Second, Third, and Fourth Opinions

Maybe you should get a second opinion. These are wise words, but when they come from a surgeon youve just had an hour long consultation with, it can give you pause. If he is not the one to advise you on whether or not to have this particular surgery, then who is? What if he is the 4th doctor and the third specialist youve seen for this problem, when do you stop the doctor-go-round and get off? But if you get off, youve done nothing to fix the problem. In my case, its sciatica, which apparently comes in many flavors. Each person you ask has a different set of symptoms and a different set of treatments or cures. Each person swears by his or her doctor, and each person has an opinion about what I should do.

Today, I was ready to sign on the dotted line and get the process in place to have the surgery that would end this constant and relentless pain. But my symptoms didnt exactly match the MRI report, which didnt exactly match the MRI, so the result is vague at best. The final decision is mine, but what do I have to go on? It seems that it all depends on which doctors personality I like best. The doctor I saw today was kind and gentle, and Im sure he is competent, but what I needed from him was a clear and decisive message, whether or not to have surgery. I wanted him to guarantee that this surgery would help, and he wisely withheld that guarantee. He suggested another opinion that would either confirm his advice to have the surgery, which would be just dandy, because then we could get on with it, or muddy the whole picture by saying it isnt necessary. By the time I left the doctors office, I had a headache, and a sense of complete isolation.

But there is someone who can help me work this out. I just have to slow down and listen. Stop running from one doctor to another, one treatment to another, and ask for Gods help. Ive been feeling like Im in this alone, but I have to remind myself that He is in it with me. Ive asked for His guidance, and I realize now that to rush into surgery just to get it over with, to be doing something, anything, is not the prudent thing to do. And so, I wait yet another week to see yet another doctor, and then that is it, no more. I will know by then which course of action to take.

Meanwhile, there is Christmas shopping to be done, concerts to go to,, parties to attend, and Mothers assisted living crises to deal with. Surgery for sciatica will just have to wait.


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