Well, met with my new neurosurgeon yesterday. Drove with my Dad from Buffalo to Rochester-and got lost on the way. The directions that the doctor's office sent in the mail were wrong! As you might imagine, dear old Dad was less than happy.
He had us leave three hours ahead of time (about twice the time it normally takes) and he was crowing all the way home after the visit about how I would have been late and missed the appointment if I had left when I wanted to. Geez, please!
Anyways, enough about that (I usually have my eyes closed about half of the time when he drives because he is both a tailgater and big risk taker). So, the RN met with me first, and, I don't know why, but she kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I pretty much knew what the neurosurgeon was going to say before I even met with him:lose weight, and let us see how your pain level is after that. Well, I liked the doc (his RN told me he was arrested in Tiananmen Square as a protester and that he had went overseas as a doctor in both Afghanistan and Iraq. She also said that he specialized in highly complicated and difficult spinal neurosurgery. I had mentioned to the RN that I planned on getting a gastric bypass/gastric sleeve as soon as possible. The doctor said he looked at my films and read what the previous doctor in his practice said about me and that he could operate now, but would much rather wait until I lost some weight after the gastric bypass. He gave a perfectly logical explanation-that I would be having the surgery on my stomach this time, instead of my back-and that he would be going in posteriorally rather than the anterior approach my last surgeon did. Apparently, the objective neurological tests showed that I was doing ok, better than one would expect after looking at my films. So, he told me to set up a myelogram as the date for the surgery grew nearer. He also said that he wanted my BMI to go down to 40. Well, according the BMI calculator on the website of my gastric bypass doc, that I have a BMI of 56.8 (which is terrible). That means I would need to lose a little more than 100 lbs before I got close to a BMI of 40. Discouraging, yes. But Dr. Huang said he would consider surgery if things became unbearable. (They pretty much are already). So, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. The nurse gave me "discharge" instructions. She said that neck surgery would probably not improve my migraine headaches (even though they were greatly improved for almost 6 months after my prior surgery). She also said that they were probably not migraines, but instead were cluster headaches. Like I said, I didn;t much care for her from the start. She admitted that she was not a headaches specialist, but that that was her experience. Whatever!
Anyways, Dr. Huang treated me with dignity. The way she tip toed around the subject of my morbid obesity in the pre-interview before I saw the doc, you would have thought there was an elephant in the room (me?) and that no one was supposed to talk about it and if she did speak about it, she looked fearful, as if I would head butt her like a wild rhino. Anyways, I am VERY tired and am rambling. I am moving forward with the bariatric surgery. No surprises at the appointment. Dr. Huang did say he would operate if I needed it after my weight loss, which is more than my original surgeon said he would do. Finally, my ear has continued to swell. Went to urgent care to get some high powered antibiotics. Apparently, bacteriologic infections are much more serious for people with diabetes. I learn something new every day.