Today, I met with my neurosurgeon who will be performing a discectomy on Monday. First of all, he came in to talk within 10 minutes - I love it when a physician office is run efficiently. I HATE waiting.
Anyway, he looked at my MRI from yesterday and that there's definitely a LARGE herniated disc sitting on my sciatic nerve (L4, we knew that) and that there's a smaller herniation on the disc below it (L5). He said that the discs looks to be in the same spot as the MRI I had in June - which seems weird to me because that doesn't explain why I'm in so much pain/numbness the last few weeks, whereas in June, I could tolerate it and still go about my daily life.
He said we could try a steroid injection, but that he wouldn't recommend it (that's what my rehab doctor said also) because the canal is so tight with the huge disc sticking out, and since it has not gone in since January and it's been almost 9 months, that it was unlikely to do so.
He also pointed out that it's possible I could develop cauda equina syndrome and would then need emergency surgery if I lose control of my bowel/bladder. The bulge is dangerously close to hitting those nerves in its current condition, so that alone makes me on the plus side of surgery. I do NOT want to walk around with a bag.
So, we talked it over with him and with his nurse. We decided that for me, surgery is probably the best option to get me back to a normal life. I could wait it out and see what happens, but it is very likely that pain/numbness episodes of this nature will continue. If this were a two-day thing, I'd probably be more likely to hold off on surgery, but two weeks in a wheelchair and not being able to pick up my child, not to mention living on narcotics with unbearable pain, is not something I'd like to repeat. Ever.
I will have to stay home for two weeks (I do plan to work from home some) and no lifting anything more than a milk jug for six weeks. That puts a lot of pressure on the hubs. Even though he's primary caretaker as it is, the never-ending attention an infant requires is definitely taxing on even the most patient person. But we both know that this is for the best and will be worth it when I'm 100 percent again.