I have experienced chronic pain in my neck and shoulder periodically since high school with the flare-ups becoming more frequent every year until last year in July or August the latest flare-up started that has only gotten worse. I am 32 years old now with a prior history of chronic lumbar pain/ cauda equina syndrome/leaking spinal fluid/microdiscectomy at the L4/L5 level.
Below are the results of my cervical MRI.
Overall Impression: Multilevel (C2/C3-C7/T1) degenerative changes, most significant at C6/7 where an extrusion abuts spinal cord. Multiple bulging discs. Abutment of exiting nerve roots and severe stenosis of spinal canal and neural formaina. Large osteophyte complex. Spinal deformity.
Despite seeing my PCP at least 5 times for this problem as well as a neurologist about 3 times plus a neurosurgeon and physical therapy, I am no closer to a treatment or even pain management. My insurance would not approve the recommended surgery, they conferred with my neurosurgeon who then recommended a trial period of injections. Then my insurance dropped my coverage.
So now I have new insurance and I have another appointment in 2 weeks with a new doctor in Seattle, this time with a Orthopedic Surgeon that was recommended to me by my professor. I hope this doctor actually listens to me instead of my insurance company and will base my treatment on my symptoms and not what my insurance says has to be done. We will see.
What I do know is that I can't handle any of this anymore, the pain, numbness, and shaking severely impacts my quality of life. I have constant numbness in my right arm and leg and intermittent numbness on the left side. Plus all the various aches, pains, the burning sensations. Limited ROM in my neck and right arm. Constant tremors. And I can even hear my blood running in my veins or my heart beating or ringing in my ear, depending on whichever nerve is being compressed at the moment. Its enough to drive one batty. ;-)
I am currently unemployed, but I can't imagine returning to work now with all this pain and numbness and clumsiness. I think I should be classified as disabled now since I can't return to my job as I am now or anytime in the near future, but the doctors ignore me when I put out that I can't carry the equipment I would need to carry at work and I can't use a computer for 8 hours a day. Any ideas on this?
Any suggestions on getting my doctor to treat me the patient, not my insurance company? I'll take advice, suggestions, encouraging words, anything! :-)