Finally Answers, 2-21-20

I made notes on my pain to tell my doctor and he ordered an x-ray of my pelvis at the same time I had my knees x-rayed. By the time he came to my room he knew he’d find an old woman in pain and complaining mightily. Remember that yesterday I answered a couple comments and I said it really wasn’t my knee but my leg that hurt so bad. Well, my doctor agreed and it was a quick diagnosis of a pinched nerve in my lower back and he ordered an MRI and is sending me to a spinal surgeon.

At the mention of “surgeon” I cried! My doctor then said to me – “why would you be so upset? This is an easy fix – it isn’t as if I told you that I found a cancerous tumor!” And he’s right, I guess, but I can hardly stand the thought of now having back surgery.

He said he looked at my 2016 MRI and the problem was beginning at that time but the knee pain completely covered it up. Now, my knees are straight which means I walk different which means that nerve is pinched big time.

I’m going to my clinic in Garner for more extensive x-rays this afternoon after we play at Concord. I had also complained that I always felt so much worse after therapy. So bad really that I climbed into my chair when I got home and tried to recuperate before the next PT appointment. It all makes sense now, doesn’t it?

I will be stopping at Athletico to tell them I won’t be coming to any more appointments. My range of motion is good and they’re just making my current pain worse than it needs to be which is NOT their fault but now I know what’s wrong and therapy isn’t going to help.

Wow – what an enlightening morning! Last night as I laid in bed feeling my heart pound in my head and worrying about getting to sleep, I promised myself I would complain until he listened and he did. He also put me on Prednisone which makes anything feel better! Next week at this time I’ll be feeling better!

Oh, another bit of bad news – I’ve gained 4.5 pounds sitting in my chair eating chips, drinking beer and not working.

73 thoughts on “Finally Answers, 2-21-20

  1. Celene

    Prayers and hugs for a quick recovery. With all of your prayer warriors with you, you’ve got this!

  2. Caryn Goulden

    Prayers and hugs that all of this pain is soon behind you and you have a speedy recovery.

    1. Katie

      Hugs coming from AZ…
      Many challenges in our Senior years..
      Hope the meds help some..
      Katie in AZ.🌵

  3. Rhoda Ebersole

    Well yes good not to have cancer but my question is why didn’t the therapists and doctor listen to you in the beginning when you said it hurt so much instead of making you suffer for weeks? It is most maddening especially since you had not complained like that with the first knee.
    Eat only soup !!!
    Good luck Mary and I am sending many prayers for you to be back to 100% well and pain free. Winter is ending soon. Our sun here is very warm again.


  4. Kris in Naperville

    Oh my…. sorry to hear of your pinched nerve! Do you have to jump immediately to surgery??? I have had so much success with my chiropractor correcting my misaligned spine and relieving a lot of leg and back pain. I know you are in good hands and they will fix you up. Hoping you can get it all fixed so you can get back to life as you prefer it! You have been such a trooper through all of this! Chips and a beer… sounds good to me!

  5. Diane Bauer

    Sending you prayers for relief of this pain as well as a speedy recovery from this next surgery. Those pounds will come off quickly as soon as you feel better, but I get how frustrating that must be, too!

    We finally have sunshine today, which is much appreciated! It has been a long, gray winter!! I’m ready for flowers!!

  6. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    Mary, I was sick with a respiratory condition that escalated until I had a huge asthma attack, which resulted in a fourth week if also drinking beer and eating cookies (not together!)… I gained five pounds in three weeks, list it all as soon as I was up and moving for ten days.
    All in good time… that yard work you do… you’ll drop five, and five more!

  7. Mary

    Once you’re up and about those pounds will disappear. I’m glad you know where the pain is coming from. Celebrate by sewing.

  8. Diane in Maryland

    The good news is that you know what is going on. I understand you crying! You’ve been thru a lot in a few short months.! As for 4 pounds…it was probably winter clothes! Don’t worry about it. Your body has needed the rest to heal. I thought you looked great in the picture with your aunt. You will be all better by spring. With all you have haf hoi g on on your life you’ve still gotten more sewing done than me! I’m working on a quilt that I make 10 blocks and then take 5 apart because I’ve sewn off points…grrr…. Everything will be better soon. Hugs to you!

