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molly828mmolly828 Posts: 7
edited 11/12/2014 - 11:41 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi all,

I'm facing my second ACDF ... they're going to keep extending the titanium upward. Yay.
Well, I'm mad at myself, because I took my MRI results to the Surgeon, then left them there.. so I cannot speak specifically of my injury. It's c3/c4 which is the primary issue. And, I can't type today...this'll be short. I'll get back on when I'm in a more functional place. c2/c3 is less severe. I specifically remember that description. Is when I realized... OH that means the lower on is MORE severe. Lol.
When I had my previous ACDF the 5,6, 7 ones -I experienced the arm pain, which was ridiculous... I swore my right arm was going to FALL OFF... if it didn't, I was ready to pay someone to CUT it off! Wow that was horrible. I've had 5 great years since. Pain free... (except low back.. that's a whole 'nother issue.) I was working out with a trainer and found this to be all of the relief I needed, post surgery.
Then, this surfaced. I realize now how long it's been creeping up... maybe 3 years?
worked tons of hours in a desk job... 50-60 per week, at home.. so when I return to work -and hoping I do, I will not have to drive. I live in Ohio, with the snow, so for this I am thankful. Something about this, makes me sometimes think I'll never go back to work. Not sure which part of, but I have some sort of instinctive feeling. I guess possibly. because I've suffered with these issues since I was 36, I'm 50. Two surgeries will be under my belt and I need a lower back surgery pretty bad. Have for all of this time, but the neck has always been the most important to me, by way of it dictating my life. The low back dictates as well, but the neck always wins. Currently, I'm on Short Term, from work Pre-Op.
Symptoms are the squeezing feeling of my neck by a snake. This creates some eating and swallowing issues, but so far, I've not choked. I suffer hiccups all of the damn time. Ugh. I have tingling on my face, just in front of my left ear. Feels like a spider living on my face. I have inner ear pain on the left- /sharp pains... and sometimes in the right ear as well. I have some double vision lack of focus issues, which even my glasses won't help. These are the times, when I say, I'm blind right now....and I get off the computer, find something else to do. I don't know what to call it -I can't see, I must be blind. I wouldn't pass a single eye test, for real.
I have the pressure headaches, where I want to call the ambulance, but I don't... I'm already medicated. I just think there must be some help out there. But, no, it's just that bad. I must suffer? That's my 10 on the pain scale. I have a lot of cluster headaches on the top of my head, on the right - and behind my eye. Another cluster may be around my ear. Those are 6-8's
I suffer nausea a lot of the time, and if I push myself too far, I'll throw up. So, I don't. I went off work in Sept and I do very little so as not to trigger that 10 headache. I was down, in bed, couch, recliner for a month and a half..but now I can get around my house. I can't stand long.. a friend took me to lunch, and I nearly fainted at the restaurant..she said I turned several shades of yellow.
I live alone, so I ordered Nutrisystem to avoid going to the grocery store, carrying groceries thus, remaining independent. Just a tip there, incase it works for you. I could stand to lose 20 lbs -and maybe I have lost 10 already? This wasn' vanity, however.
Was warned by surgeon if it snows, don't go out.. You can't fall. Then he said again, don't think of shoveling snow.. you cannot fall. He showed me my spinal cord on the MRI and what it was doing wrong; I was kind of overwhelmed so I really don't recall. But, had I brought my disk back home -I would be able to look at it to determine what he was referring to.

I need to do some laundry -as soon as I do -I'll be down all day tomorrow. It must be the pulling out of the wash, putting into the dryer motions. Or the weight of the wet clothes? I don't pick them all up at once.. however, something triggers a headache every time. And, for that reason, I don't do it much. This is mind blowing; there's so very little I can do to keep myself comfortable. The pain I experience is so bad, tho, I oblige.

Nice to meet you. Thanks.


  • I had ACDF surgery on Sept 9th for a disc herniation with spinal compression at C5/C6 with myelopathy. There were days before my surgery that I also want to cut my arm off because of the pain. I am also having similar headaches as you. The initial headaches started a couple of years ago when my neck issues started. I cant wear hats or headbands or anything around my head because of the pressure it causes. in the last 3 weeks they have gotten much worse. Lately I cant even rest my head back against a pillow or headrest. It seems now to be a trigger point to severe headaches that start at the back of my head and go to the front of the my face to my eye, my ear and the side of my face. I was taking way more Tylenol than I was supposed to, gabapentin, cyclobenzaprine and most recently, a oral steroid. Those headaches were still a 10 even with that. Car rides started to trigger them, stress and just plain looking at the TV sometimes. And the ringing in my ears are horrid. Last week I went to my physical therapist appointment and we had looked at the charts in the room to figure out what were the trigger points. We were able to narrow it down quite a bit. He then performed dry needling in the C2/C3 nerve areas. It definitely was not comfortable and it didn't seem to help much because I still ended up in bed early with the lights out and in extreme pain. I did not get to spend much time with the kids for the last 3 weeks because of these headaches. Today was the first day without an extreme headache even though they seem like they are ready to come. The last couple of days, my head has begun to feel heavy again, my head feels like its being squeezed and it feels like someone is trying to strangle me also. I hope to have more days with out these headaches. I have talked to my doctor several times about it and they are trying to figure this out. Might be because of the spinal compression issue or maybe something else.
    I'm sorry you had to go to your appointment alone. It does get very overwhelming. My family has a buddy system. If there is an medical issue, we take a second person (or third if there is a spouse) that is mostly impartial that can take notes and help remember questions that we discussed before the appointment. It would be beneficial if you could talk to your surgeon again to review it. Im sure they have many patients that get overwhelmed with all of the information. I hope you get your issues fixed. Sounds like its been a long road.
    Tracie C
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