My first stop on my magical mystery medical tour was my gyn doctor. We thought that I had all the symptoms of endometriosis, but the only way to be sure was to do a diagnostic laparascopy. That's a fancy term for "We-need-to-open-you-up-to-see-for-sure." While I was under general anesthesia, I was the lucky recipient of my belly button being opened up and an additional three incisions in my lower abdomen. My abdomen was puffed up and after taking a sneaky peek around the inside of my girl parts, it was determined that the cause of my pain wasn't endometriosis; it wasn't gyn related at all.
Off to the next doctor: a gasteroenterologist (aka tummy and poo doctor). Can I just say that I was the youngest person in that waiting room by a solid 30 years minus the caretakers that accompanied their respective patients to the appointment? And I loved the surprised look on the doctor's face when he walked in and realized I was not a retired-Catherine, but a young-mother-Catherine. I gather he doesn't get that much. After discussing my symptoms, he was pretty positive that my pain wasn't GI-related, but he wanted to do a colonoscopy to rule anything out. Yep, colonoscopy. Hideous, horrible, awful colonoscopy. I did it, I survived, I never want another one of those. No GI problems were found, but he did recommend seeing a spine surgeon.
Spine surgeon it is. When your doctor comes in and basically tells you that your situation is a conundrum, hope is a tricky thing to come by. He's a very nice guy and totally committed to helping me, but in that moment, I was ready to just deal with the pain for the remainder of my life. Who needs to be able to pick up their kids anyway?
Yes, this is my spine. I had to have an MRI done to determine if there was any nerve damage and today was result day. As it turns out, I have a bulge in my disk between my L-4 and L-5 vertebrae and it's pinching nerves.
I'm guessing this is the picture that has the evidence, but this is my completely un-medical opinion.
Lucky me, I get to go have an injection similar to an epidural poked into my back tomorrow morning in hopes of un-inflaming the conflicted area. I'm just praying that it works and that I finally have some sort of relief.
I'll just have to wait and see...