I went back to the Orthopedist yesterday for the follow up on the Physical Therapy I’ve been getting. He says I have a pinched nerved on the left side from a bulging disk. It’s all part of the Degenerative Disk Disease problem I have with several different cervical and lumbar vertebrae. Anyway, since I cannot have epidurals, he is making arrangements for me to see a Physiatrist at the Lakeshore Rehab Facility. This place is a Paralympics training facility and very highly thought of. It will take several weeks before I even get the appointment, as the doctor evaluates all the info my Ortho sends him, before he decides IF he will see me or not! Talk about a busy doctor!!! So, it’s hard to say who I will see first, the Physiatrist, or the MDS at UAB. Either way, I’ll be getting help from some extremely well thought of doctors, and for that I am very grateful.
In the meantime, he gave me a prescription for the Home TEN’s, which my PT facility can fill tomorrow. And he also sent me home with an inflatable cervical collar that provides traction. It’s not at all comfortable, as I have a very short neck. Even the small size seems too big to me. I’m to take it to PT tomorrow, so they can help me learn how to use it correctly. Then maybe it won’t be so uncomfortable. The directions say to inflate it for 10 or 15 seconds, deflate, then inflate again, for the first week, leaving it on for no more than about 15 minutes. Then I gradually work up to a steady 15 minute session with it.
The PT also told me the other day to make the neck exercises a consistent part of my daily routine, whether they seemed to be helping or not. He said it could be months before I really saw improvement, but to continue indefinitely with the routine they gave me. They’re easy enough to do, so it’s just getting it to be part of my day’s routine that remains to be accomplished.
So, another piece of the puzzle has been explained, and now I wait to see the Physiatrist for an evaluation, as well as the MDS at UAB. Looks like this is going to be an interesting year, and I choose to believe it will be a year where I get help with my pain, stiffness, and walking problems. Who knows, maybe I’ll even stop shaking!