I am a 24 year 3rd year medical student scheduled for an ACDF on Monday 5/19. My story has been a medical mystery up until a few months ago. so here goes:
I had several mini-strokes when I was 19 and they thought I had a more major stroke which wiped out my fine sensation to my left arm in 2009. Fast forward 5 years and I'm a 2nd year med student, completely adjusted to the numbness (caused no real issues) and I start having sudden trigger finger in my index and middle fingers on both sides. Happens when I grip something or flex my finger in a certain position. It just locks down and causes pain on the flexor/anterior side of my forearm until I physically extend my finger back with the other hand. Yikes!
After the million dollar work up they discover I have a herniation at c6-c7 causing severe stenosis with myelopathy. Then the doctor hands me a packet of information with a list of symptoms and as I'm reading down the list I'm like "oh yeah I have that" or "oh that's not normal?" He also chose this moment to tell me he is surprised I'm not in a wheel chair based on my MRI (how do you respond to that? Gee thanks for the compliment?) Anyways since the new symptom (trigger finger) I now also put most of my other "quirks" into the "Ugh, my stupid neck" category. I have muscle switching in both hands and right outer thigh. For years I have not been able to run or fast walk for more than a quarter mile without severe cramping and pain which turns to numbness (I thought I had calf muscle issues, or was just out of shape), dizziness, headaches, etc.
The looming threat of paralysis and losing my dexterity (i.e. my medical career) convinced me to do surgery sooner rather than later. In fact, depending on how the surgery goes I may end up taking a year off from school to recover and get my health back in order before rotations.
I know what my text books tell me as far as classic symptoms, but I haven't found much info about the trigger finger and fasciculations (twitches). Anybody else have these issues? Anyone have any great success stories about post-op recovery with regaining strength or feeling? Any advice for surgery day or recovery? I'm hoping to be lucid enough to continue studying.
Sorry for the long post, thanks in advance for all support!