Please help! I do not know what to do. As I sit here this morning drinking my coffee and writing this, I am wondering what in the world I am going to do.
I had ACDF surgery with a titanium plate and four screws in March of 2013 and here it is September 2014 and the pain is as bad and worse than the original surgery.
To begin, I had a herniated disk at the C5-C6 level. The surgeon went in and replaced the disk with a cadaver bone, a titanium plate and four screws. After the surgery, the surgeon said it took three hours instead of two because of all the bone spurs. I went home and did as they told me to do, everything, right down to when I could shower, but the pain was excruciating. As time passed, I thought it would get better. I didn't know what was normal after the surgery. I couldn't lift my arms for two weeks to get my nightgown on after I could shower. My husband had to help me as I cried and cried. He got scissors and cut down the front of the gowns so that I could get them on. My right arm was in more pain than my left but both sides hurt and my chest area in the front under the collarbone was hurting and still is to this day so badly I have never experienced this type of pain in my life and I had had a baby and been through basic training in the service but nothing compared to this. My right thumb would not work. I couldn't grip anything. When it was time to go to the surgeon for my first checkup, they postponed it a week. I was so upset because I couldn't imagine this type of pain after him telling me I would be up and about and could possibly be back to work in two weeks.
My goodness, I couldn't even get out of a chair in two weeks let alone thing of going back to work. Six weeks went by and every time I went to my surgeon I complained of the pain but he shrugged it off. I would tell him how badly it hurt and I would ask him why and to his reply shrugging his shoulders, "I don't know." He said after six months check that it was fused by I was still in so much pain.
Unfortunately, he has shrugged it off and to this day still does, so I went to another surgeon. He didn't say much. Just sent me to a neurologist. The neurologist said that I would never get a true reading with an MRI of that area because of the titanium plate. By now I am depressed, and in so much pain. I go to a spine and pain doctor. I've had some trouble with the left elbow and left hip so I've had a few epideral injections but he will not touch the neck area. He sent me to this surgeon to begin with and I think he knows something is wrong although he will not discuss it with me.
I don't know what to do. I am back to work but on pain medication and antidepressants and still live in pain in the back of the neck, the chest area and down the left arm and elbow. I did physical therapy six months after the surgery because I could not shake off the pain so the surgeon did send me to therapy. I did therapy for 14 weeks altogether. And never missed a day.
Here it is one year and six months later. I go to work, I come home, my husband cooks and I eat and go to bed. I live this way daily. I never go anywhere or do anything but back and forth to work because I know I have to do it to live but I would not be doing it if I had any other choice because I live in pain and cannot enjoy any part of life anymore.
I know something is wrong. I know although they have done an MRI and an x-ray that something is not right. I would not live with this pain everyday if it was okay. Something isn't right. I don't know what is wrong but I live with ice packs on my upper chest under the collarbone daily. It swells especially on the left side under the collarbone and the pain on the back of my neck is excruciating at times.
Why won't someone listen to me. Why can't someone help me or fix me. I go to the doctors and go everywhere they tell me to go when I am referred on but it has just made a vicious cycle right back to my psychiatrist. I'm not nuts. It's not in my head. She can talk to me all she wants but nothing is going to make this pain go away unless someone figures out what is wrong instead of passing me on from one doctor to another doctor to another. Please help me. If a surgeon is hearing this, please tell me what to do. Please!