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I need some advice, please!!

CatieCCatie Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello Everyone!

This is my first post in a pain forum. I've gotten to the point that I'm totally frustrated, annoyed and desperate.

I am a 31 year old mother and wife. I have two beautiful little girls. They are six and three years old. I (was) working full time as a pre-school teacher and finishing my college degree. As you can imagine, I kept myself pretty busy.
I've had shoulder pain for several months that started moving down my right arm. When I went to my GP he told me that I had a shoulder issue and I should go t sho an orthopedic dr. On mothers day weekend, May 14th to be exact...I woke up in excrusiating pain in both arms and hands. I've never had pain like it before. I couldn't straighten my arms or even open my hands. To make a long story short, I ended up in the ER that Wednesday. They did an MRI...told me there was one herniated disc and sent me home with some pain meds. I made an appt at the spine center and saw a dr that Monday. He told me there were two herniated discs and three buldging discs. Basiclly, five out of seven of the discs in my cervical spine were effected. Wow!...I was terrified.
The dr. assured me that things would be ok and I would heal fast since I was so young. Boy was he wrong!!
I've had three injections: June 4th, June 30th, and August 26th. The second shot seemed to work for a couple of weeks...but it didn't last. The dr. Started me on PT. The PT did nothing but traction...and it made me worse again. I'm on day 15 of the third shot and I'm still in pain. I keep the Tens unit on for a lot of the day because it seems to help. I'm on Soma and Vicoden also. However, I try not to take the medication because my three year old his home with me all day. I haven't worked since May 16th...I may loose my job...Any advice would be appreciated.
I just dont know what else to do. (BTW--I'm a terrible speller..So please don't be to harsh...lol!)


  • sorry you have to find us because of your spine troubles. i know how frustrating it is for you with two young daughters wanting to be held. there are many mothers here on the site who will want to share their thoughts with you. one thing you dont want is nerve damage so it might be a good idea to get the opinion of a neuro or orth surgeon who specializes on the spine. i hope drs can come up with a solution. one statistic i have heard is that young people who dont spell well have a better chance of recovering >:D<
  • My pain started two years ago. Not in the cervical area but in the lumbar. I never thought when the burning first started in my leg two years ago that i would still be dealing with this. I too am a mother, 3 children, 18, 15, and 7. I have not picked my 7 year old up in 2 yrs so I understand how depressing this can be. The only thing you can do is to find a good Dr. and hope for the best. I wish I could be more positive for you but it is hard as you well know, but I believe you will find lots of supportive caring people on this site that understand exactly what you are going through. Good luck and take care.
  • HI Catie

    You found a great place for support and info. My problems started in APril with a car accident. After a few false starts I am now working with a neurologist.

    I think the most important thing is to find the cause and then find out what your options are. Your discs sound like you problem. Two questions are why this happened at your age and what the doctors say are your options.

    Has anyone considered that being a nursery school teacher was the cause of the injury? If so this should fall under workmans comp. If that is the case they really can't fire you and a whole different insurance would cover this. I would say since this happened during the school year it is a good possibility.

    I would go back to your doctor and ask them what options you have. PT should be doing more than just traction. If surgery is in your future the stronger you are the better you will heal. Also there are other meds that might offer relief.

    I know you don't want to hear it but spine problems seem to heal very slowly. Being young is good in some ways and bad in others. I am 44 and I am not ready to stop doing my everyday chores and activities. But I regret it later!!

    Keep writing. It helps to know someone is listening. And read as many posts as you can. I have learned so much here that helps me ask the doctors the right questions.

  • :H Welcome to the forum -- you've found your life boat to get you through this rough patch.

    It seems to be Standard Operating Procedure when you develop spine pain to get injections and PT. I had lumbar issues and did all that including chiropractic, massage and used a tens unit. It took a good year of misery before my situation resolved and I'd say it's 85% better. For me, it was just time passing. I wasn't a surgery candidate.

    I'm sure as you go through the process with your doctor they will try different protocols to ease your situation or possibly refer you to pain management or discuss surgery. But, Since you're so young, probably not.

