So, the nice nurse squeezed me in for an appointment today, which was shocking, given this particular doctor's renowned reputation.
Today we went. It felt a little like going to hear the jury read their verdict. All of the possibilities ran through my mind.
- "We, the jury, find you GUILTY of a hideous breach of spinal anatomy and sentence you to 10 years of cruel and unusual pain. May God have mercy on your soul and shoulder!"
- "We, the jury, find you GUILTY of 1 count of gross neglect and sentence you to 1 year of doctor visits, xrays and copayments."
- "We, the jury, find you GUILTY of being an idiot, working out too hard, eating in an unhealthy manner and sentence you to inversion therapy for 12 hours every day."
But, alas, they jury was more merciful than I had envisioned. Still, the crime was not without its consequence.
Staring at the images from my MRI, Dr. Kim pointed to each of the vertebrae in my neck, each with a spinal cord surrounded by a nice pocket of fluid, packaged in the bone. They all looked the same, until he got to C6. You didn't have to go to medical school to see that something was wrong with that one. It didn't look like a nice circle or slight oval. It was more like an amoeba. The left side protruded into and then through its assigned vertebra. It was clearly in undeeded territory; an unwelcome guest outside its assigned borders.
Frankly, I was thankful. I was slightly worried that the tests would come back normal, showing nothing that would cause the kind of pain I'm in. That would leave only two options: either I was crazy and it was in my head OR it was something far more serious. At least now I knew that I wasn't insane and I wasn't dying.
"You have a severely pinched nerve," he said. We discussed various treatment options and made the informed decision to have surgery. I tried to make this happen next week, but the earliest he could do it is in two weeks.
The downside is that there is a substantial recovery period with no driving and no workouts. But the good news is..well...at least I'm not dying. And this CAN be fixed, which is a real blessing.
Until then, I'm on light duty...More about that later.
The cause of my condition is most likely a genetic predisposition, the doctor said. That was also a relief...kind of.
Thanks for all the prayers, emails, cards, calls, and FB get well wishes. I feel the blessing of lots of friends praying for me.
I'll write more later.