Hello everyone! This is my first post, and I hope I'm posting in the correct place. I'm starting to psych myself out, and I've been pouring over your posts for days. I figure it's time to post my own.
So, my issue is: I'm young. I'm 30 years old. Small children, one of which being a toddler. I work in a fairly labor intensive job, where I am on my feet all day and constantly using my arms, wrists, and shoulders.
September of 2013, I start having numbness, extreme pain, inability to grasp things, neck pain, all on the left side. Eventually, we did an MRI, and I ended up having a herniated disc at C5 (or is it C5/C6? However that is phrased). At the time, I was a homemaker, and home with our 1 year old, and was told it was likely from carrying him around (he was a very very large baby). I was prescribed neurontin (which I can say, honestly helped, but I quit taking because it's addictive), I did physical therapy, steroid injections, an epidural injection, the whole nine yards. None of that gave me much relief, and it eventually went away on it's own. I was home for awhile after that, so there were no further symptoms, and I worried nothing about it.
Fast forward to a few months ago. I go back to work, and within weeks, my symptoms are back with a vengeance. In addition, I started dropping things at work, couldn't even turn on my blinker in the car, and eventually an EMG showed that although there was no damage yet, I was absolutely experiencing numbness. My doctor refers me to a neurosurgeon at this point. Because my MRI was just over a year old, they had me do another, as well as an Xray. This time, it shows the same herniated disc, and I end up diagnosed with spinal stenosis without myelopathy. He leaves the final decision up to me. Tells me that eventually, I will need this surgery anyway, and that because of my history (I've had issues with chronic back pain for years) I will likely need more that one throughout the years. He tells me that because other methods have not dealt with the issue long term, it's not likely to go away on it's own.
My pain, for the most part, is gone. Thanks to the neurontin again, I no longer have numbness. I also do not take it any longer. New issues: a lot of back pain. More than I've had in a long time. Also, I do still have weakness. I can do my day to day, and I still work and do the grocery shopping and carry my kids...the list goes on and on. But my arms and even my legs lately get so tired so quick. Just from holding up my phone. My neck is constantly achy, and i have dull pain between my shoulder blades most of the time. My fingers hurt at the tips if I push down, like the tips are broken (so hard to explain, and quite painful), and my right hip is out of socket at some point every day, which tells me my gait has changed. So yes, I can feel that the issue is still there, even if the pain is not at a level 9 anymore.
Do I do this? I'm terrified. Do I wait? As far as my job is concerned, it's all about demand, so now is a good time (work is slow right now). My husband is telling me to do it, but I feel like I'm guaranteeing myself another surgery 10 years from now. And if it makes it worse, was it worth it?? If I wait, what if the numbness and shooting pain come back, and I can't take time off of work.... the out of pocket cost is high....I'm just so confused. And my prayers for answers have gotten no response.
So now I ask you who have been through it and seem so knowledgeable. Would you do it??
Thanks in advance for your advice!