I’m scheduled for surgery in the morning with Dr. C., my neurosurgeon. It’s been a hard decision but I’m ready to move onto the next phase of healing and rehab instead of hanging out in limbo.
I had an EMG test on Monday that helped me feel a little more assurance about my plan for surgery. It zaps your muscles with a little electricity to measure nerve function. It’s not a very sensitive test, which means it can miss problems. If it had shown no problem in my legs, I would have felt more unsure about surgery.
My physiatrist wanted to cancel the test since I was already booked for surgery. But I wanted to have it for my peace of mind.
But– not sure if luckily is the right word– it did show ongoing nerve damage in some of the muscles innervated by L5. When the nerves are injured or dying they send pulses of electricity even when the muscle is at rest, and you can hear the static on the test. So the weakness I’m experiencing is for sure not from pain or disuse, but from nerve injury.
My sports medicine doctor really wanted to see the EMG results too. I faxed the report to him and he said he thinks I’m on the right track with surgery.
So for now all I have to do is show up tomorrow. Being a patient is easy that way, a very passive activity, not like skating in a competition or like being, say, an actual brain surgeon.