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Q: Health/Spinal Stenosis/Midral Sten ( No Answer,   7 Comments )
Subject: Health/Spinal Stenosis/Midral Sten
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: bertieann-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 27 Oct 2002 00:50 PDT
Expires: 25 Nov 2002 23:50 PST
Question ID: 90424
I have been diag. with Severe Spinal Stensis--my scheduled surgery is
December the 6th, 2002. For the past 2 to 3 months the pain has been
so severe. I have dents in my legs.  My legs are different colors, I
sweat constantly, I feel nervous all the time and it is so hard. I can
not walk at times and some times my dear husband has to help me out of
bed.  The other thing is I never sleep.  If I do it is from about 10
pm to 3 am. My legs are very hard and are full of edema. I am so
blessed to have the husband I have--he tries to be to patient. I work
in a pediatric office and the Physician Assitant I work with feels I
also  have Mitral Valve Stenosis.  The doctors don't even seem to be
looking at this
direction.  I gained 15 lbs in less then two weeks--my legs are so
solid--and painful.   Pleae give me an suggestion.  Thank you so much.

My doctor sent me to the ER at our nearby hospital to rule out a blood
clot.  He knew it was not but I think he wanted to ease my mind.  I
have gained aprox 15 lbs in less then 2 weeks. The Physician Assistant
who works in my office-which is a pediatric office-feels that they are
not doing anything for me and that I have signs of Mitral valve
Stenosis--could someone pleae help me. I am in great pain and I have
seen doctors and I feel I am bothereing them --I just know that after
spinal surgery my problems will not be solved. Do you feel I am not
being patient and I will find relief after surgery.  Thank you for
your time and
help. I am very blessed with the husband I have but I know he is
axious to see my problem be resolved. Maybe I should not be asking the
question to you but I feel you could help me.  Sincerely, Roberta

Clarification of Question by bertieann-ga on 27 Oct 2002 00:57 PDT
They have it titled as Health/Spinal Stenosis Midral Sten    (not
Mitral Stenosis)  Please correct--thank you.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Health/Spinal Stenosis/Midral Sten
From: aceresearcher-ga on 27 Oct 2002 02:24 PST

You are doing exactly the right thing by seeing your doctors. While
all the Researchers here would love to be able to provide you with
additional assistance, the truth is that your doctors are the ones in
the best position to help you.

Have you mentioned your PA's suggestion of Mitral Valve Stenosis to
your doctor? I am sure he would be willing to check into this
possibility to provide you with peace of mind. You say that you feel
you are bothering your doctors. It is their job to provide health care
to you, and that health care doesn't just include surgery and
medicine: it also includes explaining things to you, listening to your
concerns, and addressing those concerns as well.

You say that "I just know that after spinal surgery my problems will
not be solved." I suspect that that is your pain and your fear
talking. December 6 seems like a very long time away for you right
now, and the waiting is very hard and nerve-wracking. But while you
are waiting to find out whether the surgery is going to work, the last
thing you want to do is create additional worry for yourself by
speculating that it is going to fail.

I know what it is like not to be able to sleep well many nights (this
is why I am writing a Comment for you at 2:30am my time). You have the
right to tell your doctor that the pain and the worry are keeping you
from sleeping, and to ask them if they can prescribe medication or
other methods for helping you to cope with the pain and the worry.

In addition, you can ask your doctor to recommend a counselor to you:
someone who can listen to your doubts and fears, and give you
suggestions on how to deal with the worry. They can also give you good
suggestions for things that you can do to take your mind off the pain,
and to help you sleep better.

You are indeed very lucky to have a husband who is so loving and
supportive. While he is worried about you, he is probably very glad to
help you in any way he can. Try not to worry about being a burden to
him right now -- he knows that if the situation were reversed, you
would be just as glad to help take care of him. That is part of the
promise we make to each other when we get married: to help each other
when things aren't going so well.

Hang in there; trust in your doctors to help you, and see if you can
find a counselor who will help you to feel better emotionally while
you are waiting for your surgery.

Best wishes,

Subject: Re: Health/Spinal Stenosis/Midral Sten
From: bcguide-ga on 27 Oct 2002 03:43 PST
Hi bertieann,

Aceresearcher's comment is great advice. Spinal stenosis can cause
plenty of other problems. The pitting edema that you describe is just
one of them. The weight gain goes along with all of the extra fluid
you are retaining. I think that if your doctor has run tests and
diagnosed the problem, you can be certain that every other condition
was ruled out. It is hard sometimes, to separate out the helpful
advice from stuff that just makes you more nervous.

Dealing with chronic pain is very stressful. Feeling like an invalid
is also hard. Your reaction to this is very normal and I'm pretty sure
that your doctors understand your concerns. It may seem like you are
bothering them because of their busy schedules. The suggestion that
you get counseling is good. Think of it this way... your doctors are
trained to take care of your body and they are doing that. They are
not trained to take care of the emotional issues that come up when you
are dealing with a chronic condition. For that they have specialists -
psychologists or other mental health professionals. If you don't have
one as part of your medical team, you should. Although the researchers
here can give you facts about your condition, what you need is good
professional care. Just as you'll need to see a surgeon and a physical
therapist to get you back to good health, you'll need someone to help
you cope with the impact that this condition is having on your life.

These online communities may have others who are going through the
same things that you are... Back Problems Message Board
Description: Located on the website. Only registered
users may post.

WebMD: Back Pain: Gary Vogin, MD
Description: This "Ask Our Experts" message board is part of Lycos
Health with WebMD. Participants must register to post messages (you
may read messages without registering).

I hope that by this time next year you will be happily preparing for 
Thanksgiving and the holidays with less pain - both physical and

Subject: Re: Health/Spinal Stenosis/Midral Sten
From: seedy-ga on 27 Oct 2002 03:56 PST

In the last three months I have also gone from a very active,
healthful, person who to one who has been diagnosed with spinal
stenosis and am suffering the same symptoms as you are suffering.  I
have had a cat scan, MRI, blood tests, and tests for diabetes all of
which point directly to spinal stenosis eliminating diabetes, prostate
problems (very low PSA), blood chemistry problems, bone cancer, and
other possible complications. I have gone from being able to walk OK
to where I cannot walk without a cane and then only very short
distances with very short steps.

I also have constant pain which I have managed with too many Advil and
a few percoset and naproxen. I only take the perc very occasionally,
the naproxen twice a day, and the Advil at times like these at 1:38am
Hawaii Standard Time. The side effect of these meds is constipation
which is a very uncomfortable feeling.

I have tried to swim in the ocean falling too many times walking to
the surf and then falling into the surf and trying to crawl out to
where I could swim....Needed a boogie board which two woman loaned me.
They watched over me while I was swimming with the boogie board and
helped me out of the surf back to my beach chair. Turned out they were
massage therapists who suggested they would find a more experienced
medical therapist for me to see next week. The energy expended was too
much for me.

I have gone to a chiropractor (big made the pain worse),
acupuncture (no effect), Chinese medicine doctor (very painful deep
tissue pressure point massage, taking of sea minerals, and "relief"
spray), and will try a naturopath who reinjects your blood after it
has been oxygenated.

I have also gained weight but seem to be on a down cycle right now
with careful management of food intake. I have been referred to a
neurologist who I hope to see next week. All this in an attempt to NOT
have surgery.  I have been to the doctors more times in the last two
months than I have in the past 62 years. My power of concentration is
greatly diminished as is my ability to read quietly.

Certainly acerearcher's advice is sound.  I have heard some friends
and friends of friends who have undergone surgery and have been
restored to complete health and mobility so I hold that hope out for
you.  I'll try the naturopath, neurologist, massage therapy, and any
other alternative therapy I can find before submitting to the surgery
since I am retired and have time to try these things and my pain
threshold is quite high. Another one that interests me is the Bonati
Institute   I have searched the web for
treatments to a mixed bag of ideas and suggestions.

It is easy for me to say "you are not alone" but that does not clear
up your pain nor clear up your mind. If you have faith in your doctor,
and are clear with your options, take the professional advice.  Good

Subject: Re: Health/Spinal Stenosis/Midral Sten
From: luciaphile-ga on 27 Oct 2002 05:59 PST
Hi bertieann-ga,

I'm sorry to hear about your situation.  I don't know whether you've
already seen these sites or have this information, but perhaps it will
be useful.  Some of these have links to directories of doctors and

Questions and Answers about Spinal Stenosis

Spinal Stenosis

What is Mitral Valve Stenosis

Heart Valve Diseases
Subject: Re: Health/Spinal Stenosis/Midral Sten
From: voila-ga on 27 Oct 2002 11:18 PST
Hi bertieann,

You have some very fine suggestions from my researcher colleagues, and
we have too much integrity to attempt an 'answer' to your complex
medical problem.  It's true we can bring you all sorts of information
on the web about the conditions you mentioned, but what you need is a
thorough diagnostic workup and possibly specialized tests.

As a matter of coincidence, a GA question came up earlier this week
that people in the healthcare profession {doctors, nurses, front
office people} seek treatment far less often because they somehow feel
indispensible.  Granted, medicine is one of the busiest fields today,
and while you truly are *needed* at post, no one is going to take care
of your healthcare concerns but *you.*  Also, if you really think
about it objectively, a person is only indispensible to one's
*immediate* family.  Somehow everything else is *miraculously*
handled.  It's quite humbling when you figure this one out!

Concerning your problems, I'm assuming that if you've been scheduled
for surgery, you've been medically cleared by your internist for this
procedure, yes?  Pay him/her another visit.  If you feel your PCP has
been dismissive and isn't listening to your concerns, pitch a fit and
get his/her attention.   The squeaky wheel analogy is absolutely true.
 If this fails, by all means, switch doctors.  Sign a records release,
get a copy of your medical chart, go over your records *personally,*
get a referral from one of your colleagues, and schedule another
complete physical ASAP -- including a note of concern by the PA you've
mentioned.  You must have a physician with whom you have a rapport and
who will answer these questions for you rather than a Google Answers
researcher.   As much we would truly love to help,  we also know when
it's prudent to say "seek medical advice" and not just for disclaimer

Also, I'd be curious to know what criteria the PA is basing the
diagnosis of mitral valve stenosis?   According to this website,
specialized testing is required to assess for MVS:


"Mitral valve stenosis is usually detected by a physician listening to
heart sounds. Normal heart valves open silently to permit the flow of
blood. A stenotic valve makes a snapping sound followed by a
"rumbling" murmur. The condition can be confirmed with a chest x ray
and an electrocardiogram, both of which will show an enlarged atrium.
Echocardiography , which produces images of the heart's structure, is
also helpful in making the diagnosis. If surgery is necessary, cardiac
catheterization may be done to fully evaluate the heart before the
operation."  More on MVS:
Besides your physical concerns, it doesn't sound like you're mentally
ready to undergo surgery either.  There's much to be said about the
mind-body connection and how one impacts the other in a positive
surgical outcome.  If you need to speak to a therapist or minister
about preparing yourself for surgery, seeking alternative therapies,
or just venting your feelings, I urge you to do so before December. 
You will definitely feel better with whatever decision you make.

Take good care,
Subject: Re: Health/Spinal Stenosis/Midral Sten
From: surgeon-ga on 27 Oct 2002 15:32 PST
Of the many symptoms you describe, it is unlikely that they are all
explained by spinal stenosis: that can cause pain and/or weakness in
your legs. The swelling, discoloration, "dents," and the weight gain
are highly unlikely to be related. Before you have surgery you should
be sure your doctor is well aware of these other issues and has
addressed them. Not only would one not expect improvement of the
swelling and discoloration by having surgery, going through surgery
with those symptoms could be dangerous unless they are fully
Subject: Re: Health/Spinal Stenosis/Midral Sten
From: bertieann-ga on 28 Oct 2002 20:31 PST
Thank you all.  Today has been a very bad day.  My legs are very red a
Very painful--I even feel like my stomach is hard.  I also have
developed bruises on my left side.  I asked the doctor  last week 
about a lump I felt inside on my left side it felt like a tumor and he
said it is probably from my back proplems.  My leg even feel warm
again tonight. I am so tired of being like this--I am in so much pain
and I feel like a chronic complainer. I do think the doctors feel bad
because they don't know the problem.  A few years ago in 1996, I had
ITP--my platelet count whet down to 22,000--they were really
puzzeled--I am so afraid that I will end up having LUMPUS.  It is
really a handicap when you also have a weight problem becasue they 
tell you that you
should lose weight--I truly realize that. I have joined the weight
watchers program.  It is a great program--and I really want to try it.
 I am at the point I can not get around.  I am 75 lbs over weight and
I pray  that wiii lose it once I get well--with the back surgey and
all I can't even attempt it now.Thank you so much  Roberta   will

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