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Update on TREATment

leocat46lleocat46 Posts: 125
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
first let me say that the road is a long and winding one for me. like others on here, it seems like it never ends.
As yu know i had my rotary cuff surgery last yr., as a result ended up with RSD, a very ugly disease that attacks the nervous system. it has taken a tole on my body , that will never end. i just had my 6 wk. check up with NS yesterday, from acdf, and he asked me if my surgery was worth it? do i feel better? well i told him that my PM doc, has since increased my percoset 2 -( 3 times daily,) muscle relaxer 3 times a day. zonisimide, my reg. physician has doubled my blood pressure, because of pain, my blood pressure has been up, and double my prozac also. i have memory troble, and concentration because of meds, and pain. the meds help all my ohter issues to a point, but my RSD is always there, swollen in left arm, my PM said 2 wks. ago it had gotten worse. yesterdays appt. with NS , he described me have as having like a stack of pain, (like pancakes), and whenever one is tried to treat, then another one pops up, it is never ending. my lower back is hurting now, when i stand in one spot for so long,have to either lean over, or sit down to get any relief. he said he did not even want to touch my lower back now. my x-rays looked good, and i am fusing, which is good news, condsidering i am a smoker. but all my other issues are covering it up, no one can tell, one from the other. he said maybe i need more time to heal, and would see me back in 6 mths. , i will continue with my PM. in the mean time, i suffer from severe depression, was sent for a mental exam for my SSI, that i applied for back in june 2. i broke down, and bawled like a baby. we will see on that, i am already preparing myself for a denial, bacause nothing else, has went right for me,or my family, i guess why should i expect any different from this. i could not even try to work,if i wanted to, i would get fired the first day. do not let my experience with my ACDF let someone not make the right decision to have surgery. MY NS yesterday told me that i was a RARE :/ CASE! @) I would appreciate any responses, i feel so alone, and helpless. i know everyone on here has alot to say, and are great people. LEO :*


  • Hi Leo,

    You got that right the road to recovery is long and hard and not without hills and valley's. Keep in mind surgery is no magic pill. The patient has to do their part as well. I am actually kind of shocked that a surgeon took on a fusion with someone still smoking, especially since you had such a poor outcome from the torn rotator cuff, and ended with RSD or CRPS. I can tell you as a fellow RSD patient there is light at the end of the tunnel. The most important impact is to keep the joint moving. I would hope that your RSD was improving when they took on your neck surgery since the joint needs to keep moving, and it is harder following neck surgery, to move your shoulders. I notice you suffer from severe depression, have you sought out a chronic support group in your area? Are you seeing a specialist to help you deal with the severe depression? If so they should be able to provide a list of chronic pain support groups in your area.

    Are you applying for SSI or SSDI or both? That is a long process and don't be to stressed if you don't hear something soon. Most of all request are getting denied on the first time as well, so if that happens just be sure to file the appeal. The news recently reported that the average wait time is 14 months for the process. So although that sounds like a long time it will eventually work out. Do you have a attorney applying for you or did you apply on your own?

    AS far as the ACDF goes I am not sure why the surgeon said you were a rare case. That really leads me back to the smoking again if he feels this way. Couple the high blood pressure in it as well and the depression not sure what your odds for success where to begin with. Most surgeons aren't willing to take on a case that will fail. You know that smoking does aid in your depression and high blood pressure. While high levels of pain can also increase your blood pressure, the smoking is not helping it at all. Smoking also effects nerve endings by the chemicals it releases. So it certainly isn't helping you with the RSD either. I guess my point is your not helping yourself to have a positive out come to surgery. I could go on my soap box about the smoking but I am sure you have heard all the reasons to stop and are choosing to continue as well. The surgeons can only do so much and then it is up to us as patients to do our part. I do hope the surgery has helped and you don't end with a non-fusion and have to start the process over again. The revision surgery is much harder on the body and takes a lot more to recovery from. Good luck and take care.
  • I have been wondering how you were doing. Sorry things aren't better. I'm glad that you are fusing. It can take up to a year for fusion to be complete. Mine was in June 07, and I have never been out of pain. But, I didn't expect to be with all of my other problems. I was more concerned about permanent nerve damage, which I "think" I avoided. Except now the level above is bulging, so more of the same sx's. I had an excellent neuro-surgeon, who know I smoked. He did my surgery anyway. I did quit for a week after, but went back to smoking. It may slow down the healing process, but for me the stress of trying to quit was worse than healing slowly. Smoking affects the pleasure centers of the brain, so there is a physical reason it calms those of us who smoke. Yes, those of us who smoke know it's bad for us, but so is drinking, over eating too much fast food, too much sun, etc. :))( I'm sorry you are feeling alone and helpless. I know that feeling well. Just remember, you are never alone, there is One who will always love you, and only desires good things for you. We just have to trust Him O:)

    (((hugs & Prayers
  • thanks for the kind words O:) i know that it can take a long time for fusion. but the pain never subsides does it? you have been thru the wringer yourself. smoking never helps anyone physically, but as exactly as you said. i had a mental health nurse once tell me that trying to quit smoking now only adds to the problems, especially mentally it adds more stress, which we do not need right now. only a smoker can understand this i guess. :$
    TamTAm - i applied for SSD, but the first phone interview i had with my caseworker, said i see you qualify for SSI. does that mean i am applying for both? or just qualify for SSI , i do not know. #o i did apply on my own, but if or when i get denied, i plan on getting an attorney for appeal. :? well everyone take care, as i set here and type, my head feels like it is being squeezed, among other upper back pain, that is on fire so i will give myself a break, and get off computer, this is with all my meds in me, i am not due for them for another 4 1/2 hrs. i guess i will deal with it as usual. ~X(
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