Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pinched Nerve Not Knee Problems

I went to the doctor to find out what I needed to do for my knee only to find out that it was not my knee that is giving me problems, it is a pinched nerve in my back.   Thank goodness for a loving husband that supports me for better or worse, in sickness or in health.

I had to have several x-rays on my knees and ankles and an MRI of my back at the cost of 72908 rands or $729.08 dollars.  I can think of more fun things to use that much money on but I am glad it did not cost more. My knees looked normal with a bit of thinning in the inside of the joint which is very normal for someone of my age.  There was a little  water on the knee but that did not concern the doctor much.

At first, after the doctor saw my report of the MRI, he was anxious to get me into  surgery as soon as possible. When I asked if there was an alternative to surgery he told me yes.  He said if I could suffer through the pain and do what he told me to do my body should heal itself.  He explained the my spine and discs looked good but that a nerve was sticking out between the discs and that when I sit (like riding in a car for long distances) the discs compress, which is normal, but the nerve that was sticking out where it should not be, was then being pinched and causing pain in my leg because the nerve that was being pinched was the nerve that goes down my right leg.  

When he first examined me he was pretty sure it was a pinched nerve because when he did a reflex test on my knees and ankles the inside of my right ankle did not have any reaction at all.  He said people can not fake having no reflexes.  Believe me I was not trying to fake it.  He also did another test where he raised my leg in the air and where I felt pain indicated the probable existence of a pinched nerve.

Well, what I have to do is rest for about five or six days then I have to get up and start moving around to keep myself active.  The kicker is that for the next 6 weeks I can not sit straight up at all, this will cause the discs to compress and pinch off the nerve. (Not good). I am only supposed to lie down or stand up.  If I have to sit I can if I am in a recliner that is at a 45 degree angle.  I do not have a recliner so I guess that is out of the question.  We discovered the car seat will recline all the way down to the back seat so I will be able to lie in the car to drive.  The biggest challenge for now is three hours of standing on Sundays for church meetings.  I am going to have to get a bit creative.  

There are three things I have to watch for because if they happen I will need to go in for an immediate emergency operation.  They are:

1. Pain that is so intense that I will beg the doctor to operate.
2. Loss of control of my bowel or bladder or both.
3.  Paralysis either temporary or perminate.

I do not like those possibilities so I choose none of the above.  I just hope that is Heavenly Fathers plan for me as well.

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