Hello, this is my first post on the forum. I apologize for how lengthy and scattered it is.
I went to the ER on 03/28 for urinary and bowel dysfunction ( greatly diminished urge to urinate, and/or have a bowel movement), and tingling in the saddle area. About two weeks prior, I developed centralized lower back pain that got better after applying heat and ice, and taking ibuprofen.
I went to my PCP and told him about my symptoms. He tested my urine for impaction (test was negative), and gave me a prescription for Naxopren and a GERD med, and scheduled me for an MRI of the lumbar spine about two weeks out. At home, I Googled my symptoms and came across Cauda Equina and Conus Medullaris Syndromes which seemed to fit perfectly, except for radicular pain/sciatica. After about a week, I wasn't feeling any better, so I went back in to see him; my biggest concern being bladder and bowel dysfunction. I suggested to him that my symptoms were the result of spinal cord compression, and he agreed and advised me to go to the ER that day.
At the ER, the doctor who treated me recognized some of the red flag symptoms of CES and ordered a bladder ultrasound, and an MRI of the lumbar spine, both of which turned out normal (I voided completely, although I still had no urge to go, and MRI was "unremarkable" -- I included the MRI write-up at the bottom of the post for reference).
I was ultimately diagnosed with a UTI and prescribed antibiotics. After finishing the treatment, I went back to my PCP for a follow up, and complained of the same bowel and bladder symptoms. He referred me to urogynecologist for a urodynamics test, and I'm scheduled to see her in about three weeks.
Because I still worried about the possibility CES and CMS (I still feel discomfort in my lower back and tingling in my saddle area, along with the bladder and bowel symptoms) I decided to ask for a referral to a neurologist, as well. I'm gonna go see my PCP about it on Monday.
I guess I'm just look for input and suggestions about what questions to ask or what to bring up during my appointments in order to get the most out of them. I have all the paperwork for the ER, a list of all prescribed medications, I'm keeping a voiding diary for the urogyno appointment, and I have a copy of my MRI results, as well as the disc with the scans on it from the hospital to show the neurologist. Any input would be appreciated.
EXAM: MRI Lumbar Spine W/WO CONTRAST
CLINICAL INDICATION: Urinary complaints, Evaluate for Cauda Equina
TECHNIQUE: Sagittal pre and postcontrast T1, T2, STIR, axial pre and postcontrast T1 images of the lumbar spine and axial T2 images of the intervertebral discs were obtained.
FINDINGS: Normal alignment. Intervertebral disc space heights are maintained. Normal disc signal. Vertebral body heights are maintained.
Nonpathologic marrow signal, and no abnormal marrow edema or enhancement.
Conus terminates at L1 level and demonstrates normal caliber and signal. Filum and Cauda Equina appear unremarkable.
No canal or neural foraminal stenosis.
Paraspinal space appears unremarkable.
IMPRESSION: Unremarkable exam.