Hello fellow neck/back/fill-in-the-blank lottery winners. Not the one I was hoping for but a wins a win, isn't it? I will try to keep this brief so people like me don't read the whole thing as I have the attention span of an infant. I was brought up very athletic and continued with a strength fitness routine until about 4 years ago. 7 years, possibly more I noticed pain in my mid/upper back, rear should area. It would come ago but over time stayed longer than it went. I saw a few primary care type physicians who suggested rest, ice, pain medications.. the norm. I have been to chiroprators participated in physical therapy and even tried accupuncture with not even partial relief. After the nine millionth time seeing my primary care he referred me to a neurosurgeon. Despite by constant requests for one my primary care was unable to get one due to insurance procedures. I should mention timeline wise we have progressed to October 2009 the pain across my middle, right, upper back and shoulder is constant and my index and middle finger are a constant numblike tingle. This arm "tingleness" will occassional spread down my arm and througout my hand but is always present in those two fingers. I will not get into the nightmarish disorganization that was the establishment I visited but to sum up:
Oct 2009- first visit; told mri would be scheduled; given 90 5mg percocets in a visit that lasted less than 5 minutes
Oct 2009- two weeks without a call for MRI scheduling. Told it would be looked into and someone will be contacting me.
Nov 2009- call again looking for MRI appointment told Dr. I am working with is on vacation and would return at the end of the month. Scedule an appointment to speak with doctor about my concerns with their lack of communication as well as worsening numbness.
Nov 2009- second visit with a very tan doctor. Asked how everything was and "shocked" to hear an MRI was not scheduled. In the meantime to help with increased numbness decided it would be best to move to 15mg percocet.
Dec 2009- MRI...yeah! Could not get an appointment before his next vacation (mind you he just had one 2 weeks prior. God bless!)
Dec 2009- saw his partner and was surprised to see that he was perplexed that I was months into treatment with not just no resolution but no plan. I shared my frustrations with the apparent lack of communication here as well as my growing concern for potential nerve damage. A large part of my day at that time was internet sales/marketing. I was able to deal with not feeling the tips of a couple of my fingers but on bad days the burning the shot down my arm was something I could not only ignore but work through. I was taking more time on "breaks" just trying to stretch out and calling in for the firt time of any job I could remember. This doctor set up injections for my neck that was intended to reduce inflammation and open up the nerve path ways. The in addtion to the foraminal stenosis, he said there was spinal stenosis at C5-6 but normal functioning of the spinal cord displayed normal signs of intensity.
Jan. 2010- Injections, finally. I am on optimist by nature and fully expected the first relief from this pain that has been tormenting me for the better part of a decade.
Jan. 2010- a week later and nothing
. I was told it take some time but I am utterly discouraged, remember that optimist thing, not so much right now. The "Doctor" actually suggessted another increase in the narcotics. I admittingly lost it, expressed by desire to repair not numb my condition and he was obviously not looking to do that.
I spent the next 4 or 5 days in what was absolute hell. I was determined to not take the percocet any more and as I mentioned the first few days your body has other ideas but with a beautiful 6 year old boy and a wife 26 weeks pregnant with our second prince I was not about to be some comatose slob in a wheelchair, at least not yet. Life is funny and just as I was feeling better (from the withdrawals not my back, that still stunk) my wife was rushed to the hospital with life threatening symptoms. Four days later and 13-14 weeks early my second boy was born, a little smaller than we expected but both momma and baby are doing incredible here one year later. This incredible gift has renewed determination in me to be a healthy fully functioning man that my family deserves drove me to the two neurosurgeons I am currently working with. One is an absolutley brilliant man with amazing credentials and absolutely zero personality. He had a new MRI done two or three weeks ago and the report was discouraging. Where the hacks who overmedicated said I had some bulging this Dr. found herniations between c3-c4,c4-c5,c5-c6,c6-c7,c7-t1. Bilateral foraminal stenosis at every level and spinal stenosis at c5-6. Also whatever prominent reversal of the normal cervical lordosis from c2 -c7 means. I am seeing another neurosurgeon this week and how no idea what to ask. The pain is so bad that I can not sleep more than a couple of hours at a time and I obviously want that. My concern is my two young boys. I want to be able to play with them, teach them sports, go skiing or hiking, play wrestle everything a father wants to do and am terrified that my choices are a like of pain and no sleep OR fusing my whole neck and not being able to drink out of a cup nevermind shoot a jump shot. If you someone managed to make it through this rambling explanation I thank you for that at the very least but if you can offer me anything I would be so very appreciative. Thank you all anyway, just hearing so many stories is an inspiration in itself.