I am a 43 yr. old woman. I've been totally disabled since I was 21. I was wondering if anyone else out there has had a similar ordeal.
I injured my upper back and neck at age 21 while working in a nursing home. It was initially diagnosed as a neck & upper thoracic back sprain. I was supposed to take two weeks off from work along with physical therapy, 'moist heat, & massage' then be fine.
At the end of two weeks, I was in even worse pain and it was causing pain, numbness and tingling in both arms, hands, pinky & ring fingers. Plus I had a recurring headache.
The pain in my neck and upper back was excruciating, radiating, burning, toothache type pain. The sensation of the pain would change with movement and could go from a 2 to a 10 almost instantly by just using my arms & body for normal daily activity. Lifting, pushing & pulling, became impossible to do without causing the already horrible pain to worsen.
Of course, other medical tests & treatment followed, when the first round of treatment didn't help at all. A MRI scan revealed that I had "EXTRA CERVICAL RIBS". One extra rib on the right and the left. I was told that I was likely born with the defect. I had not been aware of them until then.
Now my list of "Specialists" Doctors was growing. I was given different kinds of drugs, but nothing was taking the pain away. Everything I had tried thus far was only a Temporary fix at best, if, I even got that.
Frustrating, exhausting, & excruciating pain, in most all of my upper extremities, and now contraversal oppinions and disputes between my workers comp insurance Co., & The Treating Dr's & Specialist's, regarding whether this was a birth defect gone suddenly bad, or a work injury. I didn't care either way. I just wanted it to all go away.
I just kept getting shifted from one Dr. to another in the process, & meanwhile, behind the scene, It was a legal issue that I cared nothing about personally. I was too sick every day to deal with it.
In 1991 the cervical & first rib on the right was resected. The left side was thought to be too much of a risk to remove because the aorta had somehow grown in front of it instead of behind it where it should have been, and I was told that the brachi-plexes bundle of nerves was somehow intwined with or along side,the bone spur (extra rib) that grew as I grew, or Something of that nature anyway, I'm not a DR. I'm a patient trying to figure out what's wrong with me that I can't improve.
Trying to make a very long story short, so that you dont get bored with it & stop reading, I was living a total nightmare that I couldn't wake up from. It felt like I severed several nerves that day at work, but Dr.s and tests performed were coming up short of any significant problems.
Sept, 26th 2009, marked 22 years of pure torture for me. In spite of me not giving up hope that some day some DR. would figure it out and offer releif for me.
I just know that there are things that can be done. NOBODY should have to live in this much pain all of the time. If I was rich I know I wouldn't, but Medicare isn't "rich" enough for Dr.s to take the time to research and find answers for me.
So, does anyone else out there have issues with extra cervical ribs causing pain like this or is it something else?
Recently another MRI showed 3 bulging discs at C-4,5,& 6. I'm sure that is part of the problem. I am going to another Neurologist on Wed. Oct 7th, taking the MRI CD with me so he can look at the recent findings.
Does anyone have any advise, or similar stories that have a positive ending. I need enouragement. I have 6 grandchilren, and a wonderful husband that I am watching life go on around me that I cannot participate in. I'm so desperate at this point that even a little bit of releif would be a welcoming event. It's just so severe.
Desperately Seeking Help,
From a Prison of Physical Pain,