Friday, March 21, 2008

Back Update

Yesterday, I was in so much pain from my leg/back/hip hurting that I caved and went to see the doctor. I really thought they would just give me pain meds and send me on my way since that's how I've been treated since this stuff first started. I was actually quite surprised though. I saw a different doctor this time and she actually listened to what I had to say. She answered all my questions, did a thorough exam and basically went above and beyond what a doctor should do, in my opinion.

She thinks that I either have a pinched nerve or a bulging disk in my lower back. Either would explain the problem I'm having. Her first thought was that I needed an MRI of my spine to find out exactly what was wrong. I told her that I couldn't have an MRI because of the two steel rods in my back (I had/have scoliosis). I'd always been told that I couldn't have an MRI because of those metal rods. But this doctor didn't think that was right. I also told her that I didn't have insurance that would pay the cost. Again, she didn't think that was right. She filled out a couple of forms and then sent me down to physical therapy to get a few exercises to help my leg/back/hip feel better. I did those and just as I was getting ready to leave, a nurse came up to me and said that my MRI had been set up for Saturday. Huh? I know I had to have looked completely dumbfounded because I didn't think I could have an MRI. The nurse, seeing my total state of confusion, told me that my doctor had called over to the MRI place and asked several questions on whether or not I could have one. Come to find out that the big magnet that the MRI uses WON'T pull the rods out of my body(thank GOD!), but they might make the images too blurry to read. The doctor said that she really needed to find out what was going on in my lower back and that if it was possible for me to have an MRI then she wanted to go ahead and schedule it for me.

Needless to say, I kind of freaked out. Here, I'd been told all my teenage and adult life that an MRI would pull the steel rods right out of my back, any metal fragments that were in my body would be pulled out, any piercings, etc. would be PULLED OUT! And now they are telling me that isn't true? How is a body supposed to react to something like that? Skeptically, that's how. I immediately came home and started researching online to find out every thing I could about MRI's, how they worked, if someone with metal implants or pins could actually have one. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the MRI people and my doctor do know what they're talking about. It doesn't make me any less nervous about having it done, but at least now I can be a little more at peace with my decision to go ahead and let them do it.

I was also worried about the cost. Being self employed, our family only has major medical coverage insurance so unless we're in an accident or have something majorly wrong happen, any medical expenses come right out of our pocket. An MRI was one of those things that they didn't feel was a major enough thing to have done so it wasn't going to be covered. That is until I talked to the nurse at the MRI place today. She said that my doctor, again, was able to get the insurance to cover the cost. Well, all except our deductible. But hey, I can handle $125 deductible just fine. It was the $1735 that I was having problems with.

So, tomorrow morning I'll be heading over to get this done. I was told to get there 45 minutes early because they'll have to put me in "the tube" and since I'm pretty claustrophobic they'll be doping me up big time with valium and demmoral. I'm hoping that I just go to sleep and the time goes fast. I do have hubby going with to drive me home. I thought I would have to go by myself, but once they told me about the lovely drugs I would be getting I knew that I was going to need someone to drive me back home. I'll fill everybody in on what happens after the MRI is done and read. I am figuring physical therapy a couple days a week for a few weeks, but there is the possibility that surgery will be needed. I hope that isn't the case, but if it is then I'll just roll with that when it comes along.

No comments: