I am a single 47 and until 19 months ago, felt 30 years old. I dated, was full of life, and was for the most part happy. My neck had been hurting so I tried to get into my physician. He is a DO with manipulation experience. That day he happened to be out of the office sick, so I made an appointment with an awesome that had worked on me while I was in nursing school. I got in, got manipulated, received heat and massage and went home. I was still hurting so bad but had to be at work the next morning. I went to work and was hurting so bad that, on my lunch hour, I went in to see my physician. He manipulated me and I went back to work. Within 30 minutes of returning back to work I was in the ER crying harder than I think I had ever cried before. My blood pressure was 210/110 and after receiving enough pain med to put a horse to sleep, I finally could rate my pain at 4/10. They did Xrays and said that I was having spasms. They didn't do the MRI until 3 days later where they found that C2/C3 had shattered, the ligament that held all the disk in place had also been compromised so that C3-C6 had "fallen onto the spinal cord". It took 5 days after the MRI to finally get into surgery. It took those days to get the second opinion and conference calls with insurance and my primary care physician to agree who would do it, and what they would do. I spent 3 days in ICU because of anesthesiolgy related hypertension (High blood pressure). I then went to an ortho-neuro floor for 9 days before I released to go home. I walked with a walker for two months, could not bathe myself, and slept when I wasnt doing physical therapy. The depression was and is a whole 'nother topic. I finally returned to work 4 1/2 months later. I started off very slow and did minimally tasks.
I am not sure of the procedures except to say that I fused from C2-C7. I was cut front and back. I wear a fentanyl 75mcg patch, changed every 48 hours, use Lortab and Soma for breakthrough pain, an antidepressant, and Ambien for sleep.
I am back to work. I have horrible spasms, have not dated one time since the day it happened, rarely go out of the house on my days off. I work three 12 hour shifts a week and spend the other days trying to rest my neck enough to go back to work.
I no longer do physical therapy because it just caused more spasms. I have hypersensitivity to the posterior neck area and everyone knows to never touch me because they will cause a severe spasm that will send me home.
I have done a second opinion with one of the "best known" Neurosurgeons in my area. After he met with me, he showed and explained my new MRI films, and told me that the surgeon should have surgical fixed T1 and T2. He stated that it is a matter of maybe 2-3 before I will have surgery to fix those. At the end of that visit, he referred me to a pain specialist. I am an RN and was so against seeing a pain specialist. I went and then didnt go back. I want fixed. I cannot see how a pain specialist is going to help me. My primary care physician addresses my pain med needs, he can inject the steriods when I can't relief, so why would I need someone else to this. I want off all this stuff and am sure a pain specialist can do nothing for me.
I know this was long and I am grateful for those who read it. I have no idea what else to do. I want my life back. The chronic pain has affected my relationship with my friends and family and I just want it to decrease to the point where I can work, live, and be happy without the use of pills, patches, and injections.
1. I'm not sure if this related but I have been feeling "flu-y) for the last 5 weeks. I am worried that the hardware may be causing this.
2. My cervical spine is no longer straight. It began moving more towards the right about 6 months after surgery. A friend of mine who is a hospitalist confirms by palpation that this is the case.