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Not doing so good....Need some advice please... :(

CatieCCatie Posts: 22
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi everyone~
I've only posted here a few times...and my story is LONG...So, I'll try to make this a little shorter.
In May of 2009 I was diagnosed with Moderate cervical disc disease. I have 2 herniated discs and three buldging discs in my neck. I was put on disability. Ive been seeing a chiropractor since September 09. I've had 4 injections and an ablation since June 09 and an EMG just this month. I have an appointment with my neurosurgeon this week to discuss surgery options.
On Jan.11,2010 I went back to work, I'm a preschool teacher. The dr.s(Chiropractor and Physiotrist)both said I would be ok going back to work...it all depends on how much pain I could take. At that point I either had to go back to work or get fired because I have exhausted all of my leave time.
So, I started back to work. My preschool transferrd me out of the center where I had been for almost 4 years and put me in a differant center. The classroom had been run by two teacher assistants and an aide...not a "Lead Teacher". The poor classroom was a discusting mess, and nothing you could call "An award winning preschool" classroom. The first week was ok. The second week the migraines started. I had five in one week. One of them kept me in bed all day (thank god it was a sunday). The headaches keep coming and I'm loosing control of them. I was in the hospital this past Monday night with one, then Thursday night and all day friday I had one. It's like it's constant now...I always feel it there now, just hanging out in my neck as I pray it doesn't crawl up the back of my head. My Director (the boss) has been on my case because Im not working fast enough to get the classroom in "Tip Top Shape". She even had her boss come and lecture me...I reminded them that all of this work should have been done in September when school started.(They have checklists and evaluations that they are supposed to complete...So my "ST"upidvisor wasn't doing her job to make sure the "compitent" people in the classroom were doing their jobs.)
My chiropractor wants me to go back on disability. My physiotrist(spine dr)office hasn't returned any of my calls and my appt isnt till the middle of march. My family doc(New doc to me) just started me on Nuerontin and gave me more pain meds...She has me getting a bunch of blood work done, wants me to see a differant Physiotrist and see a rheumalologist. I'm totally at my wits end...
When I tell my employer I have to go back out on disability I'm going to get fired. I will have to pay for cobra insurance in order to get my disability benefits...and of course My household will be broke...again.
Sorry for the long rant...Here's my questions...
1. Medicine....Can I take Soma Percocet and Neurontin together?
2. Does this become a workmans comp case now that work has make me worse? The headaches Never got this bad before I went back to work..
3. Should I apply for social security at this point?
4. Does anyone know about the cost of cobra?
Thanks in advance for your help...


  • Catie

    When a door closes God opens a window. Sounds like you need to check out the windows. You have been suffering for almost 10 months now and it sounds like no one has given you an answer.

    First my opinion is to forget the chiropractor. They generally do not work with other doctors so anything they do is going to be seperate and possibly contrary to what your other doctors are doing. Also once you find the problems you have there isn't much a chiro can do. THey can't heal herniated disks with an adjustment.

    You need to decide on a doctor and stick to him/her. It is not good to have more than one doc prescribing meds. Sounds like you need a neurologist first. Then if surgery is an option they would send you to a neuro surgeon for surgery. You say you are going to a neursurgeon this week. I'm just not clear on how you got to that point without a neurologist first. Who ordered the tests and treatments that you had?

    To answer your questions (1) yes many people take these together but you need to call the doctors who prescribed each to make them aware of what you are taking. (2) workers comp might be difficult but you can try. they will prob say you had a pre-existing condition and no incident that caused new damage (3)social security disability in all it's forms might be an option but you would need to explore all the options. Do you get state disability? short term disability from job? long term disability from job? If you are not sure it might be worth the money to hire a disability attorney. (4) cobra is based on what your employer pays for your insurance. It is usually very expensive.

    Before taking any action you should speak to the surgeon and ask him what your short term and long term outlook is.

    Good Luck and let us know what happens
  • Howdy Catie,

    Sorry to hear that you are going through all these issues, and too of course, headaches and other pain on top of that. Similar pain issues here too. Gentle hug.

    I am no expert, but in line with what Kris already stated...

    SSDI - Anyone that believes they are disabled can apply. It is not a fast process, nor is it an easy route to obtain. One of the biggest "aides" you will need is your doctors fully agreeing you are fully disabled! SS will get with them for their reports of your diagnosis, and future prognosis. Administrative work is something most doctors HATE. For my disability application, my Neurologist, Orthopedic Surgeon and Neuro-surgeon all agreed fully that I needed to retire under disability, and they too so stated in their reports. What is sad about SS is that you can be in a wheelchair and only able to move your eyes (exaggerated here for a point) and it can still take up to 2 years! Go to their website www.ssa.gov and read what their requirements are and if you feel you fall under their criteria, start your application - yes you can file online.

    OWCP - For worker's comp you have to show the job was "causal" to your injury. From your post, the job didn't directly cause it. With your returning to work with a known physical issue ...it getting worse at the job as Kris said will be a hard process to get worker's comp to approve your case as they will see it as pre-existing.

    Chiropractors, love em!!! With that said, once you have herniations, bulges etc., I wouldn't recommend any more manipulations. That could cause those bulges to advance to hernia mode! My chiropractor once the MRI came back with herniations, told me he wouldn't touch my neck for fear of causing more (or) permanent damage!

    Kris again is right here. You seem to have a lot of doctors in the mix, and with different ones giving different meds, a problem can come up. See if your GP will refer you to a Neurologist (he is the trouble shooter if you will / not a surgeon most times), and from there based on what you have listed he may refer you to a Neurosurgeon. And like was said by Kris - find a good doctor that you trust and stick with him. Please keep us posted on how it is going and what you do. I hope you find answers soon. Take care. *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Have you looked into lights in the class room making your headaches wrose. My son and and 11 year girl has headaches more when at school because of the lights they use I also have the some problem and I will lose my sight in my eyes because of sun light too
  • Catie I know what u mean> i have been on disability for the past 5 weeks n my director told me she needed me when NACYE comes. I am also a pk teacher, and to be honest with u there is noway I will be able to go back to work. I cant even function in my own home. I have the headaches and thats caused by the inflamation, thats putting so much pressure in the head. I read that c1 to c5 is called the verticl vertebrae that help support ur headand stabilization to the neck> So my own diagnose is that is not VIRAL my pain is from herniated disc. If u find solution please let me know. i am so desperate.
  • Its good to see you have an appointment with a neurosurgeon. I think a NS is the best person to see for neck problems. What is the chiropractor doing for you? I hope he is not manipulating your neck at this time. Ouch! To apply for SSDI, your disability needs to last at least a year.

    Best wishes,

  • So sorry to hear of all the problems you're having.

    I agree with the others. You do need to sort through all of the docs and stick with at least two in my opinion,(your family pcp and a neurologist or neurosurgeon). Most pcp's refer patients to pain management docs for pain meds, but it's not out of the ordinary for yours to prescribe them as mine does the same for me. You should only receive them from one doc as the others stated above.

    As for the chiro, they can make herniations worse but some people still go to them. I personally stopped going to mine and was strongly advised by my doc not to continue with manipulations. Some say yes, some say no.

    Headaches are a REAL pain and annoyance and I suffer from them as well. I thought that after my surgery, they would stop, but they have only gotten worse and even more frequent than before.

    As for your other questions:

    Soma is your muscle relaxer, percocet is your pain reliever and the neurotin is to help with nerve pain, although it's mainly an anti-ceizure medication and it's o.k. to take them together as long as the mix is working for you at relieving your pain.
    Workman's comp is gonna be a fight as the others said, they can say there was a pre-existing condition and/or your injury has to be proven to have occured at work. If it is workman's comp, they would be able to cover you with their insurance while you are unable to return to work. Either temporarily or permanently. I had Cobra before and it was an 80%-20% situation where the company paid the 80 and I had to pay the 20. It varies.
    Permanent SSD, VERY LONG process and you will need an attorney's help. I fought for 3 years and have just finally won my case this month. Based on your info. you can apply and as Marianne said, your condition must have lasted a year, be expected to last a year or more, or result in death.

    If you are considering your surgery options, please think about it carefully as there is alot of people, including myself, who still suffer, if not more, after their surgery. It depends on your situation.

    Good luck in whatever you decide to do. I wish you well and will be thinking of you and I hope you check back in with us and let us know how things turn out. You are not alone, we are all here for the same reasons! ~X(
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