As mentioned in an earlier post, I had to take a decision after my Tour on whether or not to take the hefty cost for my herniated discs surgery.
This would have to be done at a German clinic and would be a non-invasive procedure in three places.
After that, I would walk out pain-free, at least as far as my back issue was concerned.
I would then have to go through the same loops and hoops to see if my similar neck issue could be fixed as well…
Because it sounded to good to be true, I got a second opinion from a German neurosurgeon working at a Dutch clinic.
He told me he was familiar with the procedure as a quick way to make – a lot – of money.
However, having studied the MRI imagery, he told me that my back was basically in such a bad shape that it would, in fact, be a waste of money to go for it.
The best he would be able to do was a L5 surgery, but it was tricky, with a 50% chance it would help and a substantial chance of complications.
So now I was back at square one, as the neurosurgeon that tried to help me last year, had to give up in the end for pretty much the same reasons 😒
As I would have to get more corticosteroid injections first, in order to determine if the L5 surgery would indeed be feasible, I have now given up.
I already had a dozen of those and they didn’t help.
At best, such an injection can reduce inflammation and be effective when delivered directly into the painful area, but that has not been the case with any of them.
Or if it they were, it wasn’t enough – they were excruciatingly painful and didn’t make the back and leg pain any less.
Besides, such an injection does not “fix” the herniated disc – it only works on the spinal nerves by flushing away the proteins that cause swelling(s).
Coupled with the Prednisone I’ve been taking, I’ve only gained weight and I’m just as fed up with that as I am with the pain.
By now, I’ve stopped taking Prednisone – slowly reducing intake – and I’ve even managed to get through the day on only two Oxy’s, instead of three.
I will now increase the Gabapentin to the maximum dose and see if I can further reduce Oxy intake, preferably to zero.
That may involve a slightly higher dose of Gabapentin than the maximum advised (1200 mg/day), but I think 1500 mg/day is better than taking (complementary) Oxy.
Besides, the Oxy dependency is a vicious circle: it “overloads” the nerve system, causing more sensitivity to pain and so you’ll need more to get by…
Luckily, one of the recommended exercises for (a) hernia is cycling, although I doubt that my activity level is within advised boundaries 😂
I also swim and do the “mandatory” core exercises, but at a reduced level.
I doubt there’s anything (else) I can do to make cycling uphill less painful, but if there is, I’ll see if I can.
And that concludes this medical update and puts a lid on the dossier.
However, if you have some advise that could be useful, please share it.
As to therapies: I’ve probably tried them all, including more obscure ones 😎