Yesterday was my first (And probably only) appointment with my neurosurgeon. His name was Dr. Hux. At first I was nervous because he seemed a little stand-offish. He asked my what my trouble seemed to be. He was going over my MRI while I tried to explain my pain. It's severe lower back pain in my lower lumbar that radiates to my right knee. He asked if it was directly on my spine or off to the side a bit. Off to the side. He nodded and went back to the MRI. I told him since I fell down in early May now my right hip burns and will lock up if I walk too much. He turns away from the computer and asks me if I have ever heard of an SI joint. No....no I have not. He informed me that yes, I do have a herniated disc, but it's not pressing on my spine enough to cause the symptoms I have. If I was having sciatic type pain, it would travel all the way to my toes, not stop at my knee. He picked up a plastic model of a hip and showed me what an SI joint is.
Dr. Hux said he sees this every single week, always misdiagnosed as disc issues. But pain in my lower back, off the side that is radiating into my hip and knee and causes my hip to lock is classic SI joint trouble. He laid me out on the table and bent my leg around a bit, brought out a few screams, and found a painful lump in my back I have had since this whole ordeal began. He said that lump isn't a muscle strain like the physical therapists and other doctors keep saying, but the actual top of the joint, so inflamed it's bulging. He massaged it, and I cried. He felt confident enough in his diagnosis he decided to ask me if I would let him give me a test injection into the joint to see if it would relieve the pain. It would, in essence, be a superficial version of what my pain management doctor had been doing to my spine, only since he had no xray machine, Dr. Hux could only go in blind and get the outside of the joint. I agreed because, let's face it, I will try anything at this point. He's telling me I don't need surgery. That a shot will fix me. So yes, give me a needle. I bent over a chair, he gave me the shot (nor pleasant but not horrible) and I stood up. AND I BENT OVER. I wiggled my knee. I did a little jig. And then I burst into tears in front of this man because in 15 minutes he managed to figure out what nobody else in 3 years could. He told me to call my pain doctor back, give him the new diagnosis and they will set up a new treatment plan for me. If the exterior shot helped so much, I cannot wait to see what a shot all the way into the middle of the joint can do. I was able to
walk out of the neurosurgeon's office at full stride, with no cane or back brace. And I couldn't stop crying.
I've already set the paperwork in motion to get a full blown shot. I'm so happy. I called everyone. I met a friend at Target and showed her I could dance.
And the reality of this comes down to one thing: this could have been avoided if my MRI had been read by a real doctor. But there aren't doctors at most military clinic. They are all in training to either be nurses of combat medics. My MRI was read by a medic. Not knocking medics. But they had no business diagnosing my serious injury. My poor pain doctor can only treat what he's told I have. And he was told I have 2 herniated discs that are causing my problems. Turns out, no, I have 1, and it's not even pressing on anything. No wonder none of the shots I endured did a damn thing. I told my husband, who was so relieved, and he cursed up a storm. "I miss seeing real fucking doctors."
I do too. Because I've seen 3 real doctors lately, and funny, they know what they're talking g about.
Anyway, I'm like a walking Imagine Dragons music video.