  9. Martha Engstler Gettysburg

    You have an army of followers, all friends, that have you in their thoughts and prayers wishing you a speedy recovery. Be glad it’s winter so this can all be resolved before spring and summer come. We send our love.

  10. Sue in Oregon

    Oh my gosh! I am so glad you lead the doctor to the real problem. I know it makes you shudder to think of more surgery, but it will be worth it to end the pain and get back to normal. What a winter you have had. Good thoughts and lots of prayers for you, Mary. You are a brave lady.
    Hope you enjoyed all those chips and beer afternoons. 4 and 1/2 pounds isn’t so bad.

  11. Angie from Baltimore

    Because of the prednisone and weight gain trust me it goes along but you will be feeling so much better and the weight will go away.
    Prayers to you for a painless future.

  12. Felicia Hamlin

    I am so glad to know that your pain has a source, Mary. A pinched nerve is nothing to be ignored. Life sometimes dumps too many things on us, but God is always there to be our help and strength. Sending you prayers and hugs.

  13. Jo in Wyoming

    Just know you have a huge community send hugs, kisses and prayers.
    Keep us posted when you can.

  14. Frances

    Beer and cookies, huh. Could be worse. So sorry about your back, but you will get better! That’s the good news. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  15. Jean

    Mary. Not to fear. I had spinal surgery. As soon as I woke up from anesthesia the pain was gone. A miracle I say. Nerve pain is the WORST. Recovery from the procedure wasn’t at all bad.

  16. Sue

    I’ve had both knees replaced plus back surgery. The back is nothing compared to knee surgery. You will feel so much better. Honest.

  17. Kim J LeMere

    Wow, I’m sorry the pain is leading to more doctors and more appointments but in the end you will feel better and with summer right around the corner you want to be able to go outside and visit all those farm babies. I’m glad the doctor was listening and you have a plan for being pain free. Bummer on the 4 pounds but once you can move without pain, it will come right off.

  18. Rosalie

    So glad you have a diagnosis and now can get the issue resolved- just the knowledge that there is a reason for the pain must be a relief. Praying for a smooth speedy road to pain free health!

  19. Dorothy Ann Weibel


  20. Jeanie S, Central IL

    I am glad your trip to the doctor answered some of your pain concerns, Mary. Sorry you have to deal with more issues. I will be keeping you in my prayers.

    1. Mary In TN

      So glad you are getting some answers. Being in pain can wear a person down. You’ve stayed pretty upbeat. Praying for you and wishing you a fast recovery. Enjoy your daily visits!

  21. Jean Elliott

    Wow…glad you found out what’s going on. Hope you don’t have to have surgery. Hang in there…enjoy the chips & beer!

  22. Holly Woodyatt

    Prednisone will increase your appetite too! Been there, been on it for years for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Also, do not despair. I had back surgery for a bulging disk and the recovery was better than hip surgery, I woke up with no pain after months of pain. With a good neurosurgon it will be a piece of cake. However you might have to change your gardening routine. No more bending! I can garden but use a bench to lay across to keep my back straight. Good luck, it will be ok I promise.

  23. Mary Goke

    So glad you are getting some answers. Being in pain can wear a person down. You’ve stayed pretty upbeat. Praying for you and wishing you a fast recovery. Enjoy your daily visits!

  24. Julie

    Oh the side affects of aging are no fun!
    Good luck Mary. I think they can do a less invasive surgery on backs now.
    Not sure for what problems but fingers crossed that’s all you’ll need.

  25. Beryl in Owatonna

    So glad you have an answer, though not what you wanted to hear. Pain wears you down…thus the tears. I would have done the same. Continued prayers for sure.
    I am with those who suggest a chiropractor, they do wonders without surgery. They are my go to before an MD. If you trust them they will tell you if surgery is the answer. Mine, in Montana worked with some of the Medical doctors in Helena, that was a comfort feeling, for sure.
    It is so good to see the sun today and have warmer temps even though it is windy…soon green will appear again and the flowers!! I am ready.
    I am praying for wisdom for you and your Dr.
    HUGS <3

  26. Liz Schrader

    So sorry you have been having so much pain. Hopefully the back surgery will get rid of the pain for you. Take care.

