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Could caring for a child be making me worse?

I have Klippel Feil syndrome with abnormally small cord space in my neck. I have congenital fusion from C4 -6 and a surgical fusion C3-4. I still have spinal stenosis to the tune of 5ml at C3-4. My surgeon did a piss poor job of decompressing me. It has been recommended that I have another surgery but I am very reluctant. In the mean time I am a very busy mom to an 8 year old girl. I am fostering a 2 year old boy. We have had him for about a week and I've noticed since geting him that my hands have been going numb despite the fact that I've only picked him up handful of times. I think it is all the looking down. Have I made the biggest mistake ever in taking this little boy in? I feel like such a horrible person for thinking of sending him away. We've already fallen in love with him but I can't let myself make my cord injury worse by caring for him. Does anybody else have trouble caring for children? How do you cope?


  • Hi and welcome, you have come to the right place as we are all fellow "spineys" and care about each other. Giving a child love and support IS NOT A MISTAKE, have you had an X-ray or MRI done, have you been to a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon as none of us can tell you what is happening to you. I started having neck pain in 2006, nothing major, by 2008 I was in constant pain with numbness and tingling in my whole body. I finally had a one level surgical fusion in my neck July 10, 2012, I still have other disc herniations and problems, after I exhausted every other resource. The pain and numbness especially left side is gone but I still have pain (different post surgery) and it flares up every night when I lay down, I also have numbness. Surgery is a very big decision for any one to make and it's not to alleviate the pain but to stop further damage, I am only 9 weeks post op so I can't say my surgery was successful or not. On September 11, 2012 we buried our father three months after our mother and I was one of eight pall bearers and stayed on right side except the last time at the cemetery where I was on left side. Dad retired from the USMC in 1974 after 20 years of service so he had an American Flag on his coffin plus a Marine Corps honor guard so I grabbed with everything I had because I was not going to drop dad. I saw neurosurgeon today with X-ray cd and he said everything looked good I didn't pop anything out but not to lift anything else heavy. I tell you this so you will now that with or without surgery you have to make changes and say goodbye to the "old ways" because we spineys must change. If I were you I would try and get an MRI done to see how bad the stenosis is, I also have stenosis, and was told by doctors that the stenosis if not treated could cause permanent damage. Please don't let me frighten you as you are now part of this family, the more information you can get the better you can make decisions. I'm sorry if I rambled as the events of the past summer have caught up to me. Please talk to your primary doctor and start researching neuro or orthopedic surgeons as the good ones are busy. When I finally called a neurosurgeon to make an appt I was told to send my medical info and the doctor would decided whether or not I was too be seen. God Bless, Joe
    ACDF C5-6 July 10, 2012 with plate and screws.
  • Hi Happiness, i too have kf congenital fusion of c3/4 had 4-7 fused in may with two cages, top plate and 6 screws. was told tuesday (4 month check) that there were other anomalies too, nerves and blood vessels where they werent meant to be, also have extra bone in lower back and still putting off surgery of lower back. just asked for a copy of my notes for future reference.

    i still have pain and problems but what i want to say is i brought up my two boys, (the youngest is 35 eldest 39) and had problems from start, refused op because of risks, but op or no op my boys had to learn to be more independant quick because i couldnt carry them or even lift them at times, but they both thrived on their acheivments because i was still with them praising all the way. they have both grown into men to be proud of, can cope and see obstacles as challenges to overcome, i am sure thats partly due to my kf. get help from where ever and when ever it is offered, to enable you to live your life and do what you want to do... if thats fostering a child.......

    Joe, Hi, glad you managed your last service to your dad without any more damage to yourself, my thoughts have often been with you, hoping life is a bit kinder to you, by heck it must be overdue! big hug
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