Thread: Another newbie
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:45 PM
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tumblebug tumblebug is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 18

Originally Posted by jss View Post

I hate that you're having this kind of problem at only 27 years of age, but welcome.


Good luck, Jeff
Thanks for the insight! Wow I just typed out my entire spinal history and it told me I wasn't logged in so I lost it.

As for the groceries and things, I live on the top floor of an apartment complex with stairs. There is a lot of lifting/lugging involved in the simple tasks. That's what worries me.

I've suffered from back pain since I was 14 years old. I honestly think that carrying the heavy books back and forth to school in the backpack was the culprit. Whenever I would mention the pain to my doctors they would tell me things like it was my bad posture, etc. Never once did they do xrays or anything. It has come and gone as time goes on and I figured it was some "nobody knows" thing like fibromyalgia or something.

Long story short (since the long story got deleted *sniff*) I threw my neck out one night last spring in my sleep or something. Woke up with horrific torticollis and couldn't move. I just figured it was a muscle strain and never got medical attention for it.

A few months later it happened again but this time my right arm was numb down through my pinky. Headed to the ER since I couldn't move my ear from my shoulder. Xrays came back normal.

I followed up with my PCP who ordered an MRI. By the time I got the MRI results (herniation with disc degeneration) I was starting to feel better and opted to wait it out. That was back in Oct '10.

Between then and now the pain in my neck has gotten so severe I am unable to wear a lanyard around my neck or even a shirt with a collar. The numbness and tingling is spreading. At this point I decided I should follow up with somebody to get the ball rolling. I was thinking a steroid injection.

Made an appointment with a neurosurgeon. He discussed the different options with me but said that I would likely end up needing surgery anyway. He left treatment completely up to me. Listed me every single option available and the likely outcome. I decided to go home and think about it and then call back.

After another day of pain I called and scheduled my surgery for about 6 weeks out. He made it clear that I could cancel my surgery up until the time they put the mask on me to put me to sleep.

Started me on Naproxen and gave me a script for PT (which I start tomorrow) The last MRI that I had was back in Oct and I'm afraid that things have gotten much worse since then. I had already lost the curvature in my neck back in Oct as well. I'm really afraid that things have progressed a lot since then.

Just today at work the numbess spread from my pinky to nearly my entire hand and also feels like it's traveling up my neck and into my face. (It calmed back down once I got off of work.)

I was going to come here to ask what the best option is at this point.
A) Go to the ER where they can do a STAT MRI and fup with the surgeon. I know what to say in the ER to get my way.
B) Call the surgeons office to see if they will order an MRI before surgery since this one is 6 months old and symptoms have progressed.
C) Just wait it out until surgery in 5 weeks.

As for pain management, I am sticking to natural remedies at this point. Stretch, relaxation, hot and cold, I also have a TENS unit. I develop a tolerance to pain meds very quickly and therefore only use them as a possible last resort. Plus I have a kid to take care of, and school and work and can't just lay in bed in a medication induced coma - although some days I wish I could!!!

All of this stuff is new to me. For so many years I was basically told it was in my head. I'm so nervous that it's progressing so quickly. I would honestly feel better at this point to have a full spine MRI and follow up with my surgeon before I go under the knife. I had a thoracic MRI done when I was having severe pain last spring but the radiologist read it "normal" so that's what my PCP told me. I'm interested to have somebody that actually knows what to look for - look at it.

If my discs are already degenerating this quickly and I'm only 27, what's it going to be like when I'm 50!?!?

At this time I would prefer not to name the surgeon or facility.
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