Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Time For Routine Doctor Visits and Maybe Surgery

As always, the new year kicks off another series of doctor visits.  It's one of the joys of growing older. The visits are to make sure I keep growing older.

Most visits are routine just to make sure all the parts are functioning right but the very first visit of the year, January 3rd, was to see if I needed surgical intervention with the on-going nerve problem in my lower legs and feet.  Nerve tests and scans indicated that I do have a problem, and it is most likely due to some sort of pressure against my nerve bundle in my lower back, possibly at L5-S1.

The surgeon, Dr. Cartwright, seems to think surgery can fix it, and will schedule surgery in the near future.  But first, he wants to try Lyrica to see if I can get any relief.  He gave me a few samples to try, saying it may take up to five days before I see any results.

I took one that night and felt a slight improvement that very night.  I actually managed to get some decent sleep without be awakened by the foot pain as I've experienced most nights.  However, I have had a few moments since then when the pain returned, but for shorter periods of time and at less intensity.

I will continue to take the Lyrica for a few more days before assessing its effectiveness.  If it does not improve any more than what I'm experiencing now, I'll probably opt for the surgery.

Meanwhile, I saw my cardiologist for a routine follow-up visit and he says my blood pressure is good (I provided him with a 3-month record of random BP tests at home), as is my lungs and heart.  I was also given an EKG which was good, or he would have said something.  I go back in three months.

Today, I see my ophthalmologist for a routine visit to make sure my cataract and glaucoma remains in check.  With only one good eye, he likes to take no chances that I will lose vision in it, or lose the limited vision (20/400) in my not-so-good eye.

I usually do quite well on reading the eye chart, often with 20/20 in my good eye.  Rarely does it exceed 20/25.  I continue to read and see well enough without glasses to function quite well, but with obvious limitations.  It takes me extra time to see everything.  The amount of extra time is very slight but noticeable.   I'm just happy to be able to see at all.  We'll see how I do today.

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