This afternoon at 4:30, I have my long awaited appointment with the neck specialist over at Tuckahoe Orthopaedic. He has examined the results of my recent MRI and will let me know how he plans to treat me. It could go several different ways...
Best case scenario.
Doctor: For the life of me I don't understand why we didn't catch this before, but your MRI revealed that there's a McDivot in your thermalator between the corpus and the christi right here, see it?
Me: Well, yeah, I guess so. But what does that mean?
Doctor: Well, it certainly explains the pain you've been experiencing. If there was a McDivot that big in my thermalator, my neck would be hurting too! The good news is that, now that we know what the problem is, it's an easy fix. Take these pills twice a day for a week, the thing will dissolve, and you'll be as good as new.
Worst case scenario.
Doctor: Well Mr. Dunnevant, I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but both of your troubled bulging disks have ruptured, so I'm afraid we're going to have to operate to repair the damage. The earliest I can squeeze you in looks like the 20th of December.
Me: Are you kidding me? That's five days before Christmas!! And what am I suppose to do about the pain between now and then?
Doctor: Develope a taste for Scotch.
Most likely scenario.
Doctor: Yeah, looks like your neck is gradually wearing out. Right now, it's not bad enough to operate, so I'm going to give you a cortisone shot and we'll see how much relief that supplies. But after a while, a year or two, maybe three, the shots will stop working, then we will have to move on to more invasive treatment, which at some point will include surgery.
Me: Wait, what about this therapy thing I heard about where they put you in traction and stretch your spine out to releave the pressure?
Doctor: Yes. In the Middle Ages that was called...torture. Be my guest.
Me: What about a Chiropractor?
Me: Doctor? I said, what about a Chiropractor?
Doctor: Excuse me, but did I just hear a reasonably well educated man ask me if he should consider going to a glorified massage parlor for treatment of a serious neck condition? By all means, and while you're there maybe you can try applying a few leeches!
Me: I'll take that as a "no."
I'm counting on these cortisone shots working. If they don't I might try the rack thing and a Chiropractor. If none of these things work I might even go the leeches route. I am very tired of living with a neck that hurts all the time. I want to play golf again. I want to be able to back out of a parking space without extreme discomfort, and I've grown weary of my heating pad.
Wish me luck!