I am a 42 yrs young and was told 4 yrs ago that I had herniated discs C4-5, C5-6 and C6-7 It was suggested that i should have ACDF on all 3 levels. The thought of metal in my neck terrified me,I actually found this sight at that time and to be honest some of the posts scared me even more. One wise person did respond and explained that most of the posts are for people who have had bad experiences because the success stories get on with living life and do not need support.
I had chiropractor at the time who said he had a new decompression machine that has been working miracles with herniated discs and although it was expensive I took out a loan and went on it for eight weeks.It was a miracle and all my symptoms were gone. I would have flair ups every once and a while and would go for a week or 2 and would be fine again for 4 yrs.I must confess that once that happened, I did not log on to this sight during my pain free yrs. I am sorry for that but I had posted about the machine and it seemed that all that responded were negative and told me it would not work and I could not believe that at that time.
So fast forward about 2 months ago I had what I thought was another flair up but this was different and i knew that, My arm was bothering me more than my neck and that was seldom my issue but still I went on the machine just sure it was going to fix all.It is funny how denial can affect us.My arm just got worse, I had noticed weekness and pain so severe that sometimes words could not describe it. About 3 weeks ago it was unbearable and I went to ER. I ended up back at spine surgeon with MRI stating 3-4 mm posterior disc bulge on C 4-5 and 5-6 mm bulge on C 5-6 and the final 5mm disc herniation on C 5-6 with compression on the cord. there is severe spinal stenosis C-4 thru T-1.
So all I did was keep it at bay for four yrs but I am grateful for that. I played mind games with my self this last few weeks since I cannot work my right arm barely works. I did have an cervical ESI yesterday, thinking I just need to bring down the inflammation!!!!The thought of surgery scares me but the thought of this pain in my arm not going away scares me more so I am scheduled for 3 level ACDF on April 16.
I feel very little support from my family because they do not understand, I am on pain meds but I find myself chasing pain all day and some days the pain wins!So I come back with tail between my legs saying you were right and I was wrong and will you help me through this process.I am a smoker and have just picked up the patches but am having hard time letting that go but I will! Never had a good enough reason to quit before this is a good enough reason.
I have read alot of the posts and am getting some idea of what I might need after surgery but I do live alone and do not have a recliner and not sure how I am going to do on my own. I sleep now propped up on pillows and only get an hour here and hour there when the pain is intense...I do not have money to go buy a recliner I am going to need to improvise. So I am just looking for some guidance and hope if you can please respond. thanks sorry it is so long.