Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spine in my Esophagus

I thought I'd heard it all. I didn't think there was anything left a doctor could tell me that could surprise me any more. Wrong. I have been seeing a spine surgeon because of my hands having difficulty gripping and picking up things again, especially the left one. My c-spine hasn't been checked in a little while so it was time for a look anyway as that's the area that controls the hands, though there was the possibility of it being scar tissue growth blocking up the arteries and nerves again for the Thoracic Outlet, so one step at a time to rule things out.

This group of doctors has their own MRI so I was able to get in pretty quickly, and get back in for results a few days after that, which puts us at last week. Let me explain just a little of what you are seeing: you will notice that the spine consists of vertebrae that basically look like little square boxes. Sure, the lines are a wee bit sloppy, but squares all the same. You with me? Now look underneath the hardware. There are two squares there that are WAY out of whack. Both of those squares have one side that is nothing like a straight line. Instead, there's a huge pointy object sticking out of each vertebra. That's not normal, nor is it good. Those points are shoving straight into my esophagus. Directly on the other side of the vertebrae, my spinal cord is being shoved into. That isn't news, but it has definitely gotten worse.

I now have an explanation why my hands have progressed. I hate it but having Ehlers-Danlos and so many surgeries means when part of me isn't working so well, whether due to EDS or because it's been worked on, I've learned to use others to get by. There is no use wasting time whining about it.

The progression in the spine doesn't surprise me. That my esophagus has pointy pieces of bone pushing it in, yeah that came out of nowhere. The surgeon and the PA explained this is why my voice cracks so much, why it's scratchy and has to be cleared a lot, etc. It makes sense, given I have a spine in my esophagus.

The spine surgeon is calling one of my other doctors to set up a spinal cord procedure. We'll see. I don't know what to think. It's really a temporary band-aid but I have to try because I can't keep like this. I don't know how long my esophagus can stay like this though and that's another big concern.

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