:H hi all. this is my 1st post. searched for message boards to find more info on recent diagnoses of neural foraminal stenoses from C4-C7, broadbased disk protrusions with extrusion at each level, bilateral neural foraminal narrowing with nerve root abutment at each level, etc. reading over other posts about similar problems, i can tell those of you asking about NUMBNESS & weakness in your legs and arms, OH YEAH. i have had 2 episodes where without any warning i just went down like a sack of potatoes, could not even crawl. i got flopped over onto my stomach like a fish, but when i finally worked my arms up to crawl, i kept falling on my face. each time it passed within 48 hrs...i mean, i could walk albeit very wobbly, but the weakness and constant fear of it happening again at any moment lingers. there are times my arms feel like a palsy victim's and it's hard to even brush my hair or teeth, or get my hair into a ponytail. buttons are the worst, as are any fine motor skill movements. an ortho surgeon suggested surgery in march, but i wasn't ready at that time & he sent me to a pain mgmt specialist. a previous ortho had me on percocet & oxycontin for 3 yrs prior to this. the new pain mgmt dr has kept me on the percocet, tried MSContin when the after all this time i happened to mention that the percocets don't last as long as they used to. (I didn't have the nerve to tell him how many i was actually taking in order to just function - to clean, go to the store, shower, just to get out of bed.) needless to say, after 9 months of trying to save enough to cover my butt in case of urine tests before i could get another 30 day written Rx, i finally got caught when i started begging for something else... preferably lortabs because i really wanted to get OFF anything with the oxy in it. the past year has just been a freaking nightmare with my every move depending on it, and trying to hide how much of it i needed anymore. but upon asking to change, i hadn't realized he'd require me to take the (far fewer than i was supposed to have) remaining pills of percocet in to be counted to make sure i was taking them 'as prescribed' then flushed. i was screwed. i didn't tell him, but the E.R. doctor did when i went in & spilled my guts 3 nights ago in full blown withdrawal. i was told to call the pain dr first thing this morning (after the weekend), which i did, whereupon i weinied out & talked to one of his M.A.s. (i had never been able to do anything but leave messages before and you guessed it - this time a man answered & when i thought it might actually be the dr, i nearly peed myself.) but as nicely and seriously remorseful as i could be, i told the M.A. that i knew i was going to be dismissed as a patient being 'noncompliant' having signed a pain contract there. i just told him that i don't need to be made to feel any worse than i already do, thanked him & his staff for being so nice (while in my defense, telling him truthfully how many times i had tried to tell this doctor that i was having serious problems with the percocets not working, & not feeling like he was listening to me.)
i do feel like my only option now is surgery. i have no family or anyone close who can take care of me. the last time i went down & was taken by ambulance unable to walk, my mother was quick to inform me that i'd just have to go to a nursing home if i couldn't walk or needed a wheelchair, because she couldn't & wouldn't attempt to take care of me. (we no longer speak, but maybe her words did help me get back on my feet.) a few weeks ago just sitting in the bathroom a little longer than usual both legs went completely numb and i managed with my arms to get myself to the tub nearby & sit in warm water til i got some feeling back. it's not unusual for those sharp electic shock pains to hit so hard it brings me to tears & makes me want to scream. i'm so wobbly on my feet i avoid a shower because of the glass door and have been halfway using a wooden barstool as a walker. i am truly at my wit's end... knowing i brought the medication problem upon myself. i am wanting the surgery ASAP (have a neuro appt dec 14th) and wanting MY LIFE BACK, but i don't know which scares me most: that they won't give me pain meds needed after surgery or that they will. i know i will ask not to EVER take anything with oxycodone in it, if i have to claim i'm allergic to it. i have NEVER had a problem with anything like that drug and it's made my life hell in recent months. (i just called the ortho surgeon i saw in march and have an appt with him & he can see me in 3 days.)
if anyone has made it thru my ramblings here & hasn't nodded off, i do have a question: i've been told that neck surgery should always be done by a neurosurgeon, not just a regular orthopedic surgeon. is that true? does anyone have experience with this & have opinions on this? i'm soooo ready to get this done, but i don't want to do anything i'll regret for the rest of my life - maybe in a wheelchair. please let me know! i appreciate you all and THANX for letting me post & vent my frustrations.