  27. Lynn in Iowa

    Glad you are getting some answers. I hope the prednisone works quickly to help with the pain. Don’t know how you’ve stayed so upbeat all this time. As far as the weight gain, it will come off when you can be outside in the gardens. You crack me up with your chips and beer comment. What’s my excuse, I haven’t had surgery.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lynn in Iowa – haha! But is there anything better than chips and beer or pizza and beer or maybe even cookies and beer! Hahaha!!

  28. Paula Philpot

    At least now we know what is wrong….goodness! I would have cried too but God will take care of you so leave it up to him. Paula in KY

  29. Jan from TN

    Well, it took some time unfortunately but at least you know they didn’t mess up something with your last knee surgery! Prednisone does, sadly, result in weight gain for most people. But like others have said, you’re so active in the spring & summer that you’ll have no problem losing it. Just try not to get hooked on chocolate candy, cookies, etc. I’m a sugar addict & had managed to tame it & lose lots of weight. But when I had major dental work & shortly thereafter my husband nearly died, I went back to my good friend (or bad friend?) chocolate — shakes for the dental work & cookies & ice cream & candy for my anxiety over my husband! It’s almost a year later but I still cannot break my sugar cravings & I’ve regained a lot, but not all, of the weight I worked so hard to lose! So sad. But you have a whole tribe of ladies here & I’m sure at your church that are praying & pulling for you so you’ll do great! Good luck & prayers for a quick recovery after the back surgery is performed — soon I hope! Have a good weekend!
    P.S. Here in TN, we got almost 3″ of snow yesterday! No school, no nothing since no equipment to clear the roads! Bright & sunny but still cold today!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jan from TN – I always said I preferred the classic jellybeans to chocolate but as soon as I admitted to that I started craving chocolate. I have a serious sweet tooth and come by it naturally – nothing green passed my mom’s lips unless it was a green m and m or green mint ice cream! Haha! And this apple didn’t fall far from the tree!!

  30. Kate Schloemer

    Oh Mary!!! It just sucks getting older. I totally understand how you feel as the same thing has happened to me. Darn I hate complaining about the way I feel. Hope you feel better soon.

  31. Judy

    SO glad your frustration and persistence returned some answers. Glad to have the answer about the pinched nerve. Not glad about the suggestion of surgery. But you have some time to ponder all that. Now that you stop the PT maybe the aggravation will relieve some of the pain of the pinching! You have such a “way-with-words” to turn the ugly pain into a story to make us smile and even laugh – bring on the beer and cookies! You’ll soon be dancing – maybe waltzing from building to building and back to quilting! Nothing like praying quilters!!!!!!
    Hugs from Texas!

  32. Sandi

    I’m so glad you found out what is going on!! You can walk off the 4 pounds after your back to yourself. 😂 Hugs,

  33. Sue in Marion, IN

    Glad you finally got some answers! I hope the surgery for the pinched nerve is a piece of cake and gives you pain relief. Hugs!

  34. Sharon Geiger

    I’m so glad they found the cause of the pain. As for the 4.5# weight gain, that’s a benefit of the “comfort” food. I hope the prednisone helps and best wishes for a complete recovery!!!

  35. Holly in Two Harbors

    I’m so glad you finally got some answers. Good for you for insisting you are heard! That can be so difficult, and I often think male doctors are worse at listening. I would have cried when I heard surgeon, too. You’ve had such a rough run of luck lately, who could blame you? And what a relief not to have to go to therapy where everything gets worse! I hope things improve for you soon!

  36. Judi L.

    Mary, I had spinal surgery in 2016. Saw a neurosurgeon. I had a pinched sciatic nerve that I allowed to bother me far longer than I should have. The doc did a decompression and some shaving of bulging discs. The area involved was the lumbar region and lower C-spine. I told him in advance I did not want a fusion under any circumstances. Everything went well and I was up and walking before I left the day surgery unit. I did not do any physical therapy (probably should have). I will tell you to follow the doc orders regarding lifting and stretching. Good luck! I’ll say a few prayers for you.

  37. Kathy in western NY

    I kept reading and reading what happened at the doctors and was so shocked it turned out to be another serious condition, but you had me chuckling over the beer and chips at the end. You will chose what route is best suited for you so I have faith things will be just fine. Hope you sleep well tonight.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Kathy in western NY – can you believe it? And so many of you thought the beer and chips part was funny – really? WHats funny about beer and chips? You should try it – it’s great!!!

