My name is Sandi and I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have stumbled onto this web site. I have spent many hours reading all of your stories, and am finding comfort in just knowing that I have found people that will understand what I am feeling these days, although truthfully I feel as though my condition is like that of a stubbed toe in comparison to what some of you have been through. I have been suffering with neck pain for many years now, I'd say 12 maybe, due mostly to a car accident where we were rear ended an I end up with the usual "whiplash". I've also had numerous other incidents and accidents over the years, I don't like to title myself as clumsy... just accident prone! I've had numerous chiropractic and physio therapy treatments and have been told most often by GP's just to take Advil and put ice or heat on my neck, to the point that I would rarely seek out medical attention. Up until recently I've always managed to take care of it myself with stretching exercises as well as the above mentioned treatments (although I did graduate from Advil to Robax platinum.) Until one of my most recent accidents I had, one where I stepped on a rotten deck plank and fell, when I went down I put my hands out(to what, stop the fall?) and again my neck suffered the most. This happened at a tourist attraction so when I was unable to move my neck and was in severe pain, the management insisted on calling an ambulance. On route to the hospital I developed a tingling sensation down my right arm that went right into my thumb, I was treated with a shot of "who knows what" and when the muscles in my neck relaxed I was sent on my way, and yes I recovered however the numbness in my thumb has never gone away. Then after my most recent incident about a year ago another fall, this time off a sidewalk backwards again putting my arms out to stop the fall, again jarring my neck. This time no matter what I tried, ice, heat, stretching, over the counter pain medications I was unable releive the pain, which just seemed to be getting worst and by this time was also running down my left arm. Which all in long winded nut shell, brings me to now. I finally broke down and went to my GP which had just taken over the practice and I didn't know very well. I told him my past and present accidents and injuries, past and present symptoms, I now look back on it as coming out of the closet! He then sent me for an xray and to my surprise the very next day called me at work to come in and see him, this led to having a CT scan 6 months later, which then led me to a visit with a neurosurgeon, and just 2 weeks ago an MRI. All this has left me stunned, I have been told I have some pretty severe damage to my C5,6 and 7 vertabrae. In the last 3 months I have heard words like degenerative disc disease, oseophyte, narrowing of disc space and signifigant nerve dammage!!! To manage the pain I have been put on Lyrica, Cyclobenzaprine and Tylenol 3 to back it up, after a visit with my doctor today he has prescribed Baclofen to replace the cyclobenzaprine to see if it may not make me quite so drowzy. Honestly I feel like a walking zombie!! Finally I received the good news... I don't need to have surgery, because none of this is affecting my spinal cord. Not that I was looking forward to having surgery on my neck (just the thought makes me squirmy), but I'm left feeling like what now...???
Which is what led me to this site, just looking for answers when I'm not really sure what the questions are, I am only 49 years old and am I going to have to spend the rest of my life a pain medicated junky? Could I have prevented this, by being more attentive to my pain, running to the doctor everytime my neck hurt? Is this my own fault?