Tuesday, April 29, 2008

MRI Update: A Bulging Disc and Butt Exercises

You may remember my anxiety as my MRI appointment approached, earlier this month. Well, it came and went without a hitch, and last week I got a call from a nurse with the results of the MRI as well as the x-rays: degenerative disc disease, just as we've known I have. While I was glad it wasn't anything very serious, I was also disappointed that there wasn't a more specific problem with a more specific cure. The pain in my neck is increasing, as is the numbness in my right arm. I have numbness most days now, as opposed to once or twice a month just a year ago.

So today I went back to see my amazing doctor about my hip pain (the x-ray didn't show anything in my hip). He said, "I know the nurse went over the results of the x-rays and MRI with you, but I'd like to cover it with you again." He proceeded to explain again about the DDD, which is mild and in its early stages, and then started drawing a diagram of my bulging disc. WHAT??!! Bulging disc?! It seems the nurse forgot to mention the one and only thing I hadn't already known about my neck. Suddenly the pain, tingling and numbness were explained. I felt almost happy.

It's not that I'm happy to have a disc that's supposed to be properly tucked away in my spine bulging out and compressing nerves (and for the record, I hate the word "bulging"), but I am happy to not feel like I'm suffering from something in my imagination. I have definite signs of the DDD (such as a stiff neck, especially in the morning), but I've actually had providers tell me there's no way it could be DDD because I'm too young for it. As to the continued and worsening pain, sometimes I've been so discouraged by my trips to see my care providers that I've left in tears. There's no cure for DDD, and some providers- like the last one I had in Germany- seem to think I just need to snap out of it. Now I have solid proof that I'm not making it all up and even a solid plan of treatment.

The treatment for now involves a referral to a British pain management specialist. There are several possible treatments, all different depending on how the disc responds. I'm praying that it will get embarrassed by all the attention and hide itself back where it belongs!

As for the really funny stuff from my appointment today, Capt S (not my official provider, but I'm going to try to switch to him) started giving me his take on my hip pain, "Sometimes when the muscles are lax around the joint it causes the joint to slip a bit and that could be happening, especially since the pain is most noticeable when you sit for long periods and go up stairs. What you're going to need to do is strengthen the gluteous..." blah, blah, blah.... I started laughing! "So, I need to do butt exercises?!"I asked. He laughed back. "Yeah!"

Flashback: Heather and Holly are visiting Germany and I invite them to join me in butt-lifting exercises so that when Tim gets back from Kuwait (and they get back to their respective homes) he'll be impressed with my butt (and their significant others would be impressed with theirs)! I asked Heather if she wanted to impress Dan with a high, tight backside, but she only laughed and let me do my squats and leg lifts by myself.

Flashback #2: Last time I was in America Heather's hubby Dan (a fitness buff) showed me the best way to do squats, holding onto a pole in his and Heather's workout room/computer room. Still, Heather refused to join me!

So, I laughed out loud when Captain S told me to get a firm and shapely butt and all my troubles would be over. Now I actually have been prescribed exercises for a nice rear! HA HA, Heather! What do you have to say now?! ;)



  1. Ha! That's funny! Maybe that's another contest we could do. Who can get the firmest buttocks? Dan was probably loving a willing student, I never want to do what he says :) Next time you suggest firming out butts together, I will be all for that! LOL!

    I'm glad you have some answers to your pain problems? If you are able to fix that bulging (that is an ugly word)disc, will it take away some of your neck pain?

    It's nice to have a doctor that will listen to you and give you some answers.


  2. How on earth would we judge the Firmest Buttocks Contest?!

    :) Reese

  3. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!! I guess I didn't think that idea through did I? It could be very interesting.


  4. I'm sorry about your *bulging* disc--and I agree, that's not a great word.
    I guess there can be more than just one good reason to do butt exercises: health, not just vainity!:)