I am fused C5,6,7 with titanium plate. Long story. I went into the ER in April 08 had the most terrible pain imaginable in my arm and right shoulder area. they tried to release me and I refused, told them I'd be right back in after the morphine wore off. They have this stupid pain chart with the faces, but they didn't have one with a gun to it's head, that one would have been more fitting to the pain I was in. I was in so much pain I envisioned wrapping a chain around my arm and having a semi truck rip it off. They did admit me and put me on a morphine pump, the MRI and X-rays didn't show much, so the Dr. wanted me to wait it out, to see if time would resolve my issues, 6 days later on a Sunday he decided to operate, said it would be routine fusion, would take about 20 minutes or so and I would feel much better. Well it took over 3 hours, Dr.'s nurse told me that he commented as he pulled out a chunk of bone, "this is big enough for my dog to chew on". When I saw my surgeon after surgery, he said with a chuckle,"darndest thing, didn't show on your films, all I had to do was give it a tweak and was able to remove large chunk of bone from your neck, used cadaver bone to graph and a titanium plate covering C6-7, you should feel much better soon" next day I was released with scripts for lyrica and norco. Not to mention the lovely collar I had to wear for a while.
After 6 weeks I no longer had to wear the collar when I went out and about and was told I could go to work. I was a waitress and I had terrible pain in my neck when I would reach up and still had pain spasms in my shoulder, neck and forearm, along with numb thumb, index and middle finger. Pain was not nearly as intense as when I went into the ER, that was continuous, this was sporadic, only lasting for short periods. I also had a new symptom, this ringing/hissing of my heartbeat in my ears, drives me nuts, hate it, can not stand to be in silence, only hearing my now irregular heart beats. (may have been irregular before, just never heard it or caught by any doctors.) A doctor did catch the irregularities during a routine exam about a year and a half after my first surgery. Yes I did end up having a second surgery, 6 months after I was "laid off", was told by one of the managers off the record, it was because I was a liability.
In June 09 after injections and several increases in meds. He noted a slight disc bulge at C5-6. Once again did not show on film, had 3 spurs pressing on my spinal cord, he found them when he did the surgery, they were removed, fused and old plate removed and larger one added to cover C5-6-7. Lump in my throat feeling gone and sharp pain when reaching not as frequent, got a new job, but 3 months later was told she couldn't keep me, I was a liability and she couldn't risk me getting hurt at work, I pleaded with her to let me stay, told her I would work for free, just work for tips on weekends and she agreed. Here I am over 4 years later, symptoms are, ringing, numb fingers, sporadic pain in shoulders, forearm and neck, headaches,high BP, obstructive sleep apnea, start snoring before I even fall asleep all the way, I hear it as I drift off, I get a c-pap machine tonight, hope it helps, I've been so tired for so long, I fall asleep sitting up all the time. Writing, walking, looking down and driving all cause me pain. Oh and not to mention, my husband of nearly 20 years quit caring about how I felt and filed for divorce in 2011 (valentines day) and took our children from me and left me homeless and started causing trouble for me at work and put others jobs at risk, so I was let go. He wanted me to be jobless, knowing how hard it was for me to get work. He wanted the kids, only so he did not have to pay support.
I'm so frustrated, I went off all meds in Jan of 2011, they had me on lyrica, Neurontin, Norco 10/325, Elavil and Trazodone, I was still in pain and felt ill if I would forget to take my meds on time. I felt the pain will not kill me, but the meds just might over time. I was also taking Lisinopril 20mg and Metoprolol 25mg for the HBP. Currently only taking metoprolol 50mg and use Lidocane patch when I can't stand it and need to take the edge off my neck pain. I was a very healthy person before I had my first surgery, no issues at all, even had relatively low BP. What ever happened to me to wake that night with the terrible pain in my arm has wrecked my life as I knew it, maybe it was holding a sheet of drywall up with my head as I screwed it into the ceiling we were working on or maybe the little hand held vibrating massager I used on my neck for the sore muscles I had, all I know is I'm still jumping through hoops, back to physical therapy, injections and going to one Dr. or another to resolve my issue or to even get some kind of clue as to what is causing them. MRI, EMG, all say I'm ok, but I know better. Filed for SSI, but because I've had to work part time to stay out of jail so I can pay my ex child support, because no Dr.'s have said I can't work, I fear they will deny me and it's taken over a year and a half to get my day in court. I'd like them to be in my shoes for a day and tell me the same. I work for cash, get a 1099 at the end of the year and work when he wants me to, afraid I will be replaced if I tell him I'm not able because of my pain levels. I cry myself to sleep often because I feel like I just can't keep do what I do day after day, I'm broken and it seems no one can fix me or even tell me what is the cause.
Any help or advise as to how I can get answers or even cope would be appreciated. Thanks