    I have such concern for the mommies on this site -- pain and children don't mix well and it's so much added stress on you to worry about all you can't do right now and be in pain. Don't try to do everything, just get the absolute basics done and try to rest when you can. Does ice or heat help? If you're in acute pain, most people here prefer ice.

    One thing you may want to try is a good massage therapist. I found a wonderful lady who specializes in body mechanics and imbalances and is helping me alot.

    Take care Catie and I wish you a speedy recovery from your issues. We're here anytime you need support or just to vent.

  • Thanks for the well wishes.
    I saw a neurosurgeon a couple of weeks ago. He diagnosed me with Cervical DD. He also wants me to get an ENG. When I asked my PT and spine dr. what they thought about me getting it done they said it wasnt really needed unless he planned on doing surgery, which he doesnt. I mainly dont want to get it done because of the money. My insurance helps, but it doesnt cover everything, and we're running out of money due to me being on std and all these medical bills. I was thinking since I am getting worse again I should go ahead and get the ENG done. All this sitting around and waiting is driving me crazy. I hate that there is nothing I can do to make myself better!!!
  • Catie

    I can't tell you how important it would be for you to get on workers comp if you can. If you were "on the books" at the nursery school they have to carry insurance. I can't imagine them saying that this didn't come from picking up dozens of little kids.

    Workers COmp would cover all of your medical bills and would pay you for lost time at work.

    You need time to heal yourself without the worry of money and job.

    If you want you can message me directly and I can try to get more specific info for your state.

    Good Luck
  • the test will give the surgeon a better idea as to any nerve damage. all info is helpful. my surgeon did 4 different tests before recommending cervical surgery....pete
  • Thanks Pete!

    I've had an ENG before....and it hurts like heck. I think your right though, I def need to figure out whats going on.
  • I had a NS who did an MRI on me. One test and it was determined that ADCF was the thing. But I ran around from GP, Internist, to spine dr and ortho for a full month of horrible pain until I found the Neuro to see me. He saved my life. Wish you well and hope you find your answers quickly.
  • I can empathize with you, I also have 2 young ones (4 & 7) and it is a tough balancing act. As my problems have worsened I have had to make major changes in my day-to-day life. There are many things I can't do with the girls (or suffer later) and it can be a slippery slope of guilt. However, kids adjust and along the way learn to have empathy for others and learn to help.
    Theres quite a few Moms (and Dads) with young ones who are dealing with the same stuff. If you go back a read some recent posts it may be helpful.
    Best wishes,
  • I just love you! You have such a great sense of humor. I'm always happy to see your face on the posts
  • when I was injured and I was able to put off surgery for almost 20 years. My son was about 4 when I was hurt. I needed to work to help my family and wanted to be with my son in full working order.

    I lost 80% use of my left arm for 2 years. I worked with a PT and got the rest of my body super strong so my neck was well supported. Posture is key! My left arm is still a bit damaged but I was able to get most of the strength back.

    My neck finally gave in as did I a few months ago. I'm 7 weeks out from a 3 level cervical fusion. My son is 23 has a great job and a soon to be wife. My husband makes good money FINALLY and it was time. I'm 59 but in top shape to I have a bright future. I want to be strong for my grandkids!

    If you get with a good PT and are willing to work hard you may be able to hang in for a bit. I agree that you want to get it in the books if your neck is due to work. I didn't cover my tracks after my injury and had to pay for all the PT and my current surgery. BIG MISTAKE.

    I hope you're able to make the right decision for you and that you're able to enjoy your family.
  • Hi new to posting - I have three levels of cervical stenosis C4-5 5-6 and 6-7. Previous surgery on C5-6 and C6-7 - last one ten yrs. ago and the one prior 20 years ago. Recently had EMG which showed acute nerve issues. Awaiting message from my NS but it may be another week before he calls. I am nearly 50 and I am terrified of having additional surgery. I have an interesting question. Have any of you ever had huccups whevever you swallow food, I even get then when I take my vitamins and glucoasamine. Wondering if it has something to do with the stenosis.
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