Finally Had An MRI On My Back – It’s Not Great News

After my legs went numb following a physical this past summer, my primary care physician ordered an MRI. That initial request was denied by my health insurance. I hadn’t “done” enough to try and fix the issue. That led to 3 months of physical therapy.

Nine hundred dollars in appointments later and I was still in pain and experiencing numbness so my health insurance finally approved an MRI. Six months after my legs started going numb, I was finally making progress to fix my back. Or so I thought.

A few weeks after the MRI, I spoke with my orthopedic doctor. And, well, it could be worse but it definitely wasn’t the news I wanted.

What’s Wrong With Me

According to my doctor I’ll be in some level of pain for the rest of my life. A disc in my lower back has degraded more quickly that it should have, hence the pain and numbness. There are no surgical options and I was told the main thing to do was build up my core muscles to help lessen the pain and to check with their rehab and pain management center.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t happy with this news. I’m still not. Yes, it could have been a much worse prognosis and this condition is technically manageable, but I didn’t want manageable. I wanted cured. I didn’t want to only “lessen the pain”, I wanted it gone. I’m too young to be in chronic pain.

Once I was off the phone with the doctor I started crying. The tears coming from a mix of hopes being dashed that this was “fixable” instead of just manageable, feeling like I wasted the first 24 years of my life when I wasn’t in pain and fears that the rest of my life is ruinted. My body already has a laundry list medical issues, why did another problem have to be heaped to the broken plate that is my body. It just wasn’t fair.

Second Opinion

On the urging of my physical therapist, who saw how resigned I was about the news, I sought out a second opinion. I received the same answer: the L4-L5 disc in my spine just broke down early. To paraphrase what the first doctor said, “God made it wrong.” Though at least with this new doctor I had a name for the condition, degenerative disc disease. And, instead of saying go to the pain management center, I was scheduled to get a cortisol shot for the next week, which is Monday.

Will the shot work? How long will the shot work? Who knows. But hey, at least it’s covered by my insurance and there’s a chance I could feel better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.