Thursday, August 16, 2012
What a day.
Today we met with Dr. Kalia, a neurosurgeon, to find out what is going on with Kimm and the numbness in her arms and legs.
Not sure if I mentioned yesterday, but she had gotten a call from Dr. Spath’s secretary regarding the upper neck MRI that she had yesterday morning. She had asked if Kimm had gotten an appointment with Dr. Comey yet (the neurosurgeon that Spath initially recommended). Kimm told her “yes, but the appointment is November 1st.” Well the secretary said, “oh no, that’s too far out, I’ll call the office.” Next thing we knew, she had an appointment for today (the next day) with Dr. Kalia, an associate of Dr. Comey.
So I think we knew something was going on since they got her in so quick, but we just weren’t sure what.
Thankfully the appointment was not super early, 10 am. However, I was still super tired. I COULD NOT sleep last night for the life of me. We went to bed at our normal time, I checked Facebook and read blogs like I normally do on my phone. I read. We turned out the lights. And then I just could not fall asleep. I kept thinking about getting that warning at the hospital. I was so exhausted, but I just could not sleep. So I got up, went into the office, and read for about 2 hours. Finished my latest book…A Good Father (EXCELLENT book by the way). Then headed back to bed, still couldn’t fall asleep immediately, but finally woke at 8 am when Kimm got up so I must have fallen asleep some time after 4 am.
So needless to say, I was tired when we arrived at the appointment. And of course we had to wait. It was kind of funny too since there was NO ONE else in the waiting room! We were brought back at 10:20 am and the doctor saw Kimm at 10:30 am.
I really liked Dr. Kalia. He sure didn’t fool around or mince words. He said that the MRI showed severe spinal pressure from a disc in the C5-C7 area (can’t remember which one specifically). He said that was what was causing the symptoms. He said anything could have caused it, even just moving a certain way in bed. Perhaps the fall she had aggravated it. He showed us the MRI. And then he said that surgery was the only option.
That’s the part that just hit me hard.
Surgery is usually the last option and here it was the only option. He said if surgery was not done, the compression would only get worse. Even with the surgery, there is only a 50% chance of all function returning to normal.
I am hoping that Kimm is in the 50% that gets better. She’s already so discouraged and depressed from not being able to do anything. Dr. Kalia said the surgery is fairly routine, he would recommend it to his own family member. He wanted to do it ASAP.
So surgery is scheduled for next Monday.
Talk about things happening fast.
So for now, Kimm is on Decadron and has to stop taking the ibuprofen she’s been relying on for pain relief (she can still take Tylenol and use the Biofreeze which has been helping).
The surgery will involve going through her neck to remove the disc that is herniated and replacing it with a steal (or titanium ??) plate. This will hopefully allow the spinal cord which is being compressed, to have room to expand again and thus hopefully help her regain function of her hands and legs.
In a way, I’m so grateful she finally was able to get through the MRI and find this out, but I’m also dumbfounded that we’ve only found out about this now. Kimm had been complaining about the numbness in her right hand shortly after having the carpal tunnel surgery LAST DECEMBER. Dr. Spath just kept thinking that that hand was making slower progress. Even when the left hand, which she had also had the carpal tunnel surgery on and it improved, started to get worse, she still thought maybe the carpal tunnel was back.
I just keep thinking that as a nurse I should have realized something was really wrong a lot sooner. Maybe the fall with Izzy actually was a good thing because it alerted us to the issue more ??
All I know is that I can’t believe that she is going to have surgery AGAIN.
I do have a good feeling about this though. I trust Dr. Kalia, he seemed like a doctor that really cared and that means a lot to me.
I did say to Kimm that one good thing that will come out of this is that she will never have to have an MRI again if she has a metal plate in her neck 🙂
We both got a laugh out of that one!
Please think of us on Monday at 9 am.