do research since I have to wait but it’s hard cause its in such a rare place. I has been bad the last couple of days, yesterday when I got up it was painfully hard just to pick up a gallon of milk to fill up my girls cup.
Thanks for listening sk