Hello All: My name is Lance and I am 54 and retired due to heart disease. Let me start at the beginning; a few years ago I went to an orthopedics due to low back pain, radiating to my butt, right leg and foot. He did spinal x-rays and said I had sciatica. I have never had any relief from this pain. I also saw my family doctor that said that I would just have to live with it, and she is a personal friend.

About 2 months ago the pain increased and now was going down both legs. Both legs and feet were going numb along with my groin area if I walked or stood more than 15 minutes. I finally went back to an orthopedic...(the first one retired). He ordered a MRI of the spine without contrast. Here are the results:

There are 5 lumbar vertebra demonstrated with end-plate degenerative changes. There is anterior wedging of T12. Osteophytes are confirmed. L3-L4: There is broad-based disc bulge with mild narrowing of the neural formina but no evidence of mass-effect of the nerve roots. There is mild facet hypertrophy bilaterally. L4-L5: There is broad-based disc bulge noted with moderate degree of narrowing of the exiting foramen on the left. The nerve root appears to exit just above this level without significant mass-effect. This correlates with the L4 symptoms on the left. There is moderate spinal stenosis secondary to broad-based disc bulge. There is mild impression of the anterior thecal sac. L5-S1: demonstrates broad-based disc bulge but no focal herniation. There is mild narrowing of the neural foramina...Whatever all this means?

On 4-17 I went back for an office visit and he did some spinal films, which showed one of the vertebra slipping out if I bent over. He said the only way to fix all this was to have surgery...a Laminectomy and spinal fusion. Surgery is scheduled for May 14. The reason for the delay was he had to contact my cardiologist and they would have to decide what they could safely use to put me to sleep. Which sounded like a good idea to me.

At first they had talked about injections, but have since decided on surgery. I am still able to walk, and only have the numbness if I do walk. I guess now I need to know the things that my wife and I need to do before surgery to get ready...like things that will help me get around after surgery, I am a rather large person and there is no way she can lift and tug on me. I have to take 40mg of lasix twice a day, so my urinary problems are unknown...I know if I don't take the lasix...I don't pee but about 2 times a day. I recently had a problem with my rectum...which I have never had in my life...and for about 2 years I have blamed the sexual dysfunction on all the heart medication I'm on. I had a heart by-pass in 1991 and again 1995...have had 23 angioplastys and now am no longer a candidate for any type of heart surgery other than a transplant...which I think I have decided against.

It is so weird...my Dad had the same heart problems and yesterday I found out he had the same back problems with the numbness and pain. I appreciate any information you all can give me. So far I have not officially been diagnosed with CES...but trust me...the doctors in this area probably have never heard of CES.

I live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and was planning on getting a boat in July...but I think that is out of the question now...maybe next year.

Hope to talk to you all soon,

Lance