      1. Kathy in western NY

        Ha! Since we are talking about sweet tooth’s, I am addicted to chips! I can’t stop once I open a bag. I could live on pizza, bread, chips and canned soup the rest of my life but my blood pressure tells me STOP.

  38. Joyce from NY

    So glad you found out what is wrong, good the Dr. listened to you, hopefully you will find some relief soon, either from surgery or other options. You deserve beer & chips, the weight will disappear come spring!

  39. Sheila

    Glad to hear you finally got an answer concerning your pain. Hope relief is in the near future.

  40. Gayle Shumaker

    We’re in similar circumstances. I had both my knees done in 2017 by late 2018 I was having serious back pain. 2019 was a blur of uncontrolled pain. I’m currently being seen by a neurosurgeon at U of M. I have an appointment with him and the Bone Fragility Clinic there in a couple of weeks. I can stand for about 15 minutes before the pain is horrible, one of my legs is numb and I’ve been sleeping in the recliner since last summer. I’m so ready for surgery. Add in my primary care doctor retired recently and his partner who accepted me as his patient doesn’t want to manage pain meds so I’m being sent to a pain clinic an hour away. I’m taking it a day at a time. I hope your appointment with the surgeon goes well and you are out of pain soon. Hang in there.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Gayle Shumaker – wow, this is not funny – I’ve been sleeping in a recliner for the past 18 months – until two nights ago and I actually slept in my bed successfully. I can’t stand for long either but I’m hoping this could be an easy fix. I won’t, however, be jumping into back surgery without understanding it fully. I hate to think of more medical issues!!!!

  41. Karen Gaither

    Hopefully, the Neurosurgeon will prescribe Physical Therapy. I had two pinched nerve in neck after my car wreck and was cured in 7 PT sessions.
    Mary you are so funny with your chips & beer! When I was home for 6 weeks I ate grill cheese on crusty sour dough bread with pepper jack cheese, cheddar cheese & jalapeños with Dave’s Spicy Pickle & Kettle Potato Chips. I didn’t have any alcohol 3 weeks before or 2 months after. I guess because I was taking medicine. Since on WW now, not sure I will want to spend 20 of my 23 points for that lunch, but it sure was good!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Karen Gaither – I don’t have to tell you how much pain my pt has caused me for 6 weeks, 3 times a week. It will be awhile before I’ll be willing to go back. Chips and beer? Now what’s so funny about that?

  42. Diane Deibler

    Oh ,Mary the joys of getting older. I try to trick myself that I am not really 70 but my body is reminding me I’m not 60 anymore. Hope you got the right answers today. Hang in there.

  43. Carol in Memphis

    Oh, I am so sorry for your awful pain but happy that the cause was diagnosed quickly. So you can be quickly on the mend. Sending positive thoughts to you!

  44. Susan Sundermeyer

    I’m so sorry for your pain, Mary. As someone who has bulging discs and a ruptured disc, I know the discomfort you are in. I know you don’t want to hear the word Therapy anymore, but Pilates therapy was a godsend for me. Don’t rule out massage therapy either. You are in my prayers.

  45. Pat Smith

    On the one hand not good news, but on the other a relief to know the cause of the pain. I wondered how two knees could be so different in results. You deserve all the chips and beer you want. The weight will come off when you’re back on you feet and working again. This has been the winter from hell! I’m thinking of you and hoping for better times.

  46. Kathy Hanson

    Oh, My goodness! WOW! so glad your knees are fine but now your back, I do think that it may be easy to fix this, I truly hope so. One thing after another but I do hope that this is the last of it!! Love and prayers to you!!

  47. patti leal

    mary, i’m sorry about your pain and possiblely more surgery. i have had issues in my lower back at c-4, c-5, c-6. slipped discs. i went thru several different procedures with my ortho people. i did the 3 shots spaced apart – didn’t work (sorry i can’t remember the name but the doctors will) then i had a facet block after. it didn’t work either. what helped me was the spinal rhizotomy ,they went in and burned the ends of about six different nerves). they used a computer and x-rays to thread a needle in so i had no sedatives or whatever. walked in on my own, walked out on my own and havve been pretty much pain free. if anything flares which is rare i feel it in the muscles of my back. it is another avenue to explore. i, too, dread the thought of having back surgery. prayers and well wishes for a knowledgeable doctor. patti in florida

  48. Marcia Rocheleau

    This will soon be behind you and you will feel younger, stronger, healthier, and you will be back to running circles around most of us out here.
    It is so good that you were proactive in getting answers instead of just accepting the way things were. God bless you, Mary.

  49. JeanneH

    Dear Mary, I am so sorry for your pain, but glad that the source has been found and that there will be a course of action to get rid of it. Although you may not want to think about PT now, possibly a therapist will have a few recommendations for light exercises to help before back surgery, just to ease movement a bit.
    Best wishes for you to get better. : )

  50. Starrla from Mi

    I hope without therapy aggravating your back and the prednisone your pain will calm down and you may find surgery is not needed. Spring is coming Mary and I hope wellness for you.

  51. Debbie B

    Sad you are still in so much pain, but happy you have a plan to take care of it. Take care. Hugs!

  52. Tanya in Houston

    Well, as they say “Old age is not for sissies!” But, it certainly helps to have so many of us in the same boat, huh? I suppose my standard advice will not work in this case, “When things are bad and getting worse, keep a cookie in your purse!” We love you and are sending good wishes your way.

  53. Deb Harrison

    Mary, Good on You for getting through to your doc. Bad on him for not connecting the dots from pinched nerve before knees! As spring will start peaking its sign soon, do not worry about the #’s….knowing you, you will be pushing the door open and running to your animals, the sunshine and your to do list, and you will drop those few pounds quickly. Don’t beat yourself into the ground: you don’t deserve to be berated! We all love you, are praying for you and early spring and renewed, pain free activity!

  54. Paula Hagg

    This sounds so familiar. My 90 yr old mother had hip surgery after a resident hit her with an electric cart in Walmart. She was in obvious pain during recovery but they just treated her as a complainer. After many weeks She finally got my sister in law to schedule an appointment for a new X-ray. Sure enough the dr had messed up and the whole thing had gone bad. She wound up with a second hip surgery with a new dr. She Is still receiving therapy but doing much better.

  55. Judy Gnade

    Dear Mary, I am glad you found out about this nerve so you can stop irritating it with therapy. I’m sorry that you face the possibility of additional surgery but hopefully things will begin to improve soon and by summer you will be back in the swing of things and can forget about this winter. That’s my plan. Our household has been down for the count and can’t wait to begin to head back into better health. Keep your spirits up! Better days are coming!😊Blessings Judy

  56. Janet Kay

    I know how you are feeling. After going thru chemo and radiation , I was in such back pain that all I could do was lay down and not sit or stand. My husband finally wheeled me to the doctor and he admitted me to the hospital. A back surgeon saw me and seeing how much pain I was in said he would do back surgery the next morning, which was Saturday of Memorial weekend. I also had a pinched nerve and after surgery walked out of the hospital pain free. Don’t be upset. God will guild you through and you will feel soooooo much better. Bright days are ahead for you. Sending prayers for you!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Janet Kay – you don’t know how happy I am to read your positive comments! People have told me I’ll never be able to bend over again or carry more than 10 lbs! I can’t live like that!

  57. Marilyn in SD

    I’m a frequent reader but haven’t posted before. I couldn’t resist adding my comments to those about the back surgery. I had a herniated disc back in 1998 which caused excruciating pain. After surgery, the pain was totally gone. Actually, my first words to my husband after were surgery were “Honey, I feel great. Let’s go dancing!” It’s very important to follow orders regarding recovery. I couldn’t do stairs or drive for over two weeks, but everything healed. I haven’t had any pain in the past 22 years. I do bend over, I do carry over 10 pounds, I garden, I shovel snow, I work full-time….However, I’m careful and know not to push too far. I take a break more frequently. I use the wheelbarrow and the back of the Ranger to move stuff outside. A friend of mine in her late 70’s had the same surgery just three weeks ago. She is doing great now and all of her sciatic nerve pain is gone. Hang in there. If surgery is right for you, you will know.

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