I had a freak accident at work (I'm a nurse). The patient I was helping (he was lying flat in bed) grabbed my stethoscope which was draped around my neck. He got both ends, so had me in a pretty tight hold. I was bent over his bed getting ready to help move him up in bed with the CNA on the other side of bed.
Once he got ahold of me, he began thrashing my neck & upper body in all different directions very violently. He was also trying to strike me in the head with his free hand. I was off balance from the thrashing in random directions and was worried I would fall and "hang" myself. The CNA, the patients wife, and myself were all trying to pry his fingers off the stethoscope at the same time. And I was still trying to maintain my balance. Episode lasted 45-60 seconds. Finally got loose; my stethoscope (metal part) was bent at a 45 degree angle from the force of his grip. I immediately felt lightheaded, mildly nauseated, and assured the patients wife (who was horrified) that I was fine, then left the room.
Had a slight headache for part of the day, and also some sharp thoracic pain and right leg weakness/clumsiness. Very strange feeling!! I reported incident and filled out all paperwork.
It has taken over 6 years to discover that I have an anterior annular tear of my T67 disk which is also the cause of my on-going pain in right ribs, right leg clear down to my big toe. At times, the leg weakness is prominent and I feel very clumsy and off balance. 2 months ago, my right ankle gave out on me and I fractured the ankle. Feel like I'm falling apart.
I know that thoracic injuries (acute ones) are not as common as lumbar and cervical. And my physiatrist has told me about some of the treatments for this which sound very risky. I am 56 years old now (injury happened age 49). I have not been able to return to hospital nursing and have had some luck with finding nursing jobs that don't require lifting. But even sitting or walking will exacerbate the symptoms for days at a time.....
Anyway, my questions to you all are:
Anyone else out there with a traumatic thoracic injury?
How long did it take to diagnose it?
What kind of doctor did you see?
How much is it affecting your ability to do your usual activities?
Did it ever get better?
Did you have surgery?
If not, are you considering surgery? What kind and why?
Any other ideas, suggestions?
Thanks so much for reading my ramblings.