I'm here out of concern about my cervical spinal issue.
I've read some of the posts here and I don't think mine is that bad, so maybe I shouldn't be whining, but at the same time, well I kinda need to whine.
I started having symptoms about 2 years ago now. Numbness, tingling in my legs, hands, and the left side of my face. That was the scariest symptom at first. Gradually, I have had leg pain, in both legs, shooting, electrical lightning like pain in my legs and also down my left outside of my arm that would shoot into my last two fingers. I have also had on and off, insidious as heck, and very random, heaviness in my legs, arms, and through the shoulder to upper back area. There is a lot of rice crispy type noise too, at my neck and it drives me NUTS. I cannot turn my head very far to the left or to the right and this is becoming worse, and I notice it more when i drive and have to turn back to look behind me.
Long story short, I have fibro and was sent to my Rheumy. He had a neck x ray done, that showed some degeneration, but enough that required an MRI and HOLY SMOKES...I had no idea! I have moderate stenosis in C5-C6 with osteophyte complex and mild foraminal narrowing. In C-6-C7, I have moderately severe canal stenosis, cord impingement and moderate foraminal narrowing and a large osteophyte complex. In C4--5 I have mild stenosis and a small osteophyte complex. My Rheumy suspected radiculopathy and/or myelopathy. sometimes, when I go to grab small items, like change, I cannot grab it right. I can't explain this. I drop things suddenly, as if I can't keep a hold of them. These are not constant, it is infrequent, but it makes it very difficult because I have often told myself that this is all in my head and not real. (well, it kinda IS all in my head lol).
But lately, I've been very concerned because now the pain has increased at the sight of the stenosis, at the base of my skull. It is becoming more and more painful by the day. Heating it helps somewhat and I do stretches, am a good, healthy weight and I eat right. It hurts when I turn my neck now and it hurts sometimes at night enough to awaken me. I'm a little frightened because of the cord impingment too.
I am poor and have state insurance. I can't tell you how much I have been jacked around by neurology. I can't even get into see them. A neurosurgeon did a med review of my case and said I definitely needed surgery but they wanted an EMG first before they'd even look at me. I think they're just hoping I go away. They say they have too many patients right now on state assistance in their care. WHAT? Many of these symptoms over the last year, have been debilitating to me. I asked my insurance advocate why they are pushing back so hard, do they believe my symptoms aren't real? that doesn't seem to be the case, it appears that my cord impingment is serious and that appears to be the problem. I can't even get an EMG done because they're fighting me on this too. meanwhile, my condition is worsening.
How much worse and how rapidly can this progress, particularly when my condition seems rather progressive to begin with? They said I have DDD, moderately severe in the cervical canal and I have it lower lumbar with a slight protrusion and annular tear, but the beginnings of DDD there. My lower back is bothersome but only when I do too much, and then there are times when the sciatica will act up and it's MISERY.
I'm very frustrated as I believe this surgery could very well give me my life back. I can't understand their hesitation. I can't get in to even ask a neuro QUESTIONS about my condition, how serious, what to expect....but this is concerning...
Thanks for letting me share here.