I know this will be too much information, but am writing it anyway.
Had the MRI yesterday and both my sisters called me with the results. I have two things wrong.
One is on L4 and L5 I have moderate to severe narrowing of the central canal. My doc said no wonder I'm in pain.
On the S1 and T12 I have perineural cysts (also called Tarlov cysts). Apparently they don't cause pain unless they grow to a certain size, so I don't know if they are just incidental or what.
There's also some stuff about "facet osteoarthropathy." Here's some info: "Most people who have facet arthropathy will complain of low back pain that is worse with twisting or extension (bending backwards) of the lumbar spine. ...as the facet joints become arthritic, they often develop bone spurs that can decrease the amount of space available for the nerve roots as they exit the spinal canal. This can be a contributing factor in the development of spinal stenosis, which does cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the buttocks and legs." Our father had arthritis of the spine, so it's no surprise that I have it.
Haven't spoken to my doc but he's sending me to a neurosurgeon, and also to the pain clinic for an epidural. I think I'll love the epidural. He does want me to have surgery, but of course I'm going to weigh my options. Luckily my sisters are wonderful and are great to have as consultants.
One sis said, "At least you know that you really have something." I laughed so loudly over the phone and replied, "I've always known I've had something. It's just you guys who think I'm a lazy slob." Laughed again. And so did she.
Yesterday and today were both big pain days, so I just took a pain pill. Will lie down soon and hope to begin snoring